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Portsmouth relegated from Premier League

Portsmouth relegated from Premier League

If Portsmouth beats Tottenham on Sunday it would end a miserable season by facing Chelsea in the final.

London: Financially troubled Portsmouth was relegated from the Premier League on Saturday on the eve of its FA Cup semifinal after West Ham beat Sunderland 1-0.

If Portsmouth beats Tottenham on Sunday it would end a miserable season by facing Chelsea in the final after the holders beat Aston Villa 3-0 in the first semifinal on Saturday.

Portsmouth's fate was effectively sealed last month when, already bottom of the standings, the Premier League docked the 2008 FA Cup winners nine points for seeking bankruptcy protection — a result of overspending on player transfers and salaries.

Striker Ilan scored in the 51st minute to clinch for West Ham the win that left Portsmouth 17 points from safety with 15 possible to win.

"The result we got last week (a 2-2 draw at Everton) gave everybody a big boost," West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola said. "This is much better but it is still too early to celebrate. We are not there yet.

"This is not a championship where you can say it is over. Nobody was expecting Burnley to beat Hull City today. We will stay on our toes."

In Saturday's only other Premier League match, Burnley moved past Hull in the relegation zone by coming from behind to win 4-1 against its opponent. Both teams remain on 27 points — four behind Wigan and West Ham.

Kevin Kilbane put Hull ahead in the third minute, but Martin Paterson equalized in the 35th before Graham Alexander scored two penalties and Wade Elliott curled in a fourth goal in stoppage time.

Burnley's first away win of its first campaign back in the top flight since 1976 gives manager Brian Laws belief the team can survive with four matches to go.

"We'll certainly wake a few people up with that result, that's for sure," Laws said. "The most satisfying thing for me is that the players have proven they can win away from home. We've got to build on that."

One of the teams taking Portsmouth's place in the top flight after seven seasons will be West Bromwich Albion, which was promoted on Saturday after beating Doncaster 3-2.

West Brom, like League Championship leader Newcastle, is returning to the Premier League at its first attempt.

Providing Wolverhampton stays in the Premier League, next season will be the first time since 1983-84 that west Midlands rivals West Brom, Aston Villa, Birmingham and Wolves will all have been in the top flight.

For Villa, though, it was a result — if not performance — to forget at Wembley Stadium.

Although Chelsea beat Villa 7-1 in a Premier League meeting two weeks ago, Carlo Ancelotti's league leaders failed to recapture that form.

Didier Drogba took until the 68th to put Chelsea ahead, turning in John Terry's left-footed drive which appeared to be going wide.

Florent Malouda side-footed home a right-wing cross from Michael Ballack in the 89th and Frank Lampard added a third in injury time after a Chelsea breakaway.

first published:April 11, 2010, 08:16 IST