Premier League, Week 37: Liverpool Score Four On Apathetic Chelsea

Chelsea didn't really look like they were interested in their Premier League match at Anfield on Tuesday.

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Liverpool Vs. Chelsea, 2012 Premier League: Reds Score Four In Rout

Chelsea have been narrowly focused on the FA Cup and Champions League for quite some time. It was obvious when they fielded their second team against Arsenal, it was obvious when they lost to Newcastle and it was obvious when that paid off in a win over Liverpool in the FA Cup final. Still, there's something a bit shocking about the way they played on Tuesday. Three days after the final, they looked completely disinterested in a 4-1 loss at Anfield.

John Terry was the goat of the evening, making a seemingly infinite number of errors in the first half. Chelsea could have conceded many times over in the opening 20 minutes, but it took Liverpool that long to score. Michael Essien netted for the Reds, putting a ... shot? pass? kicked ball thing? ... yeah, kicked ball thing by Luis Suarez into the back of the net.

The comedy of errors continued five minutes later when Terry fell on his face, allowing Jordan Henderson to run straight at goalkeeper Ross Turnbull with the ball. He scored, making it 2-0 to Liverpool. Three minutes later, Daniel Agger scored a header on a set piece to make it 3-0.

Liverpool should have made it 4-0 before the break. Andy Carroll drew a penalty on Branislav Ivanovic in stoppage time with a world-class dive. Stewart Downing -- the expensive signing who is yet to score in the league -- stepped up to the spot and hit the post. It's been a bad year.

Ramires gave Chelsea a bit of hope in the 50th minute, scoring with his midsection and/or groin, assisted by Florent Malouda. Unfortunately for supporters of the Blues, they were not hopeful for long. Jonjo Shelvey sealed the game for Liverpool in the 61st minute with a long-range effort, assisted by Turnbull. It was just that kind of game.

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Blackburn Rovers Vs. Wigan Athletic, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 1-0 Wigan, Blackburn Relegated

Blackburn Rovers went down not with a bang, but with a chicken-filled whimper. Needing a win to avoid relegation, the hosts came out flat-footed against Wigan Athletic and more or less condemned themselves to the drop. Although the final score was only 1-0, Wigan were dominant for much of the match and the hosts were booed off the park at halftime.

The only positive of the first half, as far as the home fans were concerned, was the release of a caped chicken onto the field in protest of Blackburn owners Venky's. The chicken was eventually caught thanks to the efforts of Ali Al-Habsi and Yakubu. That was pretty exciting. The match was not; the best chance of the half went to the visitors, when Gary Caldwell (a Wigan centre back) thwarted Victor Moses (a Wigan forward) from a corner kick.

Then again, even if Caldwell hadn't blocked Moses off he probably wouldn't have scored -- the 21-year-old made a habit of hilarious misses throughout the match, even hitting a shot out for a throw-in at one point. Blackburn came pretty close to making their guests pay after the break, and Junior Hoillet almost certainly should have had a penalty after being felled by Emmerson Boyce, but it was a false dawn as far as Steve Kean's men were concerned and Wigan managed to get the goal their play warranted through Antolin Alcaraz in the 87th minute.

Blackburn are now six points clear of safety with one game to go -- an obviously impossible margin to overcome -- and you could easily see them stuck in the Championship for some time. Wigan, meanwhile, will be sticking around for another year. It's yet another incredible comeback for Roberto Martinez and crew.

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Blackburn Vs. Wigan, 2012 Premier League: Fight For the Right To Not Be Relegated

The names may not stir your emotions, but this meeting between two relegation threatened clubs should be an exciting match.

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Manchester United Vs. Swansea City, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 2-0; United Win But Not By Enough

Manchester United played in one of those rarest of matches - a game that only mattered in terms of goal differential. Thanks to a 1-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium last Monday and Manchester City's 2-0 win against Newcastle United earlier on Sunday the defending champions found themselves three points off the pace and needing to make up ten goals as well.

Against an off-form Swansea City, three points was hardly a tough ask, and a Paul Scholes tip-in in the 28th minute more or less wrapped those up. But United needed a flood of goals, and even though Ashley Young brought them to within eight via a neat curling strike just before half time, said flood was clearly not about to materialise. It's not as though they didn't create chances - Javier Hernandez could easily have had a hattrick (or more), and there were several more close calls for Michel Vorm on top of Chicharito's mistakes - but United weren't playing as though they realised that the title might come down to goal differential next weekend.

It took until the 79th minute for Sir Alex Ferguson to introduce Dimitar Berbatov, and even then it was for a striker in Wayne Rooney. There was minimal urgency about United, who eventually ran out as 2-0 winners, and as a result they're going to have to hope for City to drop points against Queens Park Rangers next Sunday. Otherwise, the title is going to the noisy neighbours, because they're not beating Sunderland by ten or more at the Stadium of Light.

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Fulham Vs. Sunderland, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 2-1 Fulham As Cottagers Move 8th

Try telling Fulham fans that this match didn't matter. The Cottages have confirmed a top ten finish in the Premier League thanks to a 2-1 win against Sunderland. Clint Dempsey - who else? - got the hosts underway with an excellent twelfth minute goal, the USA international crashing home a 25-yard free kick, shooting into the top corner after Lee Cattermole had brought down Mahamadou Diarra.

Sunderland briefly brought the game back to level pegging when Phil Bardsley finished off a move in style, slamming a long-range shot past Mark Schwarzer in the 34th minute. Any hope Sunderland had of holding on was dispatched with style by Moussa Dembele, who less than a minute later added a long-range strike of his own to a game already featuring some excellent goals.

Although the visitors pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half, which led to an entertaining, open affair, both goalkeepers were in no mood to concede further and the match eventually ended at 2-1, with Schwarzer denying Frazier Campbell at the death. With the win, Fulham move into eighth place, and a win at White Hart Lane next weekend would see them break their own record for points in the Premier League.

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Bolton Wanderers Vs. WBA, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 2-2 As Trotters Collapse

The day began with such promise for Bolton Wanderers. Needing a win and for Queens Park Rangers to drop points in order to feel secure in their hopes to remain in the Premier League next season, the hosts raced out to a 1-0 lead against West Bromwich Albion thanks to a Martin Petrov penalty, and things got even better in the second half when Liam Ridgewell's clearance struck Billy Jones and bounced over the line.

With the score at 2-0 with twenty minutes left and QPR being held to a draw by Stoke City, things were looking rosey for the Trotters. Sadly, it all fell apart in short order. Chris Brunt hammered past Adam Bogdan in the 74th minute, and while Bolton drew everyone back to repel the pressure from the Baggies, their defending wasn't quite good enough to prevent Brunt from floating an 89th minute cross to substitute James Morrison, who fired home to break Bolton hearts. Meanwhile, Stoke conceded a very late winner at Loftus Road, meaning that Bolton are two points within the relegation zone with only a game to play. Yikes.

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Aston Villa Vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 1-1 As Villa Hold Spurs

Aston Villa managed to hold Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw to shake up the race for third place yet again. The visitors had a chance to go back into the top three thanks to Arsenal's hiccup at the Emirates, but they looked like they were set to blow it completely after a long-range effort from Ciaran Clark deflected off William Gallas' head an in with 35 minutes played. To say it was a goal against the run of play would be an understatement - the hosts had four shots all match to Spurs' 22.

Danny Rose then made matters worse by earning himself a straight red card for a flying two-footed tackle on Villa fullback Alan Hutton, bringing his side down to ten men. Fortunately for Tottenham, Villa's lack of ability to kill the game off - or even defend a lead with a numerical advantage - meant that they were able to force their way back into the match and levelled via the penalty spot when Richard Dunne felled Sandro with an hour gone.

Spurs were still asking most of the questions at 1-1, but they didn't have quite enough to beat Shay Given again. All of the remaining candidates for the top four appear to be falling over themselves not to reach it, but Spurs can still secure a Champions League berth (assuming Chelsea lose this year's final) with a home win against Fulham next Sunday.

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Newcastle United Vs. Manchester City, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 2-0 City

Roberto Mancini is now within three points of claiming the Premier League crown with Manchester City scoring twice in the late stages to settle a tricky away tie at Newcastle United. The win brings Manchester City three points clear of United with a far superior goal differential, meaning that a win for the leaders against QPR next weekend will surely see them wrap up the title.

The hosts were very much in the ascendancy in the early going, dominating possession although never really looking like they were going to get many chances out of it, but then the game opened up significantly after that with both Tim Krul and Joe Hart (not to mention their defenders) called into significant action. It was a match that could have gone either way until the intervention of Yaya Toure in the 70th minute. The Ivorian picked up a pass from Sergio Aguero 20 yards out and blasted into the bottom corner to make it 1-0, and although City were forced to endure a nervous spell thanks to a series of bad misses, Toure wrapped it up from close range in the final minutes.

Over to Manchester United, although in all likelihood their match against Swansea won't even matter.

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