Gunners go fourth, United held

Fernando Torres scored the winner to allow Rafa Benitez to end

with a win as Chelsea beat Everton 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The victory, after Juan Mata and Steven Naismith traded goals,

ensured Chelsea secured third spot in the Premier League and meant

David Moyes’ spell in charge at Everton ended in defeat.

Chelsea had the first chance of the game through Demba Ba and

the Senegal striker had a role in the opener moments later when Tim

Howard could only parry his shot into the path of Mata.

If that was supposed to settle the home side it did not work as

Everton piled on the pressure and the visitors soon had their

equaliser after just a quarter of an hour.

David Luiz miscontrolled an interception and Naismith found

Victor Anichebe who did well to play his team-mate in on goal with

a reverse pass before the Scot did the rest with a neat dinked

finish.

The Toffees almost took the lead in comical fashion soon

afterwards when Darron Gibson’s deflected shot ricocheted off the

post into the face of Petr Cech and back onto the woodwork.

Torres and Kevin Mirallas should each have done better with good

chances before Steven Pienaar curled just over the top of the bar

as the two teams traded blows in an open game.

After the break it was Chelsea that stepped things up as they

took charge of the contest with Howard saving well from Gary Cahill

before Branislav Ivanovic should have done better.

Everton were rattled with Phil Jagielka losing the ball to give

Ba a chance that Sylvain Distin did well to block, before the

England man redeemed himself with a fine challenge to deny Cahill

soon after.

Nikica Jelavic replaced Naismith midway through the second half

and could have put Everton ahead soon after only to divert Leighton

Baines’ centre just wide of the far post when unmarked.

It proved costly when Victor Moses showed far better composure

at the other end to head down for Torres to lash the winner past

Howard and score his first Premier League goal since December.

Jelavic went close twice more but Everton could not find an

equaliser so it was Benitez and not Moyes who would get to bow out

with a win.

With the title already secured by United and relegation matters

settled in midweek, the settling of European issues was the main

focus of the day.

A 1-0 win for Arsenal at St James’ Park saw Arsene Wenger

continue his proud record of Champions League qualification in

every season at the club, but Tottenham ensured a nailbiting finale

when the irrepressible Gareth Bale fired Spurs ahead with a 25-yard

strike in the closing seconds.

A Newcastle equaliser in the dying seconds against Arsenal would

have seen Spurs leapfrog their rivals into fourth but it never

materialised.

Chelsea, who started the day with the chance of a play-off with

the Gunners for third place, avoided that fate with a 2-1 home win

over Everton.

And on a day where 36 goals were scored in the top flight,

Ferguson saw 10 of them in his final game before retirement as

champions United drew 5-5 in a breathless encounter with West Brom

at The Hawthorns.

Arsenal fought out a first-half stalemate against Newcastle but

grabbed the all-important winning goal in the 52nd minute when

Laurent Koscielny hooked home from close range following a

free-kick from the right.

Tottenham saw strong penalty appeals turned down, shots cleared

off the line and woodwork rattled before Bale – who had earlier

been booked for diving when he looked to have been fouled in the

area – curled in a sensational winner following David Vaughan’s red

card.

Yet it was not enough and they now go into the Europa

League.

Chelsea’s confirmed third place in Rafael Benitez’s last game in

charge when his fellow Spaniards Juan Mata and Fernando Torres

scored either side of Toffees midfielder Steven Naismith.

Ferguson, meanwhile, can rarely have seen a game in his 26 years

at United like the one that unfolded at The Hawthorns.

Shinji Kagawa, Alex Buttner and a Jonas Olsson own-goal put

United 3-0 up after half an hour, while Robin van Persie and Javier

Hernandez also hit the target on Ferguson’s big day.

But a Romelu Lukaku hat-trick teamed with efforts from James

Morrison and Youssouf Mulumbu ensured the Baggies a share of the

spoils.

Three of West Brom’s goals came in a frantic last 10

minutes.

Jamie Carragher’s final match for Liverpool before retirement

ended in a 1-0 win over QPR, who finish bottom of the league.

Philippe Coutinho grabbed the winner with a fine 23rd-minute

strike but Carragher, goalless since 2006, almost grabbed the

spotlight when he hit the woodwork in the second half.

Carragher’s former Liverpool and England team-mate Michael Owen

also played the last match of his storied career but a 16-minute

cameo in Stoke’s 1-1 draw at Southampton was not one to

remember.

Peter Crouch gave the Potters the lead two minutes into the

second half and Rickie Lambert levelled 10 minutes later for the

Saints.

Managerless Manchester City ended a disappointing season with a

3-2 home defeat to Norwich.

One of Roberto Mancini’s much-maligned summer signings, Jack

Rodwell, twice equalised for City but goals from Anthony

Pilkington, Grant Holt and Jonny Howson won it for the

Canaries.

West Ham beat the Canaries to a top-half finish with a 4-2 win

over relegated Reading.

Kevin Nolan claimed a hat-trick and Ricardo Vaz Te also netted,

while Garath McCleary and Adam Le Fondre ensured the Royals did not

go down without a fight.

FA Cup winners Wigan are also bound for the npower Championship

but they added one final point to their tally with a 2-2 draw

against Aston Villa.

Darren Bent, on a rare start, had put Villa ahead before

Emmerson Boyce’s header and a Nathan Baker own-goal gave the Latics

a sniff of victory.

Ron Vlaar snuffed out those hopes in the 61st minute.

Fulham shook off some questionable form to inflict a 3-0 defeat

on Swansea, Alex Kacaniklic, Dimitar Berbatov and Urby Emmanuelson

on the scoresheet for the Cottagers.

Prem results: Chelsea 2 Everton 1, Liverpool 1 QPR 0, Manchester

City 2 Norwich 3, Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1, Southampton 1 Stoke 1,

Swansea 0 Fulham 3, Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0, West Brom 5

Manchester United 5, West Ham 4 Reading 2, Wigan 2 Aston Villa

2.