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What surprised us in the 2023-24 Premier League season

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Top betting company 1xBet has compiled a review detailing the top five surprising events from the recently concluded Premier League season.

1. Historical championship for Manchester City

Manchester City continued their dominance under Pep Guardiola, clinching their sixth Premier League title in eight years. This victory holds even greater significance  as they become the first team in the league's history, dating back to 1888, to achieve four consecutive championships.

However, the road to victory was not smooth sailing. The Citizens faced a number of hurdles, including injuries to key players like Kevin De Bruyne, who was limited to only 18 games. They also surprisingly struggled against top rivals like Arsenal and Liverpool, failing to win either head-to-head matchup. Even their star striker, Erling Haaland, despite being the league's top scorer with 27 goals, displayed inconsistency, particularly during crucial matches.

Despite these challenges, Pep Guardiola's tactical prowess shone through. He masterfully navigated the team through difficult situations. Notably, after their last Premier League defeat on December 6, Manchester City finished the season on a tear, winning their last nine games in a row. This impressive display of resilience and clinical finishing secured them the championship.

2. Jurgen Klopp's farewell to Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp's tenure at Liverpool came to an emotional end after nearly a decade at the helm. Despite announcing his departure as a surprise to the public, it reflected the immense dedication he poured into the club.  His legacy is undeniable, marked by trophies like the Champions League and the Premier League title – the club's first in decades.

However, a sense of "what if" lingers. Liverpool under Klopp consistently challenged for the top honors, but fell short on a few occasions. The Premier League dominance of Manchester City and heartbreaking Champions League defeats, some due to misfortune like injuries and blunders, left fans wondering about the possibilities.

Klopp's final season mirrored this bittersweet feeling. While Liverpool remained a strong contender across multiple competitions, they ultimately secured only the Carabao Cup. This left a complex mix of emotions for Klopp's farewell – immense pride in his achievements alongside a touch of disappointment for what could have been.

3. Outstanding season for Aston Villa

Aston Villa's trajectory under Unai Emery has been nothing short of remarkable. Inheriting a team languishing in 13th place, Emery swiftly injected a winning philosophy and tactical nous. While a 7th place finish and qualification for the Europa Conference League in the 2022/23 season was a positive step, it was merely the prelude to a historic campaign.

The 2023/24 season etched itself into Aston Villa folklore. Emery's shrewd acquisitions, like Moussa Diaby and Pau Torres,  perfectly complemented his well-known ability to cultivate talent. The resurgence of Ollie Watkins under Emery's guidance was a prime example.

Despite a heartbreaking collapse in the Conference League semi-final against Olympiakos, Villa's Premier League form remained resolute. Their commitment to league success paid off handsomely, with a phenomenal 4th place finish securing their first-ever Champions League qualification. This achievement marks a long-awaited return to Europe's elite stage. Emery's arrival has ushered in a new era for the club, and Villa fans now eagerly await their debut in the Champions League.

4. Cole Palmer's stellar rise at Chelsea

Cole Palmer, a talented midfielder, found himself at a crossroads with Manchester City. Despite making 41 appearances by the age of 21 years for "Citizens", his playing time was limited. Sharing the pitch with established stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden made regular starts a distant dream.

Seeking a chance to truly shine, Palmer made a move to Chelsea that proved beneficial for both parties. Manchester City received a significant transfer fee, while Chelsea gained a vital piece for their squad. Palmer's impact at Chelsea was undeniable. He transformed into a key player, spearheading their attack with a remarkable 22 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League. This impressive performance wasn't just limited to the domestic league.

Palmer's consistent brilliance earned him a regular spot and propelled him to become a contender for a starting position in England's Euro 2024 squad. In essence, Palmer's decision to leave Manchester City for Chelsea proved to be a springboard for his development, turning him from a reserve player into a sought-after talent on the international stage.

5. Man United got payback on Liverpool.

Manchester United's season was not what fans had hoped for, finishing a lowly 8th in the league and failing to progress far in the Champions League. However, there were glimpses of promise. They exacted revenge on Liverpool, the team that thrashed them 7-0 the previous season. United managed to knock Liverpool out of the Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) in a thrilling 4-3 encounter and even avoided defeat against them in the Premier League.

This upturn in form against a strong rival hints at United's underlying talent and suggests their struggles might be due to something other than a lack of ability. The close FA Cup win could have even been a turning point for Liverpool, potentially contributing to their own end-of-season slump.

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