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By ESPN Staff
Apr 29, 2006

Pompey's win means woe for Baggies and City

Portsmouth condemned Birmingham and West Brom to relegation and guaranteed another season in the Barclays Premiership for the Fratton Park side after they came from behind to win 2-1 at Wigan.

Benjani Mwaruwari scored his first goal for the club before Matt Taylor coolly converted a penalty in the 71st minute following Gary Teale's handball, for which he was sent off, as Pompey guaranteed safety with a game to go.

Henri Camara was a constant thorn in Pompey's side having numerous chances and a goal disallowed before putting Wigan ahead with a 34th-minute goal after Dean Kiely spilled Jason Roberts' header.

Svetoslav Todorov, Mwaruwari, Sean Davis and Gary O'Neil all came close and just after the break Todorov sidefooted Benjani's low cross over the bar when just two yards out.

Benjani then scored his first goal for the club, heading in from close range after Taylor hit the post in the 63rd minute.

Gary O'Neil and Benjani both missed chances to seal the game - but Pompey held on.

Birmingham failed to find a way through the Newcastle defence in the 0-0 draw at St Andrews.

Blues were the better side at first with Jiri Jarosik prominent while Mikael Forssell shot just wide after being released by Emile Heskey.

The hosts were grateful to Mario Melchiot for his last-ditch tackle on Charles N'Zogbia just after the break with the Magpies striker in the six-yard box.

City had a strong appeal for a penalty in the 77th minute when the ball seemed to make contact with Celestine Babayaro's hand.

Blues almost scored in the final minute when Shay Given saved with his legs from Forssell, who had pulled in front of the defence and Heskey's rebound was deflected.

Meanwhile at the top, Liverpool drew level on points with Manchester United, albeit with an inferior goal difference, with a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Anfield.

The hosts made an ideal start against Aston Villa with a fourth-minute lead courtesy of Fernando Morientes.

The Spaniard collected a through-ball and cut inside Gary Cahill before firing a left-footed shot past Thomas Sorensen.

Morientes almost got his second shortly into the second half when he volleyed Peter Crouch's knock-down but Sorensen pulled off a fantastic save.

Villa levelled when Gareth Barry rounded off a slick move following a low ball from Aaron Hughes after 58 minutes.

The visitors had a chance to go ahead through before Steven Gerrard sidefooted a corner home from the near post just three minutes later - and the England midfielder then claimed his second with a stunning shot from 25 yards.

James McFadden scored an 89th-minute goal as Everton claimed a 1-0 lead over Middlesbrough.

The Scot lobbed Bradley Jones, who had rushed out of his goal, to give the Toffees victory at the Riverside.

Richard Dunne gave Manchester City a deserved lead against Fulham but the Cottagers hit back to win 2-1 with Collins John levelling six minutes from time before Steed Malbranque claimed the visitors' first away win of the season in the last minute.

Earlier, Chelsea had clinched their second consecutive Barclays Premiership title with two games to spare following a 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

The result was however overshadowed by a possible serious injury to Wayne Rooney which could threaten the England star's participation in the World Cup.

John Terry also finished the match hobbling after a robust challenge from Rooney.

William Gallas set Chelsea on their way in the fifth minute before Joe Cole and Ricardo Carvalho, with his first Premiership goal of the season, wrapped up victory in the second half.

Rooney was then carried off on a stretcher after a fair challenge by Paulo Ferreira, which saw the England star clutching his right ankle in agony.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the forward had a foot injury, although he was uncertain of its seriousness.