Blackpool and Birmingham relegated, Man City take third

London: Blackpool and Birmingham City were relegated and Manchester City took third place on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Blackpool briefly led 2-1 at Manchester United but lost 4-2 to the champions to go down after one season.

Birmingham were beaten 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur to complete a bitter end to a season that had looked so good when they shocked Arsenal to win the League Cup.

Wolverhampton Wanderers survived by coming from 3-0 down to lose 3-2 to Blackburn Rovers, a defeat that was celebrated as if they had won the league and also secured Blackburn`s safety.

Wigan Athletic spent most of the afternoon in the drop zone before a late goal secured a 1-0 win at Stoke City and dragged them to safety.

Manchester City beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 away to clinch third place and go straight into the group stage of the Champions League. Arsenal drew 2-2 at Fulham to finish fourth and face a potentially awkward playoff round in Europe`s premier competition.

Spurs took fifth spot and a place in the Europa League after Liverpool lost 1-0 at Aston Villa.

United`s victory made it 18 wins and a draw from 19 home games and they finished the season that brought their record 19th title on 80 points.

Chelsea were second on 71 after losing to 10-man Everton, for whom Jermaine Beckford scored a superb goal after a length of the pitch run.

Man City were third, also on 71, and after winning the FA Cup last week they can now look forward to a first taste of Champions League football.

Arsenal finished fourth on 68 after a poor end to the season that brought only two wins from 11 matches.

Tottenham`s victory kept them safely in fifth on 62 points, four ahead of Liverpool.

West Ham, beaten 3-0 at home by Sunderland, finished bottom on 33. Blackpool were second-last on 39 with Birmingham also on 39. Wolves escaped on 40 points, with Wigan on 42 and Blackburn on 43.

The day`s tally of 32 goals set a record for the number scored in a season since the league became a 20-team competition, the total of 1,063 topping the 1999-2000 tally by three.

Bureau Report

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