Leicester relegated from Premier League despite beating West Ham

Leicester have been relegated from the Premier League just seven years after lifting the title despite beating West Ham 2-1 on the final day of the season.

Dean Smith’s side started the day in the relegation zone, two points behind Everton in 17th, but Harvey Barnes stepped up for Leicester in their time of need and slotted in a crucial opener (34) after combining with Kelechi Iheanacho to momentarily lift them out of the bottom three.

What’s next for West Ham?

West Ham still have the final of the Europa Conference League to look forward to.

David Moyes’ side face Fiorentina at the Eden Arena in Prague on Wednesday June 7; kick-off 8pm.

You can follow the ECL final in our dedicated match blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.

The King Power Stadium went quiet though after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning strike at Goodison Park gave Everton the lead against Bournemouth. Not even Wout Faes’ first goal for Leicester (62) – a header from Youri Tielemans’ corner – could lift the mood as their destiny was out of their hands.

Pablo Fornals then turned the heat up on Leicester as he halved the deficit in the closing stages (79). The hosts were able to hold on as they ended a five-game winless run but it was too little too late for the 2016 champions. The fairytale story is over.

More to follow…

How the Premier League table finished

Leicester Verdict:

Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones:

Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions just seven seasons ago. But fast-forward 2,557 days and they have become the second side to carry the unwanted tag of ‘Champions to Championship’ – following on from Blackburn Rovers.

It was hard to see this fall from grace coming. Leicester have finished in the top half in each of the previous five seasons, missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day in both 19/20 and 20/21, prior to an eighth-placed finish last season. But this league can swallow you up. Make one wrong key decision in terms of recruitment or strategy and teams will motor past you. The opposition boardrooms are just too shrewd now. One slip is all it takes.

Leicester’s recruitment is where it has all gone wrong. There has always been a next along the production line, a Riyad Mahrez, Harry Maguire, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante or Ben Chilwell. The cupboard has run dry on that part. Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Wout Faes for £67m has been good money spent very badly. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes have flirted with season-saving performances, but both have faltered in the heat of a relegation battle, while Jamie Vardy’s legs went last season so a reliance on him has proved fruitless.

It is the Championship now. It could be a long road back if the common theme of bad boardroom decisions continues.

West Ham Verdict: All roads lead to Prague

Sky Sports’ Zinny Boswell:

It’s been a season to forget for West Ham domestically but could end up being one of their greatest in a generation if they’re successful in next month’s Europa Conference League final in Prague.

David Moyes’ side wilted under the weight of expectation following back-to-back top-seven finishes and a summer expenditure exceeded only by Chelsea and Man Utd. This was meant to be a season of progression, instead Hammers fans were met with regression. It nearly cost Moyes his job.

Reports suggested he was one game from the chop in January. But Moyes was triumphant in the game against Everton dubbed El Sackico as he bested Frank Lampard, who was let go by the Toffees a few days later. Moyes just about clung on and those days seem like distant memories now.

Often derided as a ‘Mickey Mouse Cup’, the Europa Conference League has provided salvation for West Ham and their manager this season. A near-perfect record in the competition has been the only redeeming facet of an otherwise substandard campaign.

Now Moyes and his players are one game from writing their names in West Ham history alongside the likes of Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst, who were part of the 1965 European Cup Winner’s Cup-winning side. It would be the perfect farewell for their captain, Declan Rice, too.

Beat Fiorentina on June 7 in Prague and all will be forgiven. Heck, with Europa League qualification and a trophy in the bag, it would be looked back on as a season to savour.

How the season played out

When does the 2023/24 Premier League season start?

The Premier League season will kick-off on August 12 and conclude nine months later on May 19, 2024.

The start is one week later than the 2022/23 launch as the schedule returns to normal following the Covid-19 pandemic and the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which provided disruption during the previous three seasons.

However, the fixture list provides for a return of the mid-season player break which will take place between January 13-20.

Fixtures for the new Premier League season will be revealed at 9am on Thursday June 15 and you can follow the announcements on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.

Source : Sky Sports