The final day of the season saw Blackpool and Birmingham relegated to the Championship despite their rallying efforts away from home.
Manchester United v Blackpool
A weakened Manchester United team overcame relegation candidates Blackpool in a 4-2 victory at Old Trafford to condemn the away side to the Championship.
Ji-Sung Park opened the scoring in the 21st minute despite an early chance for Blackpool to take the lead. Charlie Adam levelled the scoring five minutes from half time to give Blackpool a Premier League lifeline. Ian Holloway’s men were in dreamland when Gary Taylor-Fletcher gave his side the lead in the 57th minute. But five minutes later, Oliveria Anderson grabbed a goal from inside the area to equalise for United. An own goal from Ian Evatt off Chris Smalling and a rare goal for second-half substitute Michael Owen sealed the win for the Premier League Champions. Blackpool may have the chance to qualify for the Europa League if they finish ahead of Fulham in the FIFA Fair Play League.
Tottenham v Birmingham
Roman Pavyluchenko scored twice as European hopefuls Tottenham beat Birmingham 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
Following a goalless first half, Pavyluchenko broke the deadlock in the 49th minute, converting a long range effort to give the home side the lead. Craig Gardner equalised 11 minutes from time to give Birmingham a chance of survival, but Tottenham’s Russian striker proved too powerful for The Blues to handle. A second goal for Pavyluchenko just outside of the area relegated Carling Cup winners Birmingham. Tottenham’s win means that they finish above Liverpool to claim the final Europa League spot in fifth whilst Birmingham’s appearance in the cup final hands them a spot in Europe despite their relegation woes.
Wolves v Blackburn
Wolves failed to come back from a poor first half that saw Blackburn beat Wolves 3-2 at The Molineux.
Jason Roberts opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Brett Emerton doubled the visitors lead 16 minutes later to put Blackburn 2-0 up. David Hoilett added a third goal for Blackburn just before the stroke of half time, giving Rovers a convincing lead. Wolves responded with goals from Jamie O’Hara and Stephen Hunt but failed to get the equalising goal. Despite their loss, Wolves managed to retain their Premier League spot due to Birmingham and Blackpool’s losses. The win for Blackburn secured Rover’s top flight status for another season.
Newcastle v West Brom
West Brom came from three goals down to secure a point through a Somen Tchoyi hat trick in a 3-3 with Newcastle United at St James’s Park.
Peter Lovenkrands set up Steven Taylor to open the scoring for the home side after 16 minutes. The Danish striker scored the second of the game six minutes from half time to increase Newcastle’s advantage. A Jonas Olsson own goal looked to have put the game beyond any doubt but Tchoyi’s superb second half performance was rewarded with a hat trick. Goals in the 62nd, 71st and 90th minute turned the match on its head, clawing back a point for Roy Hodgson’s men. A point each means that West Brom finish the season one place ahead of Newcastle in 11th position.
Fulham v Arsenal
Arsenal salvaged a point against 10-men Fulham in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers took the lead after Bobby Zamora set up Steve Sidwell to open the scoring. Arsenal were level just three minutes later when Robin van Persie slotted past Mark Schwarzer. The home side regain the lead 12 minutes into the second half, Bobby Zamora providing the goal this time. Fulham were reduced to ten men when Zoltan Gera was given a straight red card for a challenge on Thomas Vermaelen, Gera spending just three minutes on the pitch after replacing Bobby Zamora in the 70th minute. The Gunners took full advantage of the weakened side, equalising through Theo Walcott just a minute from time to win a point for the away team. Fulham finish the Premier League season in 8th position whilst Arsenal lose out on 3rd position to Manchester City.
Bolton v Manchester City
Manchester City gained automatic qualification into the Champions League after a comfortable 2-0 over 10-men Bolton at The Reebok.
Joleon Lescott’s header two minutes before half time handed the visitors the lead going into the second half. Edin Dzeko came on for Adam Johnson and grabbed a goal just two minutes later to double Manchester City’s lead. Daniel Sturridge was dismissed by referee Chris Foy for a dangerous tackle on Dzeko in the 86th minute. The final game of the season sees Bolton slip down to 14th position and Manchester City claim 3rd spot ahead of Arsenal.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Aston Villa beat an in form Liverpool side 1-0 in the final game of the season at Villa Park.
Stewart Downing’s goal in the 33rd minute proved to be enough to beat a strong Liverpool side that had lost just two of their last seven games. Jay Spearing and Marc Albrighton had to be replaced by either side early on after injuries forced the two young players off. The win for Villa sees their team finish in the top half of the table, whilst Liverpool miss out on the Europa League spot by four points, finishing in 6th position.
Everton v Chelsea
A solo effort from Jermaine Beckford proved to be enough to beat Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park.
Despite Everton hitting the bar through Phil Jagielka early on in the match, the first half proved to be goalless. Everton were reduced to ten men in the 52nd minute when referee Peter Walton gave Seamus Coleman a second yellow card for a wreckless tackle on Jon Obi Mikel. Despite the sending off, it was the home side that grabbed the victory. Jermaine Beckford picked up the ball on the half way line and ran past several Chelsea defenders to coolly slot past Petr Cech. Chelsea finish the season in second position whilst Everton finish in seventh.
Stoke City v Wigan
Wigan survived the drop after beating Stoke City 1-0 at The Brittania.
Stoke had a flurry of first half chances to take the lead but the home side failed to take the lead. Ali Al Haabsi made a number of important saves to keep Wigan in the top flight and they paid off when Wigan scored 12 minutes from time. Hugo Rodallega headed in Charles N’Zogbia’s cross to gain three important season-saving points for the Latics. Wigan finish the season in 16th position, two points above the relegation zone, whilst Stoke slip into 13th position after an excellent season.
West Ham v Sunderland
Already relegated West Ham added further woes to their season after being thrashed 3-0 at Upton Park by Sunderland.
Boudewijn Zenden opened the scoring with a looping header for the Black Cats in the 17th minute. Stephane Sessegnon double the visitors lead in the 51st minute with a long range effort after running through the West Ham defence unchallenged. Second half substitute Cristian Riveros topped the scoring in the last minute with a volley past the West Ham ‘keeper. After a poor run of results, Sunderland finish the season on a high, placing themselves in 10th position. West Ham United will play in the second tier of English football next season after their relegation was confirmed last weekend.
Team of the Week
Kaboul Distin Lescott Zenden
Tchoyi Adam McCarthy Downing
I wouldn't have Charlie Adam in there to be honest.
His side could have done better yesterday had he not thought it was the Charlie Adam show. So many chances to put others in and he chose not to. DJ Campbell was fuming with him.
As it was getting near the end I think quite a few United supporters were kinda behind Blackpool and they were getting frustrated with him.
Its true City, Adam is a good player, not anywhere near where Holloway rated him. If he'd have played for the team yesterday Blackpool could well have scored a couple more. Yet he seems to be Liverpool bound and so MotD praised him...
Did you see the Villa Liverpool game on MotD? They made it look like Liverpool where unlucky, it's shocking editorial lincense. No Credit to Villa again.
Anyway well done to United and lets hope they can beat the cheating Barca in the CL final. Watch how many times Messi kicks the ball past the defender and then runs, on purpose, directly at the defender and thens fall over. Simulation... yet because its Messi I expect Fifa to now order my death.
He isn't good enough for a top four team or one looking to get there.
He's a luxury player in my opinion and suits a smaller club where he can be the man.
These clubs looking at him and Parker as ready-made solutions are being daft. Parker did so well last season, yet not half as well as reported, because he was inspired with a cause. Stick him in a top PL squad where he's just another player and he loses that.
I agree, Parker and Adam are not players for Top Clubs.
If Spurs or Liverpool get either of them I don't think they'll be as impressive next season.
Mr thecityisred made a good point yesterday. He said a lot of the Blackpool team appeared overweight, or overweight for professional footballers, and they faded as they got tired. This has happened to them on several occasions this year, it's just really something the club should have a hold on.
I'm frankly sick of the whining from Holloway about poor little Blackpool. He says he hasn't got a big enough squad yet sends a totally different 11 to Villa because he doesn't feel they could get anything anyway. What on earth does that say to his players?
At the risk of annoying WC, I'm going to agree with Mr and Mrs TCIR.
Actually, we had a long discussion about it too. In particular I couldn't believe the size of Kingson's ar$£ when he warmed up at half time. Somebody tried to tell me it's the colour of the kit. A warning never to become a steward if that's true.