Chelsea clinched the Barclays Premier League title in style as Didier Drogba struck a second-half hat-trick in their 8-0 thrashing of 10-man Wigan. The Blues went ahead in the sixth minute when Nicolas Anelka finished after Florent Malouda showed good strength in the area, and they were all but home and hosed after 32 minutes when Gary Caldwell hauled down Frank Lampard in the area.
The Wigan man saw red and Lampard converted from the spot to make it 2-0. The second half was effectively a lap of honour for Chelsea as Salomon Kalou scored nine minutes after the restart, Anelka grabbed his second two minutes later, then Didier Drogba struck three times, including a penalty after Mario Melchiot fouled Ashley Cole.
It was the fourth time this season they had scored seven in a Premier League game, and Cole got on the scoresheet himself in the dyingÂ secondsÂ toÂ make it eight. Second-placed Manchester United had needed Chelsea to slip up, but they did all they could, beating Stoke 4-0 at Old Trafford to at least close out the season in winning fashion.
Darren Fletcherâ€™s effort in the 31st minute put United ahead and Ryan Giggs struck seven minutes before the break to make it 2-0. Danny Higginbotham scored an own goal nine minutes after the break to make it 3-0 and Park Ji-sung rounded off the scoring six minutes from time.
Arsenal beat Europa League finalists Fulham 4-0 to alleviate fears of surrendering third place to north London rivals Tottenham. Andrey Arshavin scored for Arsenal after 21 minutes and Robin van Persie added a second five minutes later, before Chris Bairdâ€™s own goal eight minutes from half-time made it three.
Carlos Vela added a fourth in the 84th minute. As it was it mattered little, as Spurs threw away a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at relegated Burnley. In-form Gareth Bale put Tottenham ahead after three minutes, with Luka Modric adding a second just after the half-hour mark.
Wade Elliott pulled one back three minutes before the break to make it 2-1, though, and Jack Cork levelled in the 54th minute. Martin Paterson then put Brian Lawsâ€™ side ahead nine minutes from the end and Steven Thompson added a fourth as they finished their season on a positive note.
Sunderland finished with nine men as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Wolves. The Black Cats went ahead through Kenwyne Jones in the eighth minute but Kevin Doyle levelled from the spot two minutes later after Alan Hutton fouled Matt Jarvis.
Adlene Guedioura then completed the turnaround in the 78th minute before Michael Turner was dismissed after picking up his second booking in the 82nd minute. Jack Colback also saw red in stoppage time. Manchester City drew 1-1 at West Ham, with Shaun Wright-Phillips equalising in the 21st minute after Luis Boa Morte had put West Ham ahead against the run of play four minutes earlier.
Bolton beat Birmingham 2-1 thanks to Kevin Daviesâ€™ strike in the 33rd minute and Ivan Klasnicâ€™s effort on the hour mark. James McFadden got a consolation for Birmingham 13 minutes from time.
An own goal from Richard Dunne in the 84th minute gave Blackburn a 1-0 win at Aston Villa, while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored in stoppage time to give Everton a 1-0 win over relegated FA Cup finalists Portsmouth. Liverpoolâ€™s disappointing season ended in suitable low-key fashion as they played out a goalless draw at relegated Hull. That meant Liverpool finished the season seventh.
(courtesy agency reports)