11 May 2008

BIRMINGHAM 4 (Murphy 31, Jerome 73, Jerome 89, Muamba 93)
BLACKBURN 1 (Pedersen 49)

Similar heartbreak for Birmingham who needed both Reading and Fulham to slip up to stay up themselves. They were ahead at half time as David Murphy solo run and shot somehow beat Brad Friedel from 25 yards however Morten Gamst Pedersen levelled early in the second half after Jason Roberts and Roque Santa Cruz had chances. Birmingham found a late goal blitz to win the game but by the time Cameron Jerome's well controlled volley from Sebastien Larsson's cross found the net, the score at Derby was heavily against them. Jerome had missed an open goal shortly before finding the net and he added a second late on with a cool finish from Gary McSheffrey's pass. Mehdi Nafti's cross set up Fabrice Muamba to send a looping header into the net but the damage had been done elsewhere by then.

Attendance : 26,668
Assists : Forsell, Santa Cruz, Larsson, McSheffrey, Nafti

CHELSEA 1 (Shevchenko 62)
BOLTON 1 (Taylor 93)

Chelsea could only draw at home to Bolton but the result at the JJB ultimately made it irrelevant. They were never on top form although with United only one up, Chelsea did have hope when Andriy Shevchenko bobbled in Florent Malouda's half hit shot. Bolton denied Chelsea a last day victory when a corner was only cleared to Matt Taylor whose shot went under Petr Cech and in. Had Chelsea won this won and not conceded a last gasp equaliser at home to Wigan a few weeks ago then they may well have won the title.

Attendance : 41,755
Assists : Lampard, n/a

READING 4 (Harper 15, Kitson 61, Doyle 69, Lita 91)

Reading crushed bottom club Derby but are relegated on goal difference. They were three up and staying up before the Fulham goal at Portsmouth as James Harper curled in a beauty after Dave Kitson set him up and then Kitson himself slid in the second when Leroy Lita pounced after Nicky Shorey's shot was saved. Kevin Doyle added a third after his initial cross was blocked he someone rolled the ball in at the near post despite being on the floor however by the time Lita headed in Stephen Hunt's cross, Reading were already down.

Attendance : 33,087
Assists : Kitson, Lita, n/a, Hunt

EVERTON 3 (Yakubu 28, Lescott 70, Yakubu 82 Pen)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Owen 47 Pen)

Everton qualify for the UEFA Cup with a comfortable win against Newcastle. Yakubu's firm header from Manuel Fernandes' free kick put them ahead although a weak Michael Owen penalty put Newcastle level after Charles N'Zogbia had been clattered in the area by Joseph Yobo. Everton regained the lead when a cross from Fernandes skimmed the head of a defender and was volleyed in at the far post by Joleon Lescott. The win was wrapped up late on when a fine run by Leon Osman was halted by Steven Taylor and Yakubu stroked home Everton's first penalty of the season.

Attendance : 39,592
Assists : Fernandes, N'Zogbia (won pen), n/a, Osman (won pen)

MIDDLESBROUGH 8 (Downing 16 Pen, Alves 37, Downing 58, Alves 60, Ball 70 og, Rochemback 80 fk, Aliadiere 85, Alves 90)

Middlesbrough ended their disappointing season with a crushing win against Man City. It began badly for City when Richard Dunne was sent off for clipping the heels on Tuncay as he burst through and Stuart Downing began the rout with a clinical penalty. Afonso Alves doubled the lead before half time with a equally assured finish from Fabio Rochemback's pass. After the break Boro went into overdrive as Downing struck a brilliant volley with the outside of his foot after George Boateng's cross wasn't cleared and two minutes later Alves also netted his second having been sent clear by Julio Arca although the keeper did get a block on it, the ball just had enough pace to bobble in. Sub Adam Johnson added a fifth with a deflected effort after a good run to the edge of the area before a sensationally well hit free kick from 30 yards from Rochemback almost took the net off! Had Cristiano Ronaldo scored it, we'd be raving about it for weeks. Another soon followed as Rochemback set up Jeremie Aliadiere to slide in number seven before a solo run and excellent shot from Elano gave small consolation for City. Fittingly Boro had the last say as Alves completed his hat trick with a comfortable finish after Aliadiere set him up. Amazingly it was the first time in the league this season that Boro had scored more than TWO and the first time any Prem club had netted more than seven in a league game this season.

Attendance : 27,613
Red Card : Dunne 15 (Manchester City)
Assists : Tuncay (won pen), Rochemback, n/a, Arca, n/a, Boateng (won fk), Downing, Ireland, Aliadiere

FULHAM 1 (Murphy 76)

Fulham capped a sensational turnaround in fortunes with their fourth win in their last five games to avoid the drop on goal difference. Having not won away in 32 games, this was their third road-win on the bounce as cup finalists Portsmouth slumped to defeat. The only goal came late on as Danny Murphy headed in Jimmy Bullard's free kick and it proved vital as results elsewhere would have sent Fulham down.

Attendance : 20,532
Assist : Bullard (fk)

ARSENAL 1 (Walcott 24)

Arsenal ended their campaign in third with a win at Sunderland. Gilberto sent Theo Walcott clear on goal to slot in the winner midway through the first half.

Attendance : 47,802
Assists : Gilberto Silva

LIVERPOOL 2 (Voronin 69, Torres 74)

Liverpool, like Arsenal, will have to qualify for the Champions League group stages with a fourth place finish. They ended their season with a win at Spurs whose own seasons has been full of goals yet ultimately hugely disappointing had it not been for Carling Cup success. Liverpool went ahead as Fernando Torres headed the ball on for Andriy Voronin to show good control before clipping past the keeper. Torres netted the second himself as he collected a pass from Yossi Benayoun, twisted the defender all ways in the area before prodding in from a tight angle.

Attendance : 36,063
Assists : Torres, Benayoun

WEST HAM 2 (Solano 8 fk, Ashton 88)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Young 14, Barry 58)

Thanks to Everton's victory, Aston Villa will have to be content with the InterToto route into Europe and ended their season with a draw at West Ham. The hosts went ahead with Nol Solano's 20 yard free kick which seemed to go right through the keeper however Villa levelled when Nigel Reo-Coker set up Ashley Young to send a measured finish inside the far post. Gareth Barry may be leaving Villa Park in the summer but he signed off with a goal as he volleyed in after Reo-Coker's shot was saved. The Hammers grabbed a late point when Mark Noble found Dean Ashton who hammered a shot in from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 34,969
Assists : Ferdinand (won fk), Reo-Coker, n/a, n/a

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Ronaldo 33 Pen, Giggs 80)

Man United retained their title with a comfortable win at Wigan. United were a little lucky in the first half not to go down to ten men as Paul Scholes, having already been booked, blocked off Wilson Palacios on what would have been a yellow card on any other day. The ref bottled it and let him off with a lecture. A disputed penalty put United ahead as Wayne Rooney went down under a challenge from Emmerson Boyce and Cristiano Ronaldo ended a stunning season personally with a clinical spot kick. Wigan rarely looked threatening and United clinched it late on when Rooney set up Ryan Giggs to slot in the second on the day that he equalled United's all time appearance record held by Bobby Charlton. United are worthy champions and the table doesn't lie. Their defence has been tight, their attack awesome and they still have the Champions League Final ahead of them as do Chelsea of course.

Attendance : 25,133
Assists : Rooney (won pen), Rooney

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