x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Newcastle relegated from Premier League

Newcastle United's 17 year stay in English football's top flight came to an end after Aston Villa held on to a 1-0 win at Villa Park.

Newcastle United's 17 year stay in English football's top flight came to an end after Aston Villa held on to a 1-0 win at Villa Park. Damien Duff deflected a Gareth Barry shot into his own net in the 37th minute to hand Villa the win as Newcastle failed to find the equaliser which would have been enough to keep them up. While there were tears and torment in Birmingham, there were celebrations in Hull as the Tigers, despite losing 1-0 to the champions Manchester United, escaped relegation by one point. Darron Gibson fired a 35 yard strike on 23 minutes to hand the three points to the Red Devils. Hull, always searching for a goal themselves, faced an unlikely threat from Middlesbrough's survival attempt. Boro were four goals in arrears at the start of the day and would have had to have beaten West Ham quite handsomely. In reality, the Hammers were comfortable 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Carlton Cole and Junior Stanislas. Sunderland were the other team in the frame for relegation, if Newcastle and Hull had won their fixtures. The Black Cats did lose 3-2 at home to Chelsea in an end-to-end affair. Nicolas Anelka handed Chelsea the lead on 47 minutes. Kieron Richardson then levelled six minutes later. Salomon Kalou put the Blues back in front on 74 minutes. Ashley Cole then scored the decisive third on 86. Kenwyne Jones' consolation in injury time rounded off the scoring. Despite their safety, after the match the Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia confirmed he will stand down with immediate effect. Elsewhere, Arsenal were 4-1 winners at home to Stoke. Two goals from Robin van Persie, Abou Diaby scoring the third and a James Beattie own goal gave the Emirates faithful a nice send off to the season. Ricardo Fuller did pull it back to 3-1 with a 31st-minute penalty. Liverpool also ended their season on a high with a 3-1 win over Tottenham, who needed a win to secure qualification to the Europa League next season. The Spurs defender Alan Hutton scored an own goal, while Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun also struck for the Reds with ex-Anfield man Robbie Keane scoring for the visitors. Fulham took their place in Europe next season despite losing 2-0 to Everton. Leon Osman's brace rounded off an impressive season for David Moyes' team. Manchester City rounded off their campaign beating Bolton 1-0 at Eastlands with Felipe Caicedo tapping in from close range on 11 minutes. Wigan beat Portsmouth 1-0 thanks to Hugo Rodallega, while West Brom's stay in the Premier League ended quietly with a goalless draw at Blackburn. snelmes@thenational.ae