Why on earth are there streaming wars going on when the Premier League creates an enthralling entertainer like Sunday for two hours? Stuff your Netflix and Disney Plus, I’ll take Pep Guardiola crying out of joy and relief any day of the week.
Tears, ecstatic joy, heartbreaks, villains, saviors, twists, turns, this Premier League final day had it all, Game of Thrones never had this many intriguing subplots, a just desserts for fans who had to watch football with the soul sucked out of it for two years.
Sky Sports unraveled all the drama as it unfolded, cutting to wherever the goals were going in to change the scenario dramatically unleashing the ripple effects for all teams involved. There’s something unique about all the teams playing at once on the final day with everything at stake, you get to see the causes and consequences first hand. Tactics, statistics, footballing patterns are all thrown out the window and the neutral wins.
To take note of just how barmy the day was, Manchester City and Liverpool the two bona fide best teams in the league were out of sorts. Liverpool frantically rushing around forcing the ball into the Wolves net, in turn leaving them woefully open, simply as a result of news filtering in from the Etihad.
For Manchester City the pretty patterns, the orgasmic football, the impossible passing, the obsession of control was lost. The amount of times City’s players who normally swear under oath on keeping the ball, just passed it out of play or to the opposition sloppily as Villa constantly threatened with a simple ball over the top for their fast attackers.
City and Pep are a chokehold of team, plying teams into submission putting other teams in a trance with their possession-orientated football. City’s defence is so good because they rarely have to defend, Guardiola’s men dictate the game so in the rare occasions when the game becomes uncontrollable (Real Madrid anyone?) that’s when we see City in a rare state of vulnerability.
But this times, when chaos came calling, City skidded into the icy bend rather than desperately trying to slow the car down. In a furious five minutes with their backs to the wall City pulled out three goals in an incredible come back snatching the dangling carrot away from Liverpool’s mouths.
The result of such an almost indescribable day is because of the nature of these two teams who literally ‘attack’ the Premier League title hell for leather, it’s showcased when the two teams collide it’s a game of ‘you attack, we attack’ and let’s see who’s the best. Premier League fans should remember the countless games of top teams where they would play chess and look to cancel each other out.
The anxiety and tension in the stadiums was palpable, something that is normally said as a cliché but isn’t always true. The mood changed around the ground not just because of what was occurring on the pitch. Roars or murmurs from the crowd indicate a change in circumstances directly effecting the players.
The media-trained, age old reply to the question ‘Will you be keeping track of *inserts team* result’ ‘No we focus on ourselves’ couldn’t have been further from the truth, with the glee on Mo Salah’s face thinking he’d scored the crucial goal before fan interaction told him Man City were now leading, or the hysterical clip of Heung Min Son asking if Salah had scored as he plotted more damage at Carrow Road.
The television series was completing another dramatic season, but the show wasn’t taped it was a special live edition uncoiling right in front of our eyes, on our screens, phones and laptops, hurriedly checking our devices: ‘Ohhhhh Leeds have just scored’ and overseeing the whole shebang was Gary Neville providing just the right amount of words to sum things up and just the right amount of his trademark ‘oooooooohs’.
We may not get such a final day like that again where so much was at stake at the top and bottom of the Premier League but after we were robbed of what we loved for what felt like longer than two years, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
By: Dharnish Iqbal / @dharnishiqbal
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / NurPhoto / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images / Visionhaus / Getty Images