Remarkable last day in the Premiership with all ten games, quite
rightly, kicking off at the same time. I'll try and explain how it all
unfolded as I go along, however the main battle was at the bottom with
NOTHING decided before today and any of the bottom four clubs still in
with a chance of staying up....

15 May 2005

Birmingham 2 (Pandiani 80, Heskey 90)
Arsenal 1 (Bergkamp 88)

Second placed Arsenal finished the season with a whimper as a dramatic
late goal rush sent them to defeat at Birmingham. The hosts went ahead
with ten minutes left when a Stephen Clemence cross led to an almighty
scrmable, resolved by Walter Pandiani who hammered the loose ball in.
The Gunners were level when Patrick Vieira's lob gave Dennis Bergkamp a
one-on-one from which he made no mistake, however with time almost up,
Emile Heskey pounced after hesitation from Phillipe Senderos on the edge
of the area and he drilled in the winner.

Attendance : 29,302
Assists : n/a, Vieira, Pandiani

Bolton 3 (Jaidi 53, 61 og, Giannakopoulos 66)
Everton 2 (Cahill 9, Carsley 63)

Drama at the Reebok as ten man Bolton came from behind to see off
Everton who have qualified for the Champions League despite conceding
ten goals in the final two games. They did go ahead when a weak header
from Tal Ben Haim gave Tim Cahill a chance which he took with a close
range overhead kick and Cahill was involved again on half time when
Bruno N'Gotty took umbridge with a tussle on the edge of the box and
gave the Everton midfielder a slap around the back of his head. No
surprises that a red card was next on the agenda. The home side shrugged
it off and equalised when Fernando Hierro's free kick was headed in at
the far post by Radhi Jaidi and eight minutes later, they were ahead as
El Hadji Diouf and Stelios Giannakopolous set up Kevin Davies whose shot
was deflected in. Everton were level almost straight away when Leon
Osman's shot was mishit by Duncan Ferguson, allowing Lee Carsley to fire
into the roof of the net, however three minutes further on and
Giannakopolous was on hand to tap in the winner after Davies had a
header blocked on the line.

Attendance : 27,701
Red Card : N'Gotty 45 (Bolton)
Assists : n/a, Hierro (fk), n/a, Ferguson, n/a

Charlton 2 (Hughes 30, Fortune 82)
Crystal Palace 2 (Freedman 58, Johnson 71 pen)

Crystal Palace were also relegated after only drawing at Charlton,
however they were only eight minutes away from staying up after coming
from behind to go ahead. Charlton took a first half lead when Brian
Hughes latched onto a pass from Radostin Kishishev to slot the ball in
off the post, however Palace were level when sub Dougie Freedman
capitalised on a poor back header from Jonathon Fortune to lob in an
equaliser, just 90 seconds after coming on. The luckless Fortune then
got his arm in the way of a Freedman cross and Palace were awarded their
13th penalty of the season! Andy Johnson, who'd netted ten of the
previous dozen, made no mistake in sending the keeper the wrong way.
Now, Palace were out of the drop zone as it stood, but only as long as
they kept winning and the dream died eleven minutes later when Fortune
had the last laugh by heading in Jerome Thomas's free kick at the far
post to send Palace into the Championship.

Attendance : 26,870
Assists : Kishishev, n/a, n/a, Thomas (fk)

Fulham 6 (McBride 10, 86, Bouba Diop 35 fk, Knight 54, Malbranque 72, Cole 90)
Norwich 0

Norwich were out of the relegation zone before kick off and knew that a
win would keep them up no matter what happened elsewhere. They began
well at Fulham, however their hosts went ahead with their first attack
as Thomas Radzinski's through ball found Brian McBride who provided a
clinical finish. Norwich continued to have the better of things and were
unlucky to have Dean Ashton's goal ruled out for offside and equally to
have two good penalty appeals rejected. Ten minutes before the break,
the lead was doubled when Papa Bouba Diop curled in a pacy free kick
from 25 yards. Ultimately, this was the goal that broke the Canaries'
back. Before half time, Norwich keeper Robert Green made four great
saves to keep it down to 2-0, but in the second half, they capitulated.
Firstly, Zat Knight, scorer of two own goals this season, found the net
at the right end for the first time as he capitalised on poor defending
to drill in the third. Luis Boa Morte's cut back set up Steed Malbranque
to side foot home the fourth and with five minutes to go, McBride added
his second with a crisp near post shot after being sent through by
Malbranque. A sixth followed late on when sub Andy Cole backheeled in
McBride's cross and suddenly Norwich were left to awaiting results from
elsewhere and hope that the other candidates had lost.

Attendance : 21,927
Assists : Radzinski, Boa Morte (won fk), n/a, Boa Morte, Malbranque, McBride

Liverpool 2 (Cisse 20 pen, 27)
Aston Villa 1 (Barry 67)

Liverpool ended their domestic season with a win against Aston Villa who
faltered badly near the end. Two Djibril Cisse goals in eight minutes
decided it, firstly from the penalty spot after he'd been fouled by Mark
Delaney and then with a side-footed finish from Josemi's cut back.
Gareth Barry netted a consolation, a close range effort after Nol Solano
had headed across goal, but an equaliser rarely looked likely.

Attendance : 43,406
Assists : Cisse (won pen), Kewell, n/a

Manchester City 1 (Musampa 46)
Middlesbrough 1 (Hasselbaink 23 fk)

This left Man City and Middlesbrough to battle it out and they faced
each other at the City of Manchester Stadium with the hosts knowing they
needed to win, any other result would give Boro a spot in Europe. It
looked all over when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink put the visitors ahead with
a sensational 25-yard free kick that rattled in off the bar, however
early in the second half, City were level when Joey Barton found Kiki
Musampa and having held off three defenders, he drove the ball low into
the net. New City boss Stuart Pearce brought on Nicky Weaver to go in
goal late on, sending first choice keeper David James up front as an
extra attacker and it so nearly paid off when Franck Queudrue handled in
the area in the third minute of stoppage time, giving City a glorious
chance for a place in the UEFA Cup, however Robbie Fowler's penalty was
saved by Mark Schwarzer to shatter the City dream and create history for
Boro who qualify for Europe for the first time ever via a league

Attendance : 47,221
Assists : Hasselbaink (won fk), Barton

Newcastle 1 (Geremi 33 og)
Chelsea 1 (Lampard 35 pen)

Champions Chelsea ended with a draw at Newcastle who'll surely want
better things next season. The home side went ahead when a corner was
deflected in by Geremi under pressure from Titus Bramble, however
Chelsea were level two minutes later when Frank Lampard converted a
penalty after Eidur Gudjohnsen was pulled back by Celestine Babayaro.

Attendance : 52,326
Assists : n/a, Gudjohnsen (won pen)

Southampton 1 (O'Shea 10 og)
Manchester United 2 (Fletcher 19, van Nistelrooy 63)

Southampton began the game with arguably the toughest task, however they
knew that if Norwich lost, a draw would keep them up if West Brom and
Palace lost. They began very well and were ahead when a corner was
headed on by Nigel Quashie and diverted into his own net by John O'Shea
to put Saints out of the drop zone at that stage. The Irishman soon made
amends though with a fine cross that was met by a superb headed by
Darren Fletcher to level matters, although with other results in their
favour, Saints were still safe from the drop. That hope ended just after
the hour when Alan Smith's deflected cross was nodded in at the far post
by Ruud Van Nistelrooy to end Southampton's 27 year stay in the top

Attendance : 32,066
Assists : n/a, O'Shea, Smith

Tottenham 0
Blackburn 0

Spurs needed to win by at least two goals to stand any chance of
qualifying, but ultimately drew a blank at home to Blackburn. Freddie
Kanoute and Sean Davis went close in the first half only to be denied by
the keeper, whilst after the break, Robbie Keane and Nouridene Naybet
had shots just wide as another mid table season ended for Spurs.

Attendance : 35,797
Assist : n/a

West Brom 2 (Horsfield 58, Richardson 75)
Portsmouth 0

All the above left West Brom. Bottom at Christmas and bottom with one
game to go, they needed all their rivals to slip up and to win
themselves to produce a remarkable recovery and that's exactly what
happened. For almost an hour, they battled and huffed, but couldn't
break Portsmouth down until the arrival from the subs bench of Geoff
Horsfield who put them ahead with his first touch! It came from a cross
by Zoltan Gera which was only half cleared by Dejan Stefanovic, leaving
Horsfield to send a volley into the back of the net, although his keeper
did get a partial block on it. The lead was doubled when Kieron
Richardson played a neat one-two with Horsfield before drilling the ball
home, however at the time, Palace were still leading and would send West
Brom down. Jonathon Fortune's late goal changed all that and Bryan
Robson's side escaped in one of the most dramatic finishes at the bottom

Attendance : 27,751
Assists : n/a, Horsfield

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it
The Unofficial Premiership Site