Liverpool win relegates West Brom from Premier League

May 18th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Chelsea London, May 18 (DPA) West Bromwich Albion became the first side to be relegated from the English Premier League this season after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Liverpool on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Chelsea downed Blackburn Rovers 2-0 to keep alive their outside chance of finishing runners-up to champions Manchester United.

Goals from Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt cemented Liverpool in second place, but the defeat left West Brom four points from safety with only one game remaining.

It is the third time that West Brom have been relegated from the Premier League.

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray said he hoped his side would learn the lessons of the season so that they will be better prepared should they get back in the top flight.

“Obviously I am so disappointed, particularly for the fans who have been magnificent all season,” Mowbray said.

“But the way we gave away that first goal, a big mistake to let Steven Gerrard in, just epitomises our whole season.

“I am frustrated. We had a lot of good attacking play but then gave the opposition a goal they did not have to work for. That’s us.

“But we are now a better team than we have been for a lot of seasons, the team have grown into the Premier League and learned a lot of lessons along the way.

“Hopefully we can use those lessons next season in the Championship.”

West Brom began well and almost took the lead through Jonathan Greening but Jose Reina made a superb double-save to stop the midfielder from scoring.

In the 27 minutes though, Shelton Martis gifted the ball to Gerrard and the Liverpool captain ran in and lobbed the ball over Dean Kiely for the opening goal.

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray made several attacking changes in the second half and they missed a couple of good chances to score before Kuyt sealed their fate with a fine finish from just outside the box.

West Brom piled forward in search of at least a consolation but though Marc-Antoine Fortune had the ball in the net, it was ruled out for offside.

The win moved Liverpool to within four points of Manchester United, who were crowned champions on Saturday, and they are now almost certain to finish second.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said: “Always you have to be disappointed because the target was to win the title.

“But second can be really good if we build from here. The mentality today was good and hopefully it will be the same in the future. We’ve improved the squad. We have a very good group of players now.”

Chelsea stayed within three points of Liverpool after defeating Blackburn with a goal in each half from Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka.

But to finish second the Blues will need to beat Sunderland away and hope Liverpool lose at home to Tottenham Hotspur Sunday — and even that might not be enough to get the edge on goal difference.

Guus Hiddink, whose brief spell as manager is due to end in the summer, received an ovation from the Stamford Bridge crowd, much to his delight.

“It was a nice way to say goodbye with a victory,” the Dutchman said. “It was nice appreciation from the crowd, and to be honest, I did not expect this when I am here for a relatively short period to do my job.

“So this reaction of the crowd was surprising for me, and I would like to thank them. I expected it to be respectful from the heart, but not more.

“That is why I was positively surprised by the reaction of the people, so thanks.”

“We enjoyed the atmosphere, but the season is not over for me and the team. We would love to finish it off with the FA Cup.”

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