Liverpool beat West Ham to stay in the hunt; Safe Stoke leave Hull on the brink; Kamara double lifts Fulham over Villa; Wigan handed some good Fortune; Wins for Burnley & Millwall in the play-offs

West Ham 0 – Liverpool 3 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) In only their 12th start together in the Liverpool first team, Fernando Torres slipped a perfect through-ball into Steven Gerrard after just 90 seconds, who scored with ease past a stranded Green. West Ham then had Luis Boa Morte to blame for conceding a second, the Portuguese firebrand fouled Torres in the box, Steven Gerrard’s penalty was saved by Green by the Liverpool skipper made no mistake with the rebound. West Ham should have equalised when Jamie Carragher made a poor error at the back, David Di Michele nipped in and ran through on goal but, after losing his footing, the Italian embarrassed himself diving for a penalty and getting booked. Ryan Babel wrapped up the match late on after a pacey counter-attack lead by Kuyt.

Hull 1 – Stoke 2 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Ricardo Fuller turned and fired home four minutes before the break to put another nail in Hull’s battle against relegation. Liam Lawrence scored a belter to really put Hull under pressure before Andy Dawson pulled one back late on with a super left-footed free-kick, but the Tigers continue to rely on others in their battle against the drop.

Fulham 3 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Danny Murphy gave Fulham the lead from the penalty spot in the seventh minute after Kamara had been fouled by James Milner. Ashley Young levelled for Villa seven minutes later but Diomansy Kamara fired the home side back in front at the start of the second half and completed the scoring with a cheeky backheel on the hour.

West Brom 3 – Wigan 1 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) On-loan striker Marc-Antoine Fortune was West Brom’s hero, scoring the Baggies’ first and third goals as well as earning a penalty which Chris Brunt converted on the rebound after having his first effort saved by Richard Kingson. Hugo Rodallega had claimed his first goal in English football to cancel out Fortune’s opener, with the massive win keeping the Baggies slim hopes of survival alive.

Blackburn 2 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) Rovers are all but safe after picking up three points against Pompey. Morten Gamst Pedersen took advantage of an error by David James, who failed to collect a high ball into the box, to put the hosts in front in the first half, and Benni McCarthy settled the issue with a penalty on the hour.

Bolton 0 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) Bolton and Sunderland shared a goalless draw at the Reebok which should see the Trotters safe but the Black Cats are still in relegation trouble.

Everton 0 – Tottenham 0 (Premier League, May 9, 2009) Everton produced a disappointing display in a goalless draw against Tottenham, the visitors having the better of the chances although Dan Gosling did strike the post after the break.

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Burnley 1 – Reading 0 (Championship play-off semi-final first leg, May 9, 2009) Graham Alexander scored his 11th goal of the season in the 84th minute from the spot after Reading defender Andre Bikey hauled down Steve Thompson.

Millwall 1 – Leeds 0 (League One play-off semi-final first leg, May 9, 2009) Neil Harris, Millwall’s all-time top goalscorer, scored the only goal to give the London side the slight advantage ahead of the second leg on Thursday.

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