Sunday Night Takeaways: Evacuated stadium may have larger implications and Spurs fall short on final day

Also, Southampton secure European football

One of the most remarkable seasons in English football drew to a close today on a much more sobering note than expected. As fans were evacuated from Old Trafford, news filtered through that Manchester United's final game of the season had been abandoned due to the discovery of a "suspect package" within the stadium.

The game is set to be rescheduled as soon as possible, but United's chances of a top four finish have been dashed due to Manchester City's draw at Swansea.

 

 Evacuated stadium may have larger implications on football 

Fans were calmly evacuated from Old Trafford earlier today after a "suspect package" was found in the stadium. How it got there in the first place remains unclear, but Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out to neutralise the suspected threat.

These were sobering scenes in Manchester as the game was abandoned and today's incident may have wider implications on football.

With the heightened security measures in France ahead of this summer's European Championships, football authorities in England may be forced to introduce measures to prevent scenes like today.

Searches of fans and sweeps of stadiums could be introduced and become the norm as security measures are ramped up in the response to today's suspected threat. Hopefully this was not an explosive device and rather just a hoax, because the former doesn't bear thinking about when you consider families and children had attended the game.

Fans evacuated from Old Trafford by security, police and stewards after the game is abandoned during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. A man stands holding a child. Image:Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

 

Spurs fall short once again

For the 21st consecutive season, Arsenal have finished ahead of Tottenham in the league. In the run-in at the end of the season, the title race was a two horse race between Leicester and Spurs.

Mauricio Pochettino's sides' title aspirations went up in smoke after their draw at home to West Brom and since then, they've crumbled.

An ill-tempered draw at Stamford Bridge, followed by defeats to Southampton and today's 5-1 hammering at Newcastle have been evidence of their capitulation.

We should remember, this has been a remarkable season for Tottenham, they were worthy title challengers and will play Champions League football next season, among Europe's elite clubs.

Pochettino apologised to fans and families after today's game stating that this was his "darkest day in management" but his achievement should not be understated. Bragging rights stay with Arsenal in North London, but Spurs have the platform now to build and become a real force in the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino has done a remarkable job with Tottenham this year. Image: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

 

Southampton prepare for European adventure

Since the turn of the year, Southampton have been a formidable. They recovered from a blip earlier in the season and a strong final push has left them in fifth position, sixth should Manchester United beat Bournemouth.

This guarantees them European football next season and the chance to attract more top quality players to their squad. Ronald Koeman deserves great credit for what he's done at the club and, like Pochettino, is ready to lead Southampton as they rub shoulders with some of Europe's biggest clubs.

Wins over Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham have added credence to the idea that these players can continue to compete and challenge at the highest level.

Southampton players thanks fans for their support this season. Image: Daniel Hambury / PA Wire/Press Association Images