LONDON (AFP) - Cancer survivor Jonas Gutierrez's 85th minute goal ensured that Newcastle United will remain in the English Premier League next season after the Magpies defeated West Ham 2-0 on a dramatic final day.
The Argentine's first goal of the season followed Moussa Sissoko's 54th minute opener at St James' Park. The result, coupled with Hull City's 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday, saw Steve Bruce's men relegated alongside Queens Park Rangers and Burnley.
But it was West Ham manager Sam Allardyce who immediately paid the price for defeat. The London club released a statement minutes after the full-time whistle confirming Allardyce's departure from the club.
Over at Stamford Bridge, champions Chelsea defeated Sunderland 3-1. It was Didier Drogba's final appearance for the Blues and the striker's game ended in curious fashion when he was carried off by his team-mates after injuring himself.
The 37-year-old had announced prior to the game that the match would be the last of his second spell at the club. But after only 30 minutes, and with Chelsea trailing 0-1, he succumbed to injury and was chaired off the pitch by his colleagues to a standing ovation from the home support.
Referee Lee Mason was content for Drogba to depart in such unorthodox fashion
There were also farewells for Manchester City's Frank Lampard and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard as both veteran midfielders netted on their swansongs. But they bowed out in contrasting manners.
City won 2-0 while Liverpool were embarrassed 1-6 at the Britannia Stadium.
Gerrard's consolation came with his side down 0-5 as Stoke handed Liverpool their worst ever Premier League defeat. The Reds skipper had never lost a league game by more than four goals and Liverpool.
All the results on the last day of the Premier League season:
- Arsenal 4 (Walcott 4, 14, 37, Wilshere 17) West Bromwich Albion 1 (McAuley 57)
- Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1 (Ings 6)
- Chelsea 3 (Costa 37-pen, Remy 70, 88) Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 26)
- Crystal Palace 1 (Chamakh 57) Swansea 0
- Everton 0 Tottenham 1 (Kane 24)
- Hull 0 Manchester United 0
- Leicester 5 (Vardy 16, Albrighton 43, Ulloa 51, Cambiasso 52, Kramaric 86) Queens Park Rangers 1 (Austin 57)
- Manchester City 2 (Lampard 31, Aguero 88) Southampton 0
- Newcastle 2 (Sissoko 54, Gutierrez 85) West Ham 0
- Stoke 6 (Diouf 22, 26, Walters 30, Adam 41, N'Zonzi 45, Crouch 86) Liverpool 1 (Gerrard 70)