Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and veteran midfielder Paul Scholes were both given the perfect send-off from Old Trafford thanks to Rio Ferdinand's late winner against Swansea City.
Michu had cancelled out Javier Hernandez's first-half strike, and the game, almost incidental to today's double farewell celebrations, appeared to be heading towards a 1-1 draw before Ferdinand popped up to score his first goal in five years in the 87th minute.
The fact that Manchester United scored a late winner seemed quite fitting in Ferguson's last appearance in the Old Trafford dugout in a Red Devils career that has spanned nearly 27 years. The result came after Ferguson was given a guard of honour by both sides before kick-off in an emotionally-charged final appearance for the Scot.
He will be replaced next season by David Moyes, who also enjoyed victory in his final home game as Everton manager. Striker Kevin Mirallas ensured Moyes departed Goodison Park in perfect circumstances with a 2-0 win over West Ham United. The victory also guaranteed Everton finished above Liverpool for the second successive season.
In the relegation fight, Norwich City confirmed their top-flight survival with an emphatic 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road. Robert Snodgrass gave the Canaries a half-time lead before a Ben Foster howler gifted Grant Holt the second and former Ipswich defender Gareth McAuley's own goal prompted Delia Smith to dance with delight.
The Baggies were woeful and Jonny Howson scored a spectacular late fourth as Chris Hughton's men claimed a third win in 20 Premier League games to make certain of their top-flight status ahead of next week's final-day trip to Manchester City.
In contrast, Sunderland will be anxiously watching Wigan Athletic's match at Arsenal on Tuesday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton. Jason Puncheon came off the bench to grab a point for Southampton and all but secure their safety, just as it looked as though Sunderland had saved themselves in their clash at the Stadium of Light.
The midfielder struck with 14 minutes remaining after fellow substitute James Ward-Prowse provided the ammunition to cancel out Phil Bardsley's opener, and in the process left the home side still looking over their shoulders. The result leaves Sunderland on 39 points with one game to play - against UEFA Champions League-hunting Tottenham Hotspur - while Wigan, who are four points adrift of the Black Cats, also have a home match against Aston Villa on the final day of the season.
Newcastle stay safe
Newcastle United ensured their Premier League survival with a game to spare as they beat already-relegated Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at Loftus Road today. Hatem Ben Arfa's penalty and a Yoan Gouffran strike helped the Magpies come from behind to secure a victory that ensured another season in the top flight after Loic Remy's early spot-kick had put Harry Redknapp's side ahead. Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot's late sending off did not affect the result, with the Magpies holding out for a vital three points.
Elsewhere, Daniel Sturridge fired Liverpool to an easy 3-1 win at Fulham with a superb hat-trick at Craven Cottage. Sturridge had not scored against the Cottagers during his time at the club's local rivals Chelsea or while he was at Manchester City, but he took Martin Jol's team apart today with three well-taken strikes. Three minutes after Dimitar Berbatov had nodded Fulham ahead, the England striker turned Aaron Hughes inside-out before smashing the ball into the roof of the net.