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Man City and Liverpool beat Arsenal to Champions League

Pep Guardiola closed off the season with a demolition of lowly Watford while Jürgen Klopp endured a nervy first 45 minutes but then saw a comfortable disposal of Middlesbrough
Liverpool v. Chelsea live online

Silva. Matthew ChildsREUTERS

Manchester City and Liverpool will join Premier League champions Chelsea and runners-up Tottenham in the Champions League 2017/18. Liverpool will start in the qualifying round.

Comfortable wins for City and Liverpool

Knowing that a win would guarantee a third-place finish for Pep Guardiola - and qualification into the group stages of the Champions League - his team went out ensured no nerves for the City fans. Arsenal, also in contention but relying on others to do them a favour, welcomed Everton to the Emirates and did what they had to, but the red team from Merseyside also took care of business in front of the Anfield faithful. Here's how each of the three key games panned out...

Watford vs Manchester City

Manchester City made sure of third place in the Premier League when they romped to a 5-0 win at Watford on Sunday to ensure a Champions League berth for next season.

City were already 4-0 up at the break at Vicarage Road and finish the season with 78 points, ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal and behind Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Kompany opened the scoring with a fourth-minute header from a corner, followed by Sergio Aguero finishing off a counter attack set up by Kevin de Bruyne in the 23rd minute.

Guardiola, applauds his Manchester City players.
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Guardiola, applauds his Manchester City players.Richard HeathcoteGetty Images

Ten minutes later Aguero netted his 33rd goal of the season at the end of another quick attack with Leroy Sane providing the decisive pass. It was 4-0 in the 42nd minute as Fernandinho powered through the defence to score from close range with another Brazilian, Gabriel Jesus, adding a fifth goal 13 minutes after the break.

The match was the last for Watford manager Walter Mazzarri with his club finishing two places above the relegation standings after 38 games.

Liverpool vs Middlesbrough

Liverpool ensured a return to the Champions League by beating relegated Middlesbrough on Sunday, although they will have to play in a qualifying round after finishing fourth in the Premier League, two points behind Manchester City.

Needing a win to make sure of a return to Europe's premier club competition, Jürgen Klopp's side looked edgy early on but the tension was lifted just before halftime when Dutchman Georgino Wijnaldum scored from a clever pass by Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts as Liverpool take apart Middlesbrough at Anfield.
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Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts as Liverpool take apart Middlesbrough at Anfield.PETER POWELLEFE

In the second half Philippe Coutinho curled in a direct free kick and Adam Lallana added a third goal. Middlesbrough, who thought they should have had a penalty with the score at 0-0, finished as the lowest Premier League scorers this season with 27 goals.

Arsenal vs Everton

Ten-man Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 on Sunday to complete their Premier League campaign with a fifth successive win but there was no last-day reprieve for their top-four hopes.

First-half goals by Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez and a stoppage-time effort by Aaron Ramsey sealed the win but Liverpool and Manchester City also won to leave Arsenal fifth, their lowest finish since Arsene Wenger arrived in 1996.

Arsenal will be missing from the Champions League for the first time in 20 years next season.

Fans display banners during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium
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Fans display banners during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates StadiumClive MasonGetty Images

Bellerin put Arsenal ahead after eight minutes and although they lost Laurent Koscielny to a red card shortly afterwards Sanchez doubled their lead before halftime.

As news filtered through that Liverpool, whom Arsenal could have caught with a win if they had failed to beat Middlesbrough, were winning comfortably the early optimism evaporated. Romelu Lukaku halved the deficit but Arsenal hung on and Ramsey struck again with seconds remaining.


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