Arsenal FC missed out on the chance to move to within a point of second-placed Chelsea FC after succumbing to their third league defeat in four matches at home against Aston Villa FC.
The Blues drew 2-2 after conceding an added-time equaliser by Newcastle United FC's Steven Taylor, but, in north London, two early Darren Bent goals (11, 15) put the Gunners firmly on the back foot. Although they replied through Robin van Persie's 11th goal in 11 league matches (89), the hosts floundered again, leaving Manchester City FC two points behind Arsène Wenger's side with a game in hand.
Tottenham Hotspur FC enjoyed better fortune as they ended their sequence of six matches without a win in all competitions with a 2-0 triumph at Liverpool FC. Goals by Rafael van der Vaart (9) and Luka Modrić (56) lifted Spurs a point above the Reds into fifth place with one game remaining.
At the other end of the table, West Ham United FC were relegated after squandering a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Wigan Athletic FC. Demba Ba's first-half double had given hope to the Londoners, who required a win to avoid demotion, but Charles N'Zogbia also struck twice (57, 90+4), either side of a Conor Sammon effort (68), as Avram Grant's side's worst fears were confirmed.
A 2-0 home reverse for Birmingham City FC at the hands of Fulham FC, meanwhile, has left Alex McLeish's men one place above the relegation zone but level on 39 points with Wigan and Blackpool FC. Those three teams – along with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Blackburn Rovers FC, on 40 – will seek to avoid becoming one of the two remaining sides to leave the Premier League next weekend.
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|Last updated: 28/06/2011 14:49 CET|
Sammon 68, N'Zogbia 57, 90+4
Ba 12, 26
Hangeland 5, 49
Van Persie 89
Bent 11, 15
|Venue: West Bromwich|
Rooney 73 (p)
|1||Manchester United FC||37||77|
|4||Manchester City FC||36||65|
|5||Tottenham Hotspur FC||37||59|
|9||Stoke City FC||36||46|
|10||Bolton Wanderers FC||37||46|
|11||West Bromwich Albion FC||37||46|
|12||Newcastle United FC||37||45|
|13||Aston Villa FC||37||45|
|15||Blackburn Rovers FC||37||40|
|16||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||37||40|
|17||Birmingham City FC||37||39|
|19||Wigan Athletic FC||37||39|
|20||West Ham United FC||37||33|