West Brom hanging on by their fingernails
● Jake Livermore kept alive West Bromwich Albion’s slender hopes of avoiding relegation as his last-gasp strike clinched a dramatic 10 win over Tottenham. Stoke were relegated after a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace.
Albion knew only three points at the Hawthorns would be enough to stave off relegation, for a few hours at least.
With Darren Moore’s side just minutes from dropping into the Championship, Livermore sparked wild celebration when he prodded home after a goalmouth scramble two minutes into stoppage time.
Incredibly, Albion were on the brink of relegation again just hours later when fellow strugglers Southampton took a second-half lead through Nathan Redmond at Everton.
But, with seconds left in stoppage time, Tom Davies’s deflected strike rescued a 1-1 draw for Everton.
Albion’s last game of the season is at Palace next Sunday, but they will go down if there is a winner between Swansea and Southampton at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday. A draw would take the relegation battle to the last weekend.
“We have been on this road for four, nearly five weeks. We wanted to get some pride and commitment back,” Moore said.
Southampton, who had Japanese defender Maya Yoshida sent off in the 86th minute, were crushed by Davies’s late intervention.
But Mark Hughes’ side do climb out of the relegation zone, sitting above Swansea on goal difference heading into midweek.
Huddersfield, two points above the bottom three, are also in trouble as they prepare to face champions Manchester City today.
Fourth-placed Tottenham’s defeat leaves them five points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea, who can close the gap in the race to qualify for the Champions League if they beat Liverpool today.
At the bet365 Stadium, Stoke had hope of staying up when Xherdan Shaqiri scored with a 43rd-minute free-kick.
But James McArthur equalised in the 68th minute and Patrick van Aanholt slotted in Palace’s winner with four minutes left.
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland was in tears at the final whistle and City fans were just as emotional as the realisation of their team’s relegation sank in.
Hundreds left in the closing minutes before those that remained sang “City til I die” in a defiant rallying cry.
The blame for Stoke’s predicament lies jointly with Lambert and Mark Hughes, who was sacked in January after a wretched run culminated with an embarrassing FA Cup third round defeat against fourth-tier Coventry.
Hughes could suffer the indignity of having a role in two relegations in one season if his Southampton side go down.
Swansea missed a chance to boost their survival bid as Bournemouth won 1-0 at Dean Court. Ryan Fraser blasted home with a quick free-kick from the edge of the area in the 37th minute.
West Ham look set to avoid relegation after a 2-0 win at Leicester, Watford beat Newcastle 2-1 at Vicarage Road to guarantee their top-flight status.