Leicester City’s Premier League winners were given a guard of honour by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and then they ended their glory season with a late equaliser from Danny Drinkwater in a 1-1 draw with the outgoing champions on Sunday.
The home team, their fans and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich applauded Leicester on to the field and there was a particularly fond reception for their former manager Claudio Ranieri, who was given a special presentation before the game.
Chelsea had looked the superior side and Cesc Fabregas seemed set to spoil Leicester’s final party when he scored from the penalty spot in the 66th minute.
Yet with nine minutes left, England midfielder Drinkwater hammered a 30-year shot that left Leicester’s fans able to celebrate winning the league by 10 points, as they chanted: “That’s why we’re champions.”
In the Emirates Stadium, an Olivier Giroud hat-trick gave Arsenal a 4-0 victory over relegated Aston Villa.
The result, combined with Tottenham’s 5-1 defeat against Newcastle, means that Arsenal finishes the season in second place in the English Premier League, one point ahead of their north London rivals.
Giroud’s first goal came in the 5th minute on a header from a Nacho Monreal cross. The Frenchman raced to his hat trick within the space of three second-half minutes with Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin providing the assists in the 78th and 80th minutes, respectively. Mikel Arteta added Arsenal’s 4th in stoppage time.
Tottenham Hotspur fluffed their last-day lines with a 5-1 defeat at relegated, 10-man Newcastle United.
Newcastle’s swashbuckling performance with two goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and one from Aleksandar Mitrovic, sent off in the 67th minute for a bad foul on Kyle Walker, may have gone some way to persuading Rafa Benitez to stay on as their manager in The Championship.
Erik Lamela pulled one back for Spurs on the hour when they were 2-0 down but Newcastle recovered their two-goal lead with a Wijnaldum penalty for a Jan Vertonghen foul on the busy Moussa Sissoko, a thorn in the visiting defence.
Spurs, who had needed just a point to finish second and above Arsenal for the first time since 1995, were left shell-shocked as substitute Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat added further goals in the last five minutes.