It won't matter much, in the end, but Manchester City wrapped up a top three finish with a 1-0 home win against West Bromwich Albion that saw the long-awaited return of Micah Richards to the squad. The match was about as exciting as could be expected given that neither side had tremendous incentive to grab the points.
Manchester City, playing a second-string side with this weekend's FA Cup final in mind, started slowly, allowing the visitors time on the ball and for a little while it looked as though the Baggies were going to be the team doing the damage. Romelu Lukaku in particular was a threat, testing Joe Hart twice in the first five minutes and merrily bullying both Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott into submission.
But eventually City decided to come to life. Carlos Tevez curled just over from the edge of the box, James Milner had a bit of a lol from close range, and then Tevez rattled the crossbar with another curler. The breakthrough as coming, and it arrived after a botched WBA attack. Tevez was sprung down the right, and he lifted a cross over the packed red shirts to find Edin Dzeko at the far post for a straightforward finish.
City weren't done there, either. The hosts could easily have added another two goals before the interval -- Jack Rodwell had a vicious shot cleared off the line and then James Milner nearly made up for his earlier miss with a swerving 30-yard effort that beat Boaz Myhill but slammed off the base of his left post. It could have gone very differently, however, as before the hosts' resurgence Aleksandar Kolarov could easily have been dismissed for a high, bloody challenge on Gabriel Tamas that nearly divorced the defender from his right ear. The Serbian was booked instead.
West Brom spent the early stages of the second half on the attack, and Markus Rosenburg rattled Hart's crossbar with a well-hit free kick before the England number one scrambled away a follow-up header from Billy Jones. A series of corners from which the visitors didn't do much followed before City shook off their torpor and threw men forward. Rodwell was denied by both Tamas and Myhill after fine work from Samir Nasri.
The rest of the match was a fairly light-hearted affair. Attack then counterattack. Neither side came that close to scoring again, and although the visitors were probably good valued for a draw, it's difficult to see them being overly upset about the loss. There's nothing at stake anymore.