Financially troubled Portsmouth was relegated from the Premier League on Saturday on the eve of its FA Cup semifinal after West Ham beat Sunderland 1-0. Portsmouth’s fate was effectively sealed last month when the Premier League docked the 2008 FA Cup winners nine points for seeking bankruptcy protection – a result of overspending on player transfers and salaries.
Brazilian striker Ilan scored in the 51st minute for West Ham, leaving Portsmouth 17 points from safety with 15 possible to win.
But Portsmouth’s miserable season, which has yielded just six league wins, could still end with a trophy if it can reach the FA Cup final by beating Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
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In Saturday’s only other Premier League match, Burnley moved past Hull in the relegation zone by coming from behind to win 4-1 against its opponent. Both teams remain on 27 points – four behind Wigan and West Ham.
Kevin Kilbane put Hull ahead in the third minute, but Martin Paterson equalized in the 35th before Graham Alexander scored two penalties and Wade Elliott curled in a fourth goal in stoppage time.
It was Burnley’s first away win of its first campaign back in the top flight since 1976
One of the teams taking Portsmouth’s place in the top flight after seven seasons will be West Bromwich Albion, which was promoted on Saturday after beating Doncaster 3-2.
West Brom, like League Championship leader Newcastle, is returning to the Premier League at its first attempt.
Providing Wolverhampton stays in the Premier League, next season will be the first time since 1983-84 that west Midlands rivals West Brom, Aston Villa, Birmingham and Wolves will all have been in top flight.
In Saturday’s late match, FA Cup holder Chelsea was playing Aston Villa in the first semifinal at Wembley.