Aston Villa 1 – Newcastle 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) The Toon’s relegation fate seemed etched in stone after Damien Duff was hugely unlucky to divert a wayward Gareth Barry shot past a helpless Steve Harper. Newcastle never looked like scoring throughout the contest and their failure to find and equaliser meant that the Magpies were relegated to the Championship. The final minutes of the season, as reported by Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and the crew, can be seen here.
Hull 0 – Manchester United 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Sir Alex’s kids had too much firepower for desperate Hull, Darron Gibson cracking home a stunning 35-yarder on the angle that gave Myhill no chance in goal.
MOTD combined the highlights of Aston Villa-Newcastle & Hull-Manchester United, which can be seen on this video.
Liverpool 3 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Europa League chasing Spurs fell behind at Anfield when Fernando Torres headed home a Kuyt cross at the back post. The match and Tottenham’s dreams of European football were seemingly put to bed in the 64th minute when Kuyt’s loose shot deflected off Alan Hutton and over the hapless Gomes. In a moment that all romantics could enjoy, Robbie Keane raced behind the Reds’ backline in the 77th minute to bring Spurs back into the game. The Reds closed out the season with a third from their unsung hero of the season, Yossi Benayoun slipping a shot past Gomes in front of the Kop.
Sunderland 2 – Chelsea 3 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â After a goalless first half at the Stadium of Light Nicolas Anelka broke the deadlock to ensure that he wins the race for the Golden Boot, the Chelsea striker breaking from inside his own half and lashing a wonderful 25-yarder into the top corner. The Black cats drew level thanks to a flap from Petr Cech, the keeper failing to catch Leadbitter’s cross and Kieran Richardson took advantage to drill in the leveller. Chelsea retook the lead 15 minutes from time after Salomon Kalou blasted a shot into Fulop’s near post after Sunderland failed to clear a corner. Chelsea opened up a 2-goal lead when Ashley Cole fired home a right-foot volley on the rebound after Malouda’s shot was saved. Kenwyne Jones met an Andy Reid cross to cut the deficit to one.
Arsenal 4 – Stoke 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Arsenal treated the Emirates to some sublime football to destroy Stoke inside 18 minutes beginning with James Beattie’s own goal from a Cesc cross into the mixer. Robin van Persie netted the second from the spot five minutes later, with Abou Diaby heading in the third (where was the marking) from a RVP dead-ball. Ricardo Fuller pulled the visitors back into the game with a penalty before Van Persie claimed his second of the half after a woeful header from Rory Delap, to complete a brilliant 45 for the Gunners.
Fulham 0 – Everton 2 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Leon Osman put the Toffees ahead on the stroke of halftime, beating the offside trap to slot home Steven Pienaar’s pass. Osman struck again, late in the second half, the midfielder dancing past two Fulham defenders and smashing a long-range stunner into the top corner. The result was immaterial however as both sides qualified for the Europa League.
Wigan 1 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Hugo Rodellega scored the decisive goal after 26 minutes, Charles N’Zogbia surged down the left and put in a tricky cross which Sol Campbell missed, allowing Rodallega to tap home in.
West Ham 2 – Middlesbrough 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.)Â Boro needed a miracle to avoid the drop, and things started badly when Carlton Cole slotted home Luis Boa Morte’s cross on 33 minutes. Boro were given hope early in the second half with Gary O’Neil’s strike, but the Hammers soon regained control, Junior Stanislas’s 20-yard slipped under Brad Jones is desperate fashion. Boro finished the season level with bottom club West Brom on 32 points.
Manchester City 1 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Micah Richard clipped Robinho’s free-kick into Felipe Ciacedo’s path and all the striker had to do was slot home after eight minutes.
Millwall 2 – Scunthorpe 3 (League One playoff final, May 24, 2009) Scunthorpe, relegated a year ago, took the lead through Matt Sparrow scored before two goals in two minutes from Millwall’s Gary Alexander – the first was arguably the greatest goal so far scored at the new Wembley stadium – put the Lions ahead at halftime. Scunny winger Martyn Woolford created a second for Sparrow to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes to go before Woolford became the hero scoring the winner himself five minutes from time.