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Newcastle, Middlesbrough relegated

NEWCASTLE and Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League yesterday, while Hull and Sunderland stayed up.

Newcastle lost 1-0 at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough was beaten 2-1 at West Ham to finish in the last three teams on the final day of the league season.

Hull lost 1-0 to newly crowned champion Manchester United and Sunderland went down 3-2 at home to third-place Chelsea.

Last-place West Bromwich Albion was already certain to go down and drew 0-0 at Blackburn.

In yesterday's other games, Arsenal outplayed Stoke 4-1, Liverpool beat Tottenham 3-1, Everton won 2-0 at Fulham, Manchester City edged Bolton 1-0 and Wigan beat Portsmouth 1-0.

The goal that sent Newcastle down for the first time in 20 years came in the 38th minute at Villa Park where a shot from Gareth Barry took a deflection off Magpies midfielder Damien Duff and flew past his own goalkeeper.

"The worst feelings. It's painful, it hurts," said Alan Shearer, the former Newcastle striker who returned to the club to take the manager's job for the last eight games of the season, winning only one. "It's been a great experience for me but we've got no complaints. I can't say we were unlucky in the season. We went down because we weren't good enough over 38 games. Big changes have to be made at the football club.

"We've conceded too many goals, not created enough.... That's been a problem all season."

That own goal took the pressure off Hull, which started the game a point ahead of Newcastle and faced a Man United lineup missing most of its stars because manager Alex Ferguson decided to rest them ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final against Barcelona in Rome.

Darron Gibson scored United's 24th minute winner with a long range strike as United finished the season with 90 points, four more than Liverpool.

Next-to-last Middlesbrough needed a big victory at West Ham but finished with a defeat. Carlton Cole fired the Hammers ahead in the 33rd minute and, although Gary O'Neil equalized in the 50th, Junior Stanislas scored West Ham's winner in the 58th.

Sunderland fell behind to Nicolas Anelka's 47th minute strike only for Kieran Richardson to equalize six minutes later. Goals by Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole put Chelsea in control at the stadium of Light and Kenwyne Jones's 90th minute reply for Sunderland made it 3-2.

When news of the other results came through, celebrations started at both Hull and Sunderland although Ricky Sbragia announced that he had quit as manager. Sunderland finished 16th with 36 points, Hull 35, Newcastle 34 and both Middlesbrough and West Brom had 32.

Robin van Persie scored twice as fourth place Arsenal romped into a 4-1 lead in the first 41 minutes at the Emirates Stadium and Fernando Torres fired the first as Liverpool beat Spurs at Anfield. Robbie Keane netted Tottenham's reply against the side that sold him back to his old club and decided not to celebrate the goal with his teammates.

Leon Osman scored Everton's two at Fulham, Felipe Caicedo fired Man City's winner against neighbor Bolton and Hugo Rodallega's goal was enough for Wigan to beat Portsmouth.


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