Premier League life over for Reading and QPR
Chelsea kept up its push for a Champions League spot by beating Swansea 2-0 on Sunday with both goals coming shortly before the halftime break. Oscar put Chelsea ahead at Stamford Bridge in the 44th minute and Frank Lampard then doubled the lead from the penalty spot a minute later for his 201st goal for the club, moving him within one of Bobby Tambling’s record.
Lampard began the game on the bench but came on because of a thigh injury for Oscar and scored his 15th goal of the season. The win puts Chelsea provisionally into third place, although it could be passed by Arsenal again later in the afternoon. Reading and QPR were relegated from the Premier League after the strugglers played out a 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium which ended their survival hopes.
A win for either side would have kept alive a their slender chances of staying up at least until Aston Villa’s clash with Sunderland on Monday.
But both looked wracked with nerves during a goalless stalemate which condemned Nigel Adkins’ Reading and Harry Redknapp’s QPR to starting next season in the Championship. Bottom club Reading and second bottom QPR are both nine points behind fourth bottom Aston Villa with three games remaining, but a complicated equation means there is no chance of either avoiding the drop.
If Wigan and Villa lose their next three games they will go into the final day on 32 and 34 points respectively, while back to back wins for QPR and Reading win would give them 31 points ahead of the last match.
However, with Wigan and Villa playing each other on the last weekend, only one of them could be overtaken by QPR and Reading, meaning QPR and Reading are guaranteed to be in the bottom three at the end of the season.
“I have told the players to bottle up the feeling as it is never nice to get relegated, and make sure they never feel that way again,” Adkins said.
“For any new promoted team, it is a challenge to stay up. Premier League is a ruthless division. We must now build for the future and learn the lessons well from this season.”
Big win for Liverpool
Liverpool destroyed Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Saturday to record its most handsome league win since a 6-0 rout of Derby County in September 2007. Suarez’s antics had placed the club under sustained scrutiny in the build-up to the game and Rodgers praised his players for reacting in such scintillating fashion.
After Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson gave the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead, Daniel Sturridge claimed a brace, before further goals from substitute Fabio Borini and Henderson consigned Newcastle to its heaviest home defeat since 1925.
The results: Chelsea 2 (Oscar 43, Lampard 45-pen) bt Swansea 0; Reading 0 drew with QPR 0.
On Saturday: Newcastle 0 lost to Liverpool 6 (Agger 3, Henderson 17, 76, Sturridge 54, 60, Borini 74).