The final weekend of EPL play for the 2012-2013 season wasn’t the hang-onto-your-seat cliffhanger like last season’s final round. This year’s was a fireworks display that saw 36 goals scored across the final match day’s slate of fixtures, as well as Arsenal’s clinching the last Champion’s League spot over Tottenham and Wigan’s finally being relegated after eight seasons.
But let’s take a minute to recap the games that saw some venerable English Premier League faces grace stadiums for the last time. Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and midfielder Paul Scholes, Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher and Stoke City’s Michael Owen all played their final matches this weekend. Here’s how they went.
Manchester United Vs. West Bromwich Albion
That fireworks display we were talking about earlier? This was its main contributor. Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes’s last match, at the Hawthorns, ended in a 5-5 draw. Four different scorers contributed to United’s scoreline while Romelu Lukaku–who’s on loan from Chelsea and probably going back there–scored a hat trick after coming on as a substitute.
Although it wasn’t the win Fergie expected, it was entertaining at least. The take away: United finished the season with the largest margin of points between itself and the runners-up since 2004-2005 (11 points) and Scholesy got to see some play time, coming on as a substitute for Shinji Kagawa in the 69th minute.
Ferguson Career Achievements: 13 English League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 UEFA Champion’s League titles, 1 Club World Cup and the ability to influence game-time within any match played at Old Trafford
Scholes Career Achievements: 497 appearances for Manchester United, 107 goals, 11 English Premier League titles and the most badass ginger to grace a soccer pitch in the last 20 years
Liverpool Vs. Queens Park Rangers
At least Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher got all three points on his last go-round at Anfield. The Reds played relegated Queens Park Rangers, and beat them 1-0 through a 22nd minute Coutinho strike. Carragher received a grand farewell from the Liverpool faithful, a fanbase he’s spent his entire career playing for. Watch the BBC video below for Carragher’s goodbye speech to the crowd where thanks them for “a few great nights here and in Istanbul.”
Jamie Carragher Career Stats: 737 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, 2 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Champion’s League title and the ready-made face of a broadcaster when he joins Sky Sports next season
Stoke City Vs. Southampton
Michael Owen’s bounced around England and Spain since he began his career back in 1996 at the age of 17 with Liverpool. He concluded it against Southampton yesterday, playing in 17 minutes as a substitute in a 1-1 draw and receiving chants of his name from both sets of fans at St. Mary’s. Although he’s played sparingly in his last few seasons with both Manchester United and Stoke, Owen leaves the game as one of the greatest English players of his generation.
Michael Owen Career Stats: 222 career goals in all competitions, 1 English Premier League title with Manchester United in 2010-2011, 1 Ballon D’Or, inclusion on the EPL’s Domestic Team of the Decade for the aughts and more injuries than any player should ever go through.
Bonus! Paris St. Germain Vs. Brest
David Beckham, what else is there to say that hasn’t already been distilled into paragraphs across English tabloids and ESPN Soccernet? He was the soccer world’s first truly iconic brand, but also one hell of a soccer player, even if he wasn’t as athletically flashy as English compatriot Joe Cole in his prime. In probably his last match ever, PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti named Beckham an honorary captain in the Paris side’s 3-1 against Brest.
He played, he received a raucous send-off from the 45,000 inside the Parc de Princes and then promptly cried. It couldn’t have been a more theatrical conclusion to the career of someone who could bend it better than almost anyone.
David Beckham Career Stats: 10 domestic league titles with Manchester United, 115 appearances for the English National Team, 129 goals in all competitions and the man who coined the term “prettiest motherfucker” before A$AP Rocky ever stepped to a mic