Irons relegated by Wigan defeat

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011

West Ham went into the game knowing anything less than a win at the DW Stadium would send them down, but two first-half goals from Demba Ba put them on course to take things to the final day. However, the Hammers defence capitulated after the break with Charles N'Zogbia giving Wigan a lifeline before Connor Sammon scored his first goal in English football in the 68th minute. N'Zogbia scored a third in stoppage time to add insult to injury for West Ham and give Latics' own survival chances a huge boost. They are now level on 39 points with Blackpool and Birmingham, who lost 2-0 at home to Fulham. Alex McLeish's side have rarely looked in danger of going down this season but only goal difference keeps them above third-bottom Blackpool, who are one goal worse off than Blues on minus 21. Wigan are on minus 22. Brede Hangeland scored both of Fulham's goals at St Andrew's as Birmingham's defence twice failed to deal with corners. The Cottagers could have scored far more too, and the Carling Cup holders will not be confident of survival with a trip to Tottenham ahead on the final day. Spurs moved back above Liverpool into fifth place with a 2-0 win at Anfield, Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric scoring the goals, and now need to beat Birmingham next Sunday to make certain of a Europa League place. Van der Vaart put them ahead early on against Kenny Dalglish's men before Modric added a second-half penalty. Arsenal, meanwhile, signed off their campaign at Emirates Stadium with a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa, for whom Darren Bent scored both goals. Robin Van Persie scored a late consolation but by then the damage was already done, although the Gunners will point to a number of refereeing decisions that went against them, most notably when Marouane Chamakh's second-half header was ruled out for a push on Kyle Walker.

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