The 2022-23 Premier League season finally drew to a close on Sunday to bookmark the end of another entertaining campaign.
Southampton, Leeds and Leicester were relegated, with Everton surviving by the skin of their teeth on a hugely dramatic final day.
While Manchester City won the title (again) after hauling back long-time leaders and dark horses Arsenal.
Newcastle and Manchester United rounded off the top four, with Liverpool, Brighton and Aston Villa also qualifying for Europe, while Chelsea were a huge disappointment as they finished below Crystal Palace despite spending more than £600million.
And below, Mail Sport‘s writers have chosen their best, worst and most amusing moments from the huge collection of the good, the bad and the funny incidents in the English top-flight over the last nine months.
The Premier League season drew to a close on Sunday to end another entertaining campaign
Manchester City were crowned champions and Southampton, Leeds and Leicester went down
Below, Mail Sport’s writers have chosen their best, worst and funniest moments of the season
What was your favourite match of the season?
Ian Ladyman (IL): Arsenal 1 Man City 3.
It was a win for the champions-to-be but the sight of City keeper Ederson time-wasting in the first half told us everything about how close this game was. I thought that night that a new modern rivalry was born. I hope I’m right.
Sami Mokbel (SM): Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4. A game packed with thrills and spills that even saw rival analyst staff nearly come to blows in the press box. Blokes and their laptops, eh? Crazy.
Craig Hope (CH): Newcastle 3 Man City 3. Two teams wonderfully committed to entertainment and, even in August, you knew it would take something special to better this. Eddie Howe called it ‘incredible’, and I’m not going to disagree.
Adrian Kajumba (AK): Arsenal 3 Manchester United 2. A classic Premier League rivalry revived. Both teams going at it in a see-saw encounter settled by a last gasp winner. Potentially a sign of things to come in a new era for both clubs.
Matt Barlow (MB): Southampton 3 Tottenham 3. Six goals with a late twist, a nostalgic Theo Walcott cameo, and Antonio Conte’s explosive exit rant.
Kathryn Batte (KB): Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham. A game you thought was done at half-time with Liverpool 3-0 up before Spurs mounted the unlikeliest comeback. Richarlison doing his pigeon dance after equalising only for Liverpool to go up the other end and score a winner.
Jack Gaughan (JG): Leeds 3-0 Chelsea. With Leeds full of early-season optimism and intrigue around how Thomas Tuchel was going to deal with all of these new players, the day proved instructive for one but not the other.
Chris Wheeler (CW): Leeds 4-3 Bournemouth in November. The madness was in full swing at Elland Road, but it was fun while it lasted. The fireworks flew on Bonfire Night as Crysencio Summerville scored a late winner for the second week in a row.
Dominic King (DK): Brighton 1 Everton 5. The performance came from nowhere, brilliantly executed and the reason Everton remain in the Premier League.
Diogo Jota’s fine goal rounded off a magnificent spectacle as Liverpool beat Tottenham 4-3
While Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal even saw rival analyst staff nearly come to blows in the press box
…and your goal of the season?
IL: Day one. Brighton v Man Utd at Old Trafford. A goal that starts with a back-heel deep in their own half ends with Pascal Gross scoring at the Stretford End. Graham Potter was still manager but this was an indicator of what Brighton would become.
SM: Marcus Rashford versus Arsenal. A brilliant solo effort to underline the Manchester United forward’s brilliant revival.
CH: Miguel Almiron – Fulham 1 Newcastle 4.
It needed the Midas touch to score from the position he did. Bruno Guimaraes’ pass dropped over his shoulder and Almiron caught it on the volley to send the ball into the far, top corner from an impossible angle.
AK: Almiron v Fulham. Sublime strike in the first game of his month-long purple patch that had Jack Grealish eating his words. Julio Enciso v Man City and Lucas Moura v Leeds are worthy shouts, too.
MB: Enciso v Man City. Even better than his screamer v Chelsea.
KB: Youri Tielemans v Everton. A goal that has probably been forgotten about. He controlled the ball on his thigh before unleashing an unstoppable volley past Jordan Pickford.
JG: Miguel Almiron – Fulham v Newcastle, October 1. There is no finer sight than a ball coming over a shoulder and volleyed into the top corner. Almiron did it with such poise and control, not over-hitting, which made it all the sweeter.
CW: Alejandro Garnacho’s first Premier League goal, scored in injury-time to give Manchester United a dramatic victory at Fulham in the last match before the World Cup. It felt like we were witnessing the start of something special.
DK: Roberto Firmino’s flying volley in the final minute of his final Anfield appearance against Aston Villa.
Miguel Almiron’s goal for Newcastle against Fulham was a jaw-dropping moment of skill
Player of the season – and best young star?
IL: Erling Haaland. He did exactly what we thought he would do but it was still thrilling to watch him do it. Alejandro Garnacho for best youngster. He flickered sporadically but there was enough to hint at real and rare talent.
SM: Haaland. Obviously. Why? Goals. Rico Lewis – to make 10 league starts in this City team as an 18-year-old you have to be a special player.
CH: Haaland. To come into a new league at 22 and score 36 goals is remarkable. I’ll mention a player I cover in the North-East, Newcastle’s Sven Botman. Played every week at the heart of the league’s joint-best defence. £32m looks a bargain.
AK: Haaland. Many others have had seasons that would normally earn them individual honours but not this year. Haaland has blown everyone away. Any award he’s eligible for, he should win.
MB: Impossible to look past Haaland but Harry Kane deserves huge credit for another prolific year despite familiar travails at Spurs. Best young star Evan Ferguson — big and strong, brave, mature beyond his years with an appetite for goals.
KB: Can I vote for Erling Haaland twice? To be this good in your first season in England is frightening and the fact he is only 22 is frankly ridiculous. Bukayo Saka would be my second choice for young player.
JG: Haaland. Say no more. Haaland would obviously get the vote for young star too but for the sake of argument: Gabriel Martinelli at Arsenal. He’s consistently posed the biggest threat from wide areas.
CW: You have to hand it to Haaland. Even in this Man City team, 36 Premier League goals and 52 (so far) in total is outstanding. Garnacho gets my vote for young player. A special talent.
DK: Everyone will say Haaland but I want John Stones to have some recognition. He’s absolutely brilliant. Saka is the best kid on the block.
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was almost unanimously named Player of the Season
The Norwegian star, aged just 22, has an astonishing 52 goals in just 51 games this campaign
Which manager has done the best job?
IL: Mikel Arteta. Endless worthy candidates for this. Guardiola, Howe, Ten Hag, Emery, De Zerbi, O’Neil, Frank. But Arteta took Arsenal from nowhere right in to the heart of battle with City. If it was so easy, why is nobody else doing it?
SM: Roberto De Zerbi. Not necessarily for Brighton’s sixth placed finish, although that is very commendable but for the super style of football he’s implemented. A man destined for the very top.
CH: Eddie Howe. Took Newcastle into the Champions League with players who were written off as Championship level by many. He has improved every player. The likes of Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, Fabian Schar, Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock are unrecognisable.
AK: Roberto De Zerbi – a brilliant addition to the Premier League on and off the pitch. He and his team Brighton team showed why he had no qualms stepping into Graham Potter’s shoes. Special mention to Aston Villa’s Unai Emery too.
MB: So many contenders for this but I’d like to give credit to Gary O’Neil. No one expected Bournemouth to stay up, including his predecessor Scott Parker after the 9-0 defeat at Liverpool. They did it with room to spare.
KB: Gary O’Neil. Bournemouth looked certain to go down when Scott Parker left but O’Neil has somehow guided them to safety with games to spare. An incredible achievement with one of the lowest budgets in the division.
JG: Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton. Not just for the results, a best-ever finish and qualifying for the Europa League, but the style with which that has been achieved. He’s destined for the very top. Seems very likeable too.
CW: Pep Guardiola. Special mentions for Thomas Frank, Eddie Howe, Erik ten Hag and Marco Silva, but you can’t overlook the man who has clinched a hat-trick of titles on the way to a possible Treble.
DK: Unai Emery took Aston Villa into seventh place. What an incredible achievement to show people he is outstanding.
Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil (right) has done a brilliant job in keeping the Cherries up
While Unai Emery (above) took Aston Villa from the relegation places to qualifying for Europe
IL: Liverpool? Spurs? Wretched, both. But I will go for Chelsea. When is a new dawn not a new dawn? Well, when it’s not a new dawn. Good luck Mauricio, you will need it.
SM: Chelsea. Spending £600million. Finishing 12th. Oh dear.
CH: Jason Tindall not being given the managerial reins for Newcastle’s final game at Chelsea.
AK: Chelsea. Even if there was an expectation that this would be a transition season, nobody could have predicted it would be this bad.
MB: Chelsea’s new era… from world champions to the sixth best team in London via four managers and an outlay of about £600m spent on players.
KB: Leicester City. At the turn of the year it looked as if they’d put their dreadful start behind them but they somehow got worse. It’s hard to understand why they’ve been so bad when you look at the talent in the squad.
JG: It’s hard to look beyond Tottenham. Chelsea’s disaster has mitigation given crazy decision-making but Spurs will look back on this period, with their greatest striker ever on the books, with so much regret.
CW: There are disappointing seasons and then there’s how Chelsea have unravelled. All that money, all that potential. Absolute shambles.
DK: The continued failings of Everton. How those supporters need something to cheer.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly spending £600million and finishing 12th is a huge disappointment
What’s your unpopular opinion?
IL: Five substitutes is too many. It’s here to stay now so we need another solution to the problem of using them simply to waste time. So here it is. Ban all substitutions from the 85th minute onwards. If someone gets injured, tough luck.
SM: That Harry Maguire deserves more respect.
CH: Unpopular on Merseyside, maybe, but Jurgen Klopp isn’t that nice a guy.
AK: Manchester United’s Antony should not be near ‘flop signing of the season’ lists. There’s a player in there and United are a better team with him in it. Also, mid-season World Cups are not bad at all. We should do that again some time.
MB: Daniel Levy was right not to bring back Pochettino to Spurs.
KB: Graham Potter wasn’t that bad at Chelsea. He wasn’t great, but they created lots of opportunities during his tenure, they were just bad at taking them. He was the victim of the Boehly circus and will no doubt do well elsewhere.
JG: Jason Tindall’s a genius at taking the focus away from what Eddie Howe’s doing.
CW: The notion that a penalty shootout was a cruel way for Coventry to miss out on the Premier League. They had a 46-game season to win automatic promotion and two hours of a play-off final. They knew what came next.
DK: I’ve only got one? Newcastle’s season might be a one-off and they could be looking for a new manager in 12 months. Remember: football is an unforgiving business.
An ‘unpopular opinion’ from one is the much-maligned Harry Maguire deserves more respect
IL: Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan. A great scoop but some of those answers. The delusional vanity. The lack of self-awareness. The overwhelming self-regard. No wonder he fits so well with Saudi Arabia.
SM: When Cristiano Ronaldo blanked Gary Neville live on Sky Sports. Louis Saha was embraced. Even Jamie Redknapp was acknowledged. Sorry, Gary.
CH: Walking about recording my post-match thoughts while being mocked for my bandy legs by a group of corporate fans (you know the type). Yes, I have legs like John Wayne. But if they were straight, I’d be the same size as Peter Crouch.
AK: Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte clashing. They are scenes we really don’t want to see, except it was all quite entertaining and Tuchel certainly saw the funny side, laughing it all off.
MB: Playground handshake antics featuring Tuchel & Conte.
KB: Just when you thought Erling Haaland couldn’t get any better, turns out he can do impressions too. His imitation of John Stones was so good, if you closed your eyes you’d have thought it was the Barnsley-born man speaking himself. ‘It’s the louuuuvre’.
JG: This is all too serious for funny but since you asked, Kevin De Bruyne happily trapping plastic beer pots hurled in his direction by irate Arsenal fans made me smile.
CW: Cristiano Ronaldo moaning about his treatment at Manchester United and claiming he deserves to play at the highest level – shortly before signing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
DK: Jurgen Klopp hearing the phrase ‘booby prize’ for the first time at his final press conference and sniggering like a schoolboy: all very puerile but very amusing!
Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan (right) was massively delusional
And Thomas Tuchel’s handbags with Antonio Conte (centre) was a hilarious moment as well
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
IL: Cristiano Ronaldo – just to see if he is actually allowed to leave that place where he now plays his football. Mo Salah – Pass the salad please Mo. What do you mean you don’t know how? Harry Kane – because you need to know that no matter how bad it gets someone can be relied upon to stay until the very end.
SM: Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka and Roy Hodgson. Grealish – well – for the obvious. Saka to bring some sensibility to the night. And Hodgson for his experience and conversation. No way Roy turns up to this, though.
CH: Sam Allardyce. Pep Guardiola. Jurgen Klopp. So guys, who really is the best manager? Discuss.
AK: De Zerbi and the Jack Grealish/Haaland double act. Can’t imagine that will be a quiet evening.
MB: Tony Bloom & Matthew Benham to find out how they do it. And Jack Grealish for a bit of light entertainment. No card games.
KB: Jack Grealish – Will bring the entertainment and sort out the after party. Eddie Howe – Someone to keep things calm in the kitchen. Jason Tindall – Because wherever Howe goes, Tindall goes.
JG: I’d say Pep Guardiola but he sees enough of me already. The chief executives at the Big Six, to ascertain what mad scheme they’re cooking up next and spend the cheese course persuading them to stop.
CW: Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sheik Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Joel Glazer. Let’s get this takeover sorted.
DK: A Johan Cruyff theme: so Michael Laudrup, Pep Guardiola and Jan Molby. Excellent red wine, brilliant stories and after Laudrup told me Guardiola didn’t have a left foot in February, I’d love to see him tell him in person!
Lots of Mail Sport writers said they would invite Jack Grealish (left) to a dream dinner party
Make a prediction for next season?
IL: Jurgen Klopp will not see out the season at Liverpool. (Editor’s note: Always hold something good back for the end).
SM: Levi Colwill we be called up into the England squad.
CH: Manchester United will finish outside the top four. I’m just not convinced by them at all.
AK: Mauricio Pochettino will get Chelsea back in the top four minimum next season.
MB: Kenilworth Road will be the best atmosphere in PL football.
KB: Mauricio Pochettino will get Chelsea back into the top four… and Hull City will get promoted.
JG: The eventual winners will not reach 90 points.
CW: Having tipped Brentford to go down this season, I need to be careful. So Man City to finish in the top half of the table – and Brentford to stay up.
DK: I will be prepared to put my money where my mouth is on this: Aston Villa WILL win the Europa Conference League.
While Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman predicts Jurgen Klopp will not last next season at Liverpool