Hull relegated, Newcastle survive on final day
Hull were relegated and Newcastle ensured their survival as the English Premier League season ended with a series of farewells yesterday.
The final relegation place was the main matter to be determined, with Hull joining Queens Park Rangers and Burnley in the second tier in August, after being held 0-0 by Manchester United.
Newcastle's 10-match winless run ended at the perfect time with a 2-0 victory over West Ham. Goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jon·s GutiÈrrez left the northeast club four points and three places clear of danger.
"We shouldn't be in the position we were in, but we were, and we dealt with it," Newcastle manager John Carver said. "We have to invest and, hopefully, we will."
Whether Carver remains in charge of the team is unclear. Within minutes of the final whistle, it was Sam Allardyce's long-anticipated departure from West Ham that was announced.
"I knew it was coming, I had no problem," Allardyce said. "I have done everything that was asked of me, got them into the Premier League and stayed there comfortably over the last three seasons."
Another manager's future appears uncertain after a season on the slide ended with a final humiliation for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool: a 6-1 loss at Stoke.
"If the owners want me to go, then I go," Rodgers said. "But I still feel I've got a lot to offer the club."
The only consolation for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was scoring before heading to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Frank Lampard also signed off with a goal for deposed champions Manchester City in a 2-0 victory over Southampton before jetting to the United States to play for sister club New York City FC.
Lampard's former Chelsea teammate, Didier Drogba, ended his second spell at Stamford Bridge by lifting the Premier League trophy for the fourth time. The 37-year-old was carried by his teammates to the touchline before a staged flamboyant substitution 28 minutes into a 3-1 victory over Sunderland. Drogba's replacement, Diego Costa, equalised from the penalty spot before Loic Remy netted twice ahead of the trophy celebrations.
Tottenham clinched fifth place and a spot in the Europa League group stage by beating Everton 1-0 and sending Liverpool tumbling to sixth, a year after Rodgers' side were runners-up. It was enough for a Europa League place, but Liverpool will have to go through the play-offs.
Arsenal have gone 11 years without winning the title, but secured automatic passage to the Champions League group stage by finishing third ahead of Manchester United. Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick as the holders prepared for the FA Cup final by beating West Bromwich Albion 4-1.
Fellow cup finalists Aston Villa lost 1-0 to relegated Burnley and finished only a place above the drop zone. Danny Ings scored his 11th and perhaps final goal of the season for Burnley, with a Premier League club likely to be the striker's next destination.
Leicester celebrated their survival by compounding the misery of Queens Park Rangers with a 5-1 victory over the London club.
Leicester's stunning revival was perhaps only equalled by Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. A superb six months since quitting Newcastle for south London was capped by Pardew with a 1-0 win over Swansea - a 10th win in 18 league games for him.
Pardew quit Newcastle because of the financial constraints that angered fans. The season ended with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley bowing to public pressure and finally speaking in public after seven fractious years at the northeast club.
"The club is on a very sound financial footing, so we are able to spend and punch above our weight with the financial situation the club finds itself in," Ashley told Sky Sports television. "I shan't be selling the club until we win something. Not at any price."