despite Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca
The last day of the Barclays Premier League goes Sunday and the permutations are rather simple. Harrison Barnes Jersey . If Manchester City wins or draws against West Ham at the Etihad, they win the title. A draw would mean the league would be decided by goal differential if Liverpool beats Newcastle; a gleeful sight for Manchester United supporters if City were to win both of their two titles based on goal difference. After a frustrating year at Old Trafford, this is all they have. The only way Liverpool are crowned champions is a win Sunday at Anfield combined with a Man City loss. Seems improbable, but not impossible. The dream of ending the title drought since 1990 will most likely carry on another year, along with the pain, anguish and yearning. This is the most compelling storyline heading in to Super Sunday with all eyes on Man City (TSN Radio Network, 10am ET) and Liverpool (TSN) and who will reign supreme. At the bottom of the table, Fulham and Cardiff City have already been relegated. Norwich City is all but relegated, needing a miracle of biblical proportions, facing a 17-goal gap in goal differential. Bye, bye, Canaries. So we will not to be treated to a topsy-turvy day of who stays and who goes from Premier League football. The casual fan is worse off for it not having the drama at the death. Tottenham and Manchester United are the only other teams playing for anything come Sunday. Spurs can wrap up Europa League qualification with a win or a draw at home against Aston Villa. If Spurs lose, a Manchester United win at Southampton would see them qualify for Europe. Europa League is hardly the prize either team envisioned. Again, blasé. An exciting season may be coming to an end in unspectacular fashion, however talking points continue to swirl. Here are this weeks musings: - Hardly Vintage: The 2013/14 season will hardly go down as a vintage Premier League campaign. There were plenty of memorable moments (more on the flash points next week), good and bad, but the prevailing sentiment over the season was sub-par play. The league lacked a true frontrunner and parity was more a product of mediocre play and change, rather than top quality football. The Premier League spends millions in transfers on a bi-annual basis. It can hardly be said teams are paying for value. The Premier League is rich with sponsors and earnings for surpassing any of their contemporaries. The wealth is exposed by lesser lights, with Premier League teams paying out the nose for marginal talent. It makes development that much more important for British clubs, avoiding the pitfalls of fools gold. Its a double-edged sword, as young players failing to get first team opportunity leave for green pastures (Paul Pogba, anyone?) or attempt to catch on elsewhere in a maze lacking identity or true direction. Although the entire ‘B-team model has been approached by cynicism by many in high-ranking positions and influential pundits, alternative opportunity to develop is paramount for competitiveness and business. - Super Sunday: North American professional sports need take notice of the Premier Leagues final day of games. All matches start at 10am et, meaning all-important results cannot be manipulated to the benefit of self or detriment to another. The NBA became a farce down the stretch of its regular season, with teams purposely losing to jockey for position. Professional basketball is not the only culprit. Its understood scheduling decisions are made based upon broadcasting revenue. But for the good of the sport and the fans, integrity must be taken into account. And the excitement of the final day of the Premier League more years than not trumps the spectacle of all others based upon set-up and importance. The drama is unmatched. - Suarez doubts: The pictures of Luis Suarez after Liverpools late collapse in a dramatic 3-3 tie at Selhurst Park will be replayed for ages. Burying his head in his shirt, visibly inconsolable speaks volumes. There is no doubt Suarez loves Liverpool. And Champions League football next season brings the assumption he will remain at Anfield. But thats all it is - an assumption. If Real Madrid comes calling, which continues to be rumoured, will Suarez be able to resist? And is the Uruguayan to be trusted by anything he says? This was a player who cast a line and was headed to Arsenal before the season. Hes a player suspended twice for biting and once for racist gestures. His actions on and off the field dont speak of a reliable, stable, predictable player. There is a lot to like about Suarez. Manchester Citys Yaya Toure and the Liverpool striker have been a cut above on the season. Liverpool need be wary heading into the summer, bringing in requisite players to compete in Europe, also keeping in mind cover for Suarez may be needed. Its a big summer ahead for Brendan Rodgers making sure he makes the right moves so his team doesnt regress after this ultimately successful campaign. Suarez is a big part of that. And if he goes, question marks will remain above the sustainability of success at Liverpool in an ultimately competitive Premier League. - Poor Stevie G: Contrary to belief, Liverpools title chances didnt go out the window after Mondays draw; it came through Steven Gerrards infamous ‘slip-up leading to the game winning goal in a 2-0 home loss to an weakened Chelsea. Its incredible a player as decorated as Gerrard may end his career without a Premier League title. Hes been one of the top midfielders of his generation, yet hasnt been able to inspire his team to consistent greatness aside from that one night in Istanbul. This doesnt fall solely on Gerrards shoulders. And his loyalty to Liverpool is one that should be applauded. The riches of Chelsea tempted him, yet he remained on the Merseyside. Seeing Gerrard ‘rally the troops in his now infamous team huddle with the title in his sights, paired with his ‘slip against Chelsea makes for an undeserving snippet of how harsh the game truly his. As his career fades into memories, how will he be remembered? The last month provides material he, perhaps, would want stricken from the record. - Citys Dynamic Duo: Manchester City has a roster among the best money can buy. Yaya Toure is the pulse and Vincent Kompany, despite some hiccups this season, remains the anchor at the back. But its hard to see City having the success they have without right back Pablo Zabaleta and attacking midfielder David Silva; in my opinion, the best two at their respective positions in the Premier League. On Wednesday, in a game Aston Villa proved a difficult team to breakdown, it was Zabaleta and Silva with top rate passing and movement that broke Villa down leading to the first two goals. It must be appreciated how these two see the game and can provide a variance in attack. In a Premier League predicated on speed and strength, the Argentine and Spaniard bring elements of intelligence and understanding seldom properly utilized. Their respective importance to team success cannot be understated. - Mourinhos self-fulfilling prophecy: Looking back on Jose Mourinhos first season back at Chelsea, its hard not to wonder what could have been. The Portuguese tactician was clear throughout the year his team was an underdog in the title race - the ‘little horse, if you will. It was hard to buy it back when he started spewing the nonsense and it makes little sense now. It may have not been a squad Mourinho was entirely comfortable with. And the group will continue to be cut in the mold to what Mourinho desires. Money is no object, but the past season cannot be deemed a success. He wasnt managing a team of lesser lights. The squad was as good as any in the league, but losses to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in the last two months were the fatal blow. It must be asked whether Mourinhos open pessimism about his team played a role in the team psyche. When you repeatedly downplay your teams chances, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A more positive Mourinho doesnt mean less realistic. When he sits back and reflects on the season that was, he should rue the outcome as a year of what could have been, rather than what was. - Wenger success?: Arsenal finishes fourth place in the league - another successful year for the club? That seems to be the mentality at Arsenal and its backwards, but lifting the FA Cup in just over a week from now would soften the blow. The lack of silverware over the last decade is astonishing for a marquee club. Wenger will blame injuries and anything else he can grasp hold of. Its all nonsense. Arsenals positive start masked continual holes in this team. A striker and a goalkeeper remain atop the checklist at Arsenal and further squad upgrades are essential. Arsenals policy of fiscal restraint and development of unknown commodities is a honourable one and Champions League football is great to keep the wheel spinning, but at some point, it must be decided whether fourth place constitutes a victory because at present time it is accepted as good enough...which is really isnt. - Giggss future: With Louis van Gaal seeming like Manchester Uniteds manager of the future, the debate continues to swirl about a role for Ryan Giggs. The Welshman is a club legend and that will never change. The insistence he remains part of the new United backroom staff is a romantic one, but it may be flawed. Uniteds links to their past are never really far away, but now, were speaking of a new-look United, in need of turning the page, moving on to the next chapter. If van Gaal wants to bring Danny Blind, Patrick Kluivert or whomever he wants to fill out important assistant roles, then so it shall be. Holding Giggs over his head would be a mistake. The class of 92 brought incredible success to the team. They, along with a solid group of veteran leadership, were be able to become the most successful team in English football and it wasnt even close. Sir Alex Ferguson steered that ship. If van Gaal is to do his job properly, he needs full autonomy. If he doesnt have it, who knows what kind of mish-mashed vision will come of it and a mish-mash of results will predictably follow. It may sound harsh, even unfair, but Giggs may have to go for the restructure to properly take place. If youre going to hand over the keys to van Gaal, then do it. No restrictions. DeAndre Jordan Jersey . Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored shootout goals, and backup goalie Cam Talbot earned his second win in two nights as the Rangers shook off a late tying tally and beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 Monday night. Custom Dallas Mavericks Jersey . PAUL, Minn. MILAN, Italy -- Fiorentina fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Cagliari as it lost ground in the race for a Champions League place, while AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorfs winning start in the Italian league ended on Saturday. Milan was held to 1-1 at home by Torino. Cagliari scored six minutes from halftime when Mauricio Pinilla blasted home from the penalty spot after Facundo Roncaglia tripped Marco Sau. The home side could have doubled its tally in stoppage time as first Fiorentina defender Stefan Savic almost scored an own goal then Albin Ekdals shot clipped the top of the upright. Fiorentina new signing Anderson made his first start following a loan move from Manchester United but proved ineffective. The Tuscan team was missing leading strikers Mario Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi, who are out with long-term injuries. Fiorentina remained three points behind third-place Napoli, which visits Atalanta on Sunday. Later, Seedorf was looking to become the first Milan coach since Luigi Bonizzoni in 1958-59 to win his opening three Serie A games. Milan, which was without the suspended Mario Balotelli, dominated but Torino took the lead in the 17th minute thanks to a wonderful solo effort from Ciro Immobile. He ran almost half the length of the pitch before feinting past Daniele Bonera and firing across into the bottom right corner ffor his 11th goal of the season. Jalen Brunson Jersey. Adil Rami scored his first for Milan since his move from Valencia to level matters four minutes after halftime. The France defender ran onto Sulley Muntaris short pass before unleashing a rocket shot into the left of goal. Robinho thought he gave Milan the lead 10 minutes later when he curled Kakas through ball into the far side of the net, but he was narrowly ruled offside. "Its a really great emotion to score," Rami said. "It was four or five months that I didnt play, it was a difficult moment for me, it wasnt easy in my head. Im lucky to have a strong character." Rami was suspended by Valencia at the beginning of October after insulting his coach and teammates in a radio interview. Elsewhere, Udinese snapped a run of four successive defeats to beat Bologna 2-0 in a relegation fight. Udinese took the lead in the 15th minute when a somewhat soft penalty was awarded against Michele Pazienza for a nudge on Andrea Lazzari, and Antonio Di Natale fired Udinese in front, despite Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci guessing the right way. Nico Lopez sealed the result in stoppage time when he finished off a swift counterattack. Udinese moved provisionally six points clear of the relegation zone. 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