2015–16 Premier League

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Premier League
Season 2015–16
Champions Leicester City
1st Premier League title
1st English title
Relegated Newcastle United
Norwich City
Aston Villa
Champions League Leicester City
Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City
Europa League Manchester United
Southampton
West Ham United
Matches played 380
Goals scored 1026 (2.7 per match)
Top goalscorer Harry Kane (25 goals)[1]
Best goalkeeper Petr Čech (16 clean sheets)[2]
Biggest home win Manchester City 6–1 Newcastle United
(3 October 2015)[3]
Biggest away win Aston Villa 0–6 Liverpool
(14 February 2016)[3]
Highest scoring Norwich City 4–5 Liverpool
(23 January 2016)[3]
Longest winning run 6 matches[4]
Tottenham Hotspur
Longest unbeaten run 15 matches[4]
Chelsea
Longest winless run 19 matches[4]
Aston Villa
Longest losing run 11 matches[4]
Aston Villa
Highest attendance 75,415[5]
Manchester United 2–1 Swansea City
(2 January 2016)
Lowest attendance 10,863[5]
AFC Bournemouth 1–3 Stoke City
(13 February 2016)
Total attendance 13,851,698[5]
Average attendance 36,451[5]

The 2015–16 Premier League was the 24th season of the Premier League, the top English professional league for association football clubs, since its establishment in 1992. The fixtures were announced on 17 June 2015.[6] The season began on 8 August 2015, and was scheduled to conclude on 15 May 2016.[7] However, the Manchester United vs Bournemouth fixture was postponed to 17 May 2016 on the final day due to a suspicious package in the stadium.[8]

Chelsea began the season as defending champions of the 2014–15 season. AFC Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich City entered as the three promoted teams from the 2014–15 Football League Championship.

After narrowly avoiding relegation the previous season, Leicester City won the league for the first time in their 132-year history, becoming the 24th club to become English football champions, and the sixth club to win the Premier League.

Summary

Leicester City were the surprise of the season. Following their narrow escape from relegation in the previous season many pundits had predicted that they would be relegated[9] and bookmakers gave 5,000–1 odds on them winning the title.[10] After the dismissal of manager Nigel Pearson, they began the new season with Italian Claudio Ranieri in charge. Pearson had been known for his short temper with the press, while Ranieri has a reputation for good humour.[11] The appointment was met with scepticism by pundits, including Leicester fan and former player Gary Lineker, as Ranieri had recently been sacked from his previous post as manager of the Greek national team after suffering a humiliating defeat to the Faroe Islands in his last game in charge.[11][12]

Despite winning their opening game against Sunderland and topping the table, they dropped back following a 5–2 defeat by Arsenal in September.[13] However, aided by Jamie Vardy's record feat of scoring in eleven consecutive Premier League games, they then remained unbeaten – and returned to the top of the table – until 26 December, when a 1–0 defeat by Liverpool dropped them to second place. They returned to the top after a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa on 16 January and remained there for the rest of the season.[13] Following a 2–2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on 2 May 2016, Leicester City were confirmed champions, their first title in the top flight of English football, eclipsing the runners-up spot they reached in 1929.[10]

Meanwhile, defending champions Chelsea had a torrid season, sacking manager José Mourinho in December while in 16th place and failing to qualify for European football for the first time in two decades. Eden Hazard, the previous season's PFA Players' Player of the Year, did not score a league goal until late April.[14]

Arsenal were looking for their first title since 2004. Following a poor start their form improved and they took the top spot from Leicester in early January. However, a poor run of results, including draws with Liverpool,[15] Stoke [16] and Southampton,[17] and a loss to Chelsea[18] saw them drop to fourth by mid-February. They remained in contention, but draws with West Ham,[19] Sunderland [20] and Crystal Palace[21] in April saw their title hopes vanish. Meanwhile their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur won six matches in a row, and when Arsenal lost to Manchester United at the end of February, Tottenham leapfrogged them into second place,[22] where they remained until the final weekend of the season. Draws with West Bromwich Albion[23] and Chelsea stopped them winning their first title since 1961. The match in which Tottenham's title challenge ended, their 2–2 draw at Chelsea on 2 May, saw them receive nine yellow cards — a league record.[24] After a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United in their final match, Tottenham ended the season in third place, one point behind Arsenal. [25]

Aston Villa, a presence in the Premier League since the league's foundation in 1992, were the first team relegated this season, after a 1–0 loss at Manchester United on 16 April.[26] On 11 May, Sunderland won 3–0 against Everton, a result which relegated Newcastle United and Norwich City with one game remaining.[27]

All of the final fixtures of the season were scheduled for 15 May, and to kick off at the same time. However, Manchester United's home game against Bournemouth was postponed for a future date after Old Trafford was evacuated because of the discovery of a suspicious device, which was destroyed in a controlled explosion. It was confirmed to be an accidental leftover from a training exercise.[28]

Reactions

The unlikely nature of Leicester's title led to a flood of coverage from across the globe. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his congratulations, saying it was "An extraordinary, thoroughly deserved, Premier League title." Congratulations were also sent by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who praised his compatriot Ranieri.[29]

Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore described it as "biggest story we've ever had" in English football.[30] Former Leicester manager Martin O'Neill described it as the "greatest achievement of this century".[30] Gary Lineker, the former Leicester striker who led a consortium that saved the club from administration in 2002, had said he would host the BBC football show Match of the Day in his underwear if Leicester won the title.[31] After they won the title he said: "There were no odds that I would have taken at the start of the season. No odds. You could have given me 10 million to one and I’d have said ‘Nah, it’s a waste of a quid’".[32] José Mourinho, manager of 2015 champions Chelsea and Ranieri's replacement at the same team eleven years earlier, sent his congratulations, saying: "I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career."[33] Ranieri said after winning his first title at the age of 64 that he wouldn't have appreciated it as a young man: "Now I am an old man I can feel it much better."[33][34]

The long odds bookmakers had given Leicester at the start of the season led to them incurring losses of up to £25 million, with one punter winning over £100,000.[35]

Superstitious claims of phenomena helping Leicester win the league include the club's Thai owners employing Buddhist monks to bless the players,[29] and the reburial of King Richard III in the city's cathedral in March 2015.[36]

Teams

Greater London Premier League football clubs

A total of 20 teams compete in the league, including 17 sides from the 2014–15 season and three promoted from the 2014–15 Football League Championship. On 25 April 2015, Watford became the first Championship side to be promoted following their 2–0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.[37] On the final day of the season AFC Bournemouth won the Championship title and their first-ever promotion to the top flight, with a 3–0 victory over Charlton Athletic.[38] Norwich City became the third and final team to be promoted after beating Middlesbrough 2–0 in the Championship play-off final, bouncing back from relegation from the Premier League following the 2013–14 season.[39]

The three promoted clubs replaced Burnley, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City. Burnley were relegated despite a 1–0 victory at Hull City, and Queens Park Rangers suffered the same fate after a 6–0 defeat by Manchester City.[40][41] Hull City became the third team to be relegated after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United on the final day of the 2014–15 season.[42]

Stadia

Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
Team Stadium Capacity[43]
AFC Bournemouth Dean Court 11,464
Arsenal Emirates Stadium 60,260
Aston Villa Villa Park 42,660
Chelsea Stamford Bridge 41,798
Crystal Palace Selhurst Park 25,073
Everton Goodison Park 39,571
Leicester City King Power Stadium 32,312
Liverpool Anfield 44,742
Manchester City Etihad Stadium 55,097
Manchester United Old Trafford 75,653
Newcastle United St James' Park 52,338
Norwich City Carrow Road 27,010
Southampton St Mary's Stadium 32,505
Stoke City Britannia Stadium 27,740
Sunderland Stadium of Light 48,707
Swansea City Liberty Stadium 20,909
Tottenham Hotspur White Hart Lane 36,284
Watford Vicarage Road 21,500
West Bromwich Albion The Hawthorns 26,850
West Ham United Boleyn Ground 35,345

Personnel and kits

Team Manager1 Captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
AFC Bournemouth England Eddie Howe England Tommy Elphick[44] JD Sports[45] Mansion Group[46]
Arsenal France Arsène Wenger Spain Mikel Arteta[47] Puma[48] Emirates[49]
Aston Villa Scotland Eric Black (caretaker) England Micah Richards[50] Macron[51] Intuit QuickBooks[52]
Chelsea Netherlands Guus Hiddink (caretaker) England John Terry[53] Adidas[54] Yokohama[55]
Crystal Palace England Alan Pardew Australia Mile Jedinak[56] Macron[57] Mansion Group[58]
Everton England David Unsworth
England Joe Royle (caretakers)
England Phil Jagielka[59] Umbro[60] Chang[61]
Leicester City Italy Claudio Ranieri Jamaica Wes Morgan[62] Puma[63] King Power[64]
Liverpool Germany Jürgen Klopp England Jordan Henderson[65] New Balance[66] Standard Chartered[67]
Manchester City Chile Manuel Pellegrini Belgium Vincent Kompany[68] Nike[69] Etihad Airways[70]
Manchester United Netherlands Louis van Gaal England Wayne Rooney[71] Adidas[72] Chevrolet[73]
Newcastle United Spain Rafael Benítez Argentina Fabricio Coloccini[74] Puma[75] Wonga[76]
Norwich City Scotland Alex Neil Scotland Russell Martin[77] Erreà[78] Aviva[78]
Southampton Netherlands Ronald Koeman Portugal José Fonte[79] Adidas[80] Veho[81]
Stoke City Wales Mark Hughes England Ryan Shawcross[82] New Balance[83] Bet365[84]
Sunderland England Sam Allardyce Republic of Ireland John O'Shea[85] Adidas[86] Dafabet[87]
Swansea City Italy Francesco Guidolin Wales Ashley Williams[88] Adidas[89] GWFX[90]
Tottenham Hotspur Argentina Mauricio Pochettino France Hugo Lloris[91] Under Armour[92] AIA[93]
Watford Spain Quique Flores England Troy Deeney[94] Puma[95] 138.com[96]
West Bromwich Albion Wales Tony Pulis Scotland Darren Fletcher[97] Adidas[98] Tlcbet[99]
West Ham United Croatia Slaven Bilić England Mark Noble[100] Umbro[101] Betway[102]

Managerial changes

Team Outgoing manager Manner of
departure
Date of vacancy Position in table Incoming manager Date of
appointment
West Ham United England Sam Allardyce End of contract 24 May 2015[103] Pre-season Croatia Slaven Bilić 9 June 2015[104]
Watford Serbia Slaviša Jokanović 5 June 2015[105] Spain Quique Flores 5 June 2015[105]
Newcastle United England John Carver Sacked 9 June 2015[106] England Steve McClaren 10 June 2015[107]
Leicester City England Nigel Pearson 30 June 2015[108] Italy Claudio Ranieri 13 July 2015[109]
Sunderland Netherlands Dick Advocaat Resigned 4 October 2015[110] 19th England Sam Allardyce 9 October 2015[111]
Liverpool Northern Ireland Brendan Rodgers Sacked 4 October 2015[112] 10th Germany Jürgen Klopp 8 October 2015[113]
Aston Villa England Tim Sherwood 25 October 2015[114] 19th France Rémi Garde 2 November 2015[115]
Swansea City England Garry Monk 9 December 2015[116] 15th Wales Alan Curtis 7 January 2016[117]
Chelsea Portugal José Mourinho Mutual consent[118] 17 December 2015[119] 16th Netherlands Guus Hiddink 19 December 2015[120]
Swansea City Wales Alan Curtis End of caretaker spell 18 January 2016[121] 18th Italy Francesco Guidolin 18 January 2016[121]
Newcastle United England Steve McClaren Sacked 11 March 2016[122] 19th Spain Rafael Benítez 11 March 2016[123]
Aston Villa France Rémi Garde Mutual consent 29 March 2016[124] 20th Scotland Eric Black 29 March 2016[125]
Everton Spain Roberto Martínez Sacked 12 May 2016[126] 12th

Results

League table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Leicester City (C) 38 23 12 3 68 36 +32 81 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 65 36 +29 71
3 Tottenham Hotspur 38 19 13 6 69 35 +34 70
4 Manchester City 38 19 9 10 71 41 +30 66 Qualification for the Champions League play-off round
5 Manchester United 38 19 9 10 49 35 +14 66 Qualification for the Europa League group stage[lower-alpha 1]
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 59 41 +18 63
7 West Ham United 38 16 14 8 65 51 +14 62 Qualification for the Europa League third qualifying round[lower-alpha 2]
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 63 50 +13 60
9 Stoke City 38 14 9 15 41 55 −14 51
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 59 53 +6 50
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 59 55 +4 47
12 Swansea City 38 12 11 15 42 52 −10 47
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 40 50 −10 45
14 West Bromwich Albion 38 10 13 15 34 48 −14 43
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 39 51 −12 42
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 45 67 −22 42
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 48 62 −14 39
18 Newcastle United (R) 38 9 10 19 44 65 −21 37 Relegation to the Football League Championship
19 Norwich City (R) 38 9 7 22 39 67 −28 34
20 Aston Villa (R) 38 3 8 27 27 76 −49 17
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Play-offs (only if needed to decide champion, teams for relegation or teams for UEFA competitions).[127]
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. Manchester United qualified for the Europa League group stage by winning the 2015–16 FA Cup, and the spot in the group stage for the fifth-placed team was passed to Southampton in sixth place.
  2. Since the winners of the 2015–16 Football League Cup, Manchester City, qualified for European competition based on their league position, the spot awarded to the League Cup winner (Europa League third qualifying round) was passed to the team in seventh place, West Ham United, the highest placed team not already qualified for any European competition.

Result table

Home ╲ Away ARS AST BOU CHE CRY EVE LEI LIV MCI MUN NEW NOR SOU STK SUN SWA TOT WAT WBA WHU
Arsenal 4–0 2–0 0–1 1–1 2–1 2–1 0–0 2–1 3–0 1–0 1–0 0–0 2–0 3–1 1–2 1–1 4–0 2–0 0–2
Aston Villa 0–2 1–2 0–4 1–0 1–3 1–1 0–6 0–0 0–1 0–0 2–0 2–4 0–1 2–2 1–2 0–2 2–3 0–1 1–1
AFC Bournemouth 0–2 0–1 1–4 0–0 3–3 1–1 1–2 0–4 2–1 0–1 3–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 3–2 1–5 1–1 1–1 1–3
Chelsea 2–0 2–0 0–1 1–2 3–3 1–1 1–3 0–3 1–1 5–1 1–0 1–3 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2
Crystal Palace 1–2 2–1 1–2 0–3 0–0 0–1 1–2 0–1 0–0 5–1 1–0 1–0 2–1 0–1 0–0 1–3 1–2 2–0 1–3
Everton 0–2 4–0 2–1 3–1 1–1 2–3 1–1 0–2 0–3 3–0 3–0 1–1 3–4 6–2 1–2 1–1 2–2 0–1 2–3
Leicester City 2–5 3–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 3–1 2–0 0–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 1–0 3–0 4–2 4–0 1–1 2–1 2–2 2–2
Liverpool 3–3 3–2 1–0 1–1 1–2 4–0 1–0 3–0 0–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 4–1 2–2 1–0 1–1 2–0 2–2 0–3
Manchester City 2–2 4–0 5–1 3–0 4–0 0–0 1–3 1–4 0–1 6–1 2–1 3–1 4–0 4–1 2–1 1–2 2–0 2–1 1–2
Manchester United 3–2 1–0 3–1 0–0 2–0 1–0 1–1 3–1 0–0 0–0 1–2 0–1 3–0 3–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 2–0 0–0
Newcastle United 0–1 1–1 1–3 2–2 1–0 0–1 0–3 2–0 1–1 3–3 6–2 2–2 0–0 1–1 3–0 5–1 1–2 1–0 2–1
Norwich City 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–2 1–3 1–1 1–2 4–5 0–0 0–1 3–2 1–0 1–1 0–3 1–0 0–3 4–2 0–1 2–2
Southampton 4–0 1–1 2–0 1–2 4–1 0–3 2–2 3–2 4–2 2–3 3–1 3–0 0–1 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 3–0 1–0
Stoke City 0–0 2–1 2–1 1–0 1–2 0–3 2–2 0–1 2–0 2–0 1–0 3–1 1–2 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 0–1 2–1
Sunderland 0–0 3–1 1–1 3–2 2–2 3–0 0–2 0–1 0–1 2–1 3–0 1–3 0–1 2–0 1–1 0–1 0–1 0–0 2–2
Swansea City 0–3 1–0 2–2 1–0 1–1 0–0 0–3 3–1 1–1 2–1 2–0 1–0 0–1 0–1 2–4 2–2 1–0 1–0 0–0
Tottenham Hotspur 2–2 3–1 3–0 0–0 1–0 0–0 0–1 0–0 4–1 3–0 1–2 3–0 1–2 2–2 4–1 2–1 1–0 1–1 4–1
Watford 0–3 3–2 0–0 0–0 0–1 1–1 0–1 3–0 1–2 1–2 2–1 2–0 0–0 1–2 2–2 1–0 1–2 0–0 2–0
West Bromwich Albion 2–1 0–0 1–2 2–3 3–2 2–3 2–3 1–1 0–3 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–1 0–3
West Ham United 3–3 2–0 3–4 2–1 2–2 1–1 1–2 2–0 2–2 3–2 2–0 2–2 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–4 1–0 3–1 1–1

Updated to games played on 17 May 2016.
Source: Barclays Premier League football scores & results
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For coming matches, an a indicates there is an article about the match.

Season statistics

Scoring

Top scorers

As of matches played on 15 May 2016.
Rank Player Club Goals[1]
1 England Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur 25
2 Argentina Sergio Agüero Manchester City 24
England Jamie Vardy Leicester City
4 Belgium Romelu Lukaku Everton 18
5 Algeria Riyad Mahrez Leicester City 17
6 France Olivier Giroud Arsenal 16
7 England Jermain Defoe Sunderland 15
Nigeria Odion Ighalo Watford
9 England Troy Deeney Watford 13
Chile Alexis Sánchez Arsenal

Hat-tricks

Player For Against Result Date Ref
England Wilson, CallumCallum Wilson AFC Bournemouth West Ham United 4–3 22 August 2015 [128]
Scotland Naismith, StevenSteven Naismith Everton Chelsea 3–1 12 September 2015 [129]
Chile Sánchez, AlexisAlexis Sánchez Arsenal Leicester City 5–2 26 September 2015 [130]
Argentina Agüero, SergioSergio Agüero5 Manchester City Newcastle United 6–1 3 October 2015 [131]
England Sterling, RaheemRaheem Sterling Manchester City AFC Bournemouth 5–1 17 October 2015 [132]
Netherlands Wijnaldum, GeorginioGeorginio Wijnaldum4 Newcastle United Norwich City 6–2 18 October 2015 [133]
England Kane, HarryHarry Kane Tottenham Hotspur AFC Bournemouth 5–1 25 October 2015 [134]
Ivory Coast Koné, ArounaArouna Koné Everton Sunderland 6–2 1 November 2015 [135]
Algeria Mahrez, RiyadRiyad Mahrez Leicester City Swansea City 3–0 5 December 2015 [136]
England Defoe, JermainJermain Defoe Sunderland Swansea City 4–2 13 January 2016 [137]
England Carroll, AndyAndy Carroll West Ham United Arsenal 3–3 9 April 2016 [138]
Argentina Agüero, SergioSergio Agüero Manchester City Chelsea 3–0 16 April 2016 [139]
Senegal Mané, SadioSadio Mané Southampton Manchester City 4–2 1 May 2016 [140]
France Giroud, OlivierOlivier Giroud Arsenal Aston Villa 4–0 15 May 2016 [141]
Note

4 Player scored 4 goals
5 Player scored 5 goals

Clean sheets

As of matches played on 17 May 2016.[2]
Rank Player Club Clean
sheets
1 Czech Republic Petr Čech Arsenal 16
2 Spain David de Gea Manchester United 15
England Joe Hart Manchester City
Denmark Kasper Schmeichel Leicester City
5 France Hugo Lloris Tottenham Hotspur 13
6 Brazil Heurelho Gomes Watford 11
Belgium Simon Mignolet Liverpool
8 England Jack Butland Stoke City 10
9 Spain Adrián West Ham United 9
Poland Łukasz Fabiański Swansea City

Discipline

As of matches played on 15 May 2016.

Player

Club

  • Most yellow cards: 74[143]
    • Aston Villa
  • Most red cards: 6[143]
    • Southampton

Awards

Monthly awards

Month Manager of the Month Player of the Month Reference
Manager Club Player Club
August Chile Manuel Pellegrini Manchester City Ghana André Ayew Swansea City [144]
September Argentina Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Hotspur France Anthony Martial Manchester United [145]
October France Arsène Wenger Arsenal England Jamie Vardy Leicester City [146]
November Italy Claudio Ranieri Leicester City England Jamie Vardy Leicester City [147]
December Spain Quique Sánchez Flores Watford Nigeria Odion Ighalo Watford [148]
January Netherlands Ronald Koeman Southampton Argentina Sergio Agüero Manchester City [149]
February Argentina Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Hotspur England Fraser Forster Southampton [150]
March Italy Claudio Ranieri Leicester City England Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur [151]
April Italy Claudio Ranieri Leicester City Argentina Sergio Agüero Manchester City [152]

Annual awards

Premier League Player of the Season

Jamie Vardy was named Premier League Player of the Season.[154]

PFA Player of the Year

The PFA Players' Player of the Year was awarded to Riyad Mahrez.[155]

PFA Team of the Year

The PFA Team of the Year was:[153]

PFA Young Player of the Year

The PFA Young Player of the Year was awarded to Dele Alli.[156]

FWA Footballer of the Year

The FWA Footballer of the Year was awarded to Jamie Vardy.[157]

References

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