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Premier League round-up

Arsenal secured the final Champions League spot at Tottenham's expense as champions Manchester United were involved in a Premier League record.

Last Updated: 28/05/13 at 22:57

Laurent Koscielny celebrates

Laurent Koscielny celebrates

Arsenal pip Tottenham to fourth; West Brom and Man Utd in record draw; Chelsea beat Everton

Arsenal secured the final UEFA Champions League spot at Tottenham Hotspur's after beating Newcastle United as champions Manchester United were involved in a Premier League record.

Rafa Benitez marked his final game as interim Chelsea manager by beating Everton in David Moyes' last match, while Jamie Carragher almost crowned his final Liverpool appearance with a stunning goal.

Michael Owen heads into retirement on the back of a late substitute's outing in Stoke City's draw at Southampton, while Manchester City suffered a surprise home defeat by Norwich City.

Kevin Nolan struck a hat-trick in West Ham United's win over Reading, Fulham eased past Swansea City and relegated Wigan Athletic drew at home with Aston Villa.

Laurent Koscielny's second-half goal ensured Arsenal hung on to fourth spot after a 1-0 victory over Newcastle at St James' Park.

Arsenal took the initiative seven minutes into the second half when Koscielny acrobatically volleyed home after Theo Walcott's free-kick had been diverted into his path.

Tottenham were forced to settle for fifth spot after Gareth Bale's stunning goal in a 1-0 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane was rendered immaterial by Arsenal's win in the North East.

Spurs should have been awarded a penalty on 21 minutes when Bale was bundled over by Sebastian Larsson, but instead the Footballer of the Year was booked for diving.

Andre Villas-Boas' side were given a helping hand with 15 minutes to go when Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan was sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on Aaron Lennon.

And with a minute to go, Spurs at least fulfilled their end of the bargain when Bale curled a sumptuous shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

Romelu Lukaku scored a second-half hat-trick as West Bromwich Albion came from three goals down to draw 5-5 with Manchester United in Sir Alex Ferguson's final game as manager.

United enjoying a flying start at The Hawthorns and were ahead after just six minutes when Shinji Kagawa headed home Javier Hernandez's cross.

Only three minutes later, it was 2-0 when Antonio Valencia, playing at right-back, fired in a cross which West Brom defender Jonas Olsson could only divert into his own net.

The champions added a third goal on the half-hour mark when patient build-up was rewarded by Alexander Buttner's first-time finish from Tom Cleverley's pass.

But West Brom gave themselves hope by scoring five minutes before half-time when James Morrison poked the ball past Anders Lindegaard after being teed up by Graham Dorrans.

The Baggies pulled another goal back five minutes into the second period when half-time substitute Romelu Lukaku picked up possession before placing his shot past Lindegaard.

But United responded within three minutes, with Valencia the provider again as the Ecuadorian's pull-back was turned home by Robin van Persie.

And the fifth goal came on 63 minutes when Javier Hernandez, who had missed a couple of chances in the first half, tapped home substitute Ryan Giggs' cross from close range.

West Brom rallied to set up a thrilling finale by scoring twice in the space of a minute. Lukaku firstly placed another fine shot past Lindegaard and then Youssouf Mulumbu side-footed home from inside the box.

With four minutes left, Lukaku bundled the ball home to secure West Brom a point and the first 5-5 draw in Premier League history.

Benitez bid farewell to Chelsea with a 2-1 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge as Moyes heads to Manchester United on the back of a defeat.

Chelsea were gifted the lead on seven minutes when Everton keeper Tim Howard failed to hold Demba Ba's shot and Juan Mata pounced for his 20th goal of the season.

Everton were the beneficiaries of a mistake seven minutes later when Steven Naismith seized on poor control from David Luiz to exchange passes with Victor Anichebe before firing low beyond Petr Cech.

The Europa League winners regained the lead with 14 minutes to go when Victor Moses nodded the ball down and Fernando Torres squeezed a volley inside the post.

Manchester City's first home game since Roberto Mancini's sacking ended in defeat after Norwich produced an impressive performance to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were punished for sloppy play on the edge of their own area on 26 minutes when the ball was fed into Anthony Pilkington to curl a low shot beyond Joe Hart.

However, just three minutes later, City were level when Samir Nasri's pass into the box was laid off by Edin Dzeko for Jack Rodwell to score his first goal for the club.

Norwich were back in front on 54 minutes when Robert Snodgrass played a superb low ball across the face of goal and Grant Holt had a simple tap-in at the far post.

But the hosts hit back again five minutes later when Rodwell doubled his tally for the club after being sent clear by Yaya Toure's excellent pass before finishing low beyond John Ruddy.

Yet the Canaries kept going and regained the lead on 65 minutes when Jonny Howson ran from the halfway line, past a couple of woeful challenges and slipped his shot past Joe Hart.

Veteran defender Carragher was given a standing ovation at Anfield as his last match for Liverpool ended with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Liverpool were denied the opening goal in just the second minute when Philippe Coutinho's far-post header appeared to cross the line before it was cleared by Michael Harriman, but referee Martin Atkinson waved play on.

Brazilian schemer Coutinho was not to be denied on 23 minutes, though, when he drilled home a low shot into the bottom corner from 30 yards.

Carragher almost scored in the second half when his 30-yard shot came back off the post before he was given a rousing farewell when he was substituted late on.

Nolan scored a hat-trick as West Ham claimed a top-10 finish after a 4-2 victory over relegated Reading at Upton Park.

West Ham were ahead in fortunate circumstances on 23 minutes when Alex McCarthy's clearance clattered off Andy Carroll to Nolan, who then rounded the Reading keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.

Carroll, on his final appearance for West Ham, was involved in the second goal on 34 minutes when he controlled a low cross before teeing up Ricardo Vaz Te to flash a low shot beyond McCarthy.

A blistering start to the second half saw Reading draw level within 10 minutes as Garath McCleary's deflected shot after good work from Jobi McAnuff pulled the first goal back on 53 minutes.

And two minutes later, Reading grabbed a second when Nick Blackman hooked the ball across goal and fellow half-time substitute Adam Le Fondre finished emphatically.

But the Hammers were back in front with 11 minutes to go when Nolan scored his second of the game after racing on to Mark Noble's pass over the top and side-footing past McCarthy.

With three minutes left, Nolan completed his hat-trick when the midfielder headed home substitute Modibo Maiga's cross from six yards out.

Wigan bowed out of the Premier League on the back of an entertaining 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at the DW Stadium.

Darren Bent took advantage of Christian Benteke's suspension to give Villa the lead on five minutes when he drilled home from the edge of the area for his first Premier League goal since September.

Wigan equalised on 21 minutes when captain Emmerson Boyce rose well to head home Roger Ezpinoza's cross and the home side then took the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Villa failed to defend adequately from a corner and, when Ben Watson's shot was cleared off the line by Matt Lowton, the ball ricocheted back into the goal off Nathan Baker.

The visitors were level just past the hour mark when Ron Vlaar showed great control to bring down Joe Bennett's deep free-kick before the centre-half hooked a fine volley into the top corner.

Capital One Cup winners Swansea City finished the season with a whimper after a 3-0 home defeat by Fulham.

Fulham took the lead midway through the first half when Emmanuel Frimpong and Bryan Ruiz combined intelligently to release Alex Kacaniklic and he steered a low drive into the bottom corner.

The Cottagers' lead was doubled on 77 minutes when Ruiz's pass sent Dimitar Berbatov clear and the Bulgarian dummied his way past Michel Vorm before sliding the ball into the empty net.

In the final minute, Fulham scored a third when Urby Emanuelson was on hand to tuck home the loose ball after Kacaniklic's shot had been parried out.

Southampton and Stoke City finished the season with a point as Peter Crouch scored against his former club in a 1-1 draw at St Mary's.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead after just a minute when Rickie Lambert hammered home the rebound after Adam Lallana's shot was pushed onto the post, but the striker was ruled offside.

It was Stoke who came out quickly in the second half and took the lead on 47 minutes when Geoff Cameron's right-wing delivery was glanced home by former Southampton forward Crouch.

The Saints equalised on 57 minutes and this time Lambert was onside as he tucked home the loose ball after Asmir Begovic parried Steven Davis' shot.

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ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?


hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

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rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

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