Saturday 17 May 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
A goal in each half from Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt consigned West Bromwich Albion to an immediate return to the Championship.
The Baggies, promoted to the top-flight the previous summer, went into the match knowing that losing could send them down if fourth-bottom Hull City avoided defeat. Liverpool's victory and Hull City's draw with Bolton Wanderers confirmed West Brom's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
It was the club's third top-flight relegation in seven seasons and manager Tony Mowbray said: "We are now a better team than we have been for a lot of seasons. The team have grown into the Premier League and learned a lot of lessons along the way.
"Hopefully we can learn these lessons next season in the Championship."
West Brom had given themselves a glimmer of hope of avoiding the drop by winning two of their previous three matches.
And they made a strong start with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina having to make a double save from Jonathan Greening. But a defensive slip handed the visitors the lead in the 28th minute as Shelton Martis took too long on the ball and was tackled by Gerrard, who lobbed goalkeeper Dean Kiely for his 24th goal of the season in all competitions.
With West Brom pushing forward after the break, they were caught out midway through the second-half as Kuyt found space on the edge of the penalty area and made it 2-0 with a low strike.
The Baggies did not give up and Alvaro Arbeloa had to block a shot from Marc-Antoine Fortune before substitute Luke Moore hit the post. But Liverpool took the victory to move on to 83 points - their best total since they accumulated 90 in the 1987/88 campaign.
The result did not change anything for the visitors, but it did help them confirm second place in the table behind Manchester United.
"We were looking to hit targets - a record points tally and we achieved that," said Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. "We wanted 13 away league wins, which is also a record. And we wanted another clean sheet and runners-up position."