Liverpool win sends West Brom into Championship
Liverpool defeated West Brom 2-0 at the Hawthorns condemning the Baggies to an immediate return to the Championship. Steven Gerrard took advantage of Albion's curse this season, poor defending, to give Liverpool a 1-0 half time lead.
And Dirk Kuyt drove in an 18-yard shot for a Reds second before Luke Moore hit the woodwork for the hosts late on.
The Reds moved on to 83 points, which is their highest points total since 1987-88 when they notched 90 points on their way to the old Division One title played over 40 games instead of the current 38 of the Premier League.
West Brom captain Jonathan Greening said, "There's no right way or wrong way of playing but we've got our way of playing and we've played some good stuff.
"Maybe a lack of experience, a bit naive at times... that showed today with the sloppy goal we gave away when we were really in the game."
Greening paid tribute to the fans, who have been fully behind Tony Mowbray's side all season.
"They've been great all year," the 30-year-old said on Sky Sports 1.
"Obviously we've been bottom since I think October - they've been right behind us all the way, trying to get another 'Great Escape' but it wasn't to be."
Reds boss Rafa Benitez told the club's official web site:
"We were looking for some targets: 83 points, a club record in the Premier League; 13 victories away - also a record. We also wanted to score goals and keep a clean sheet and for us I think this guarantees second position. We also wanted to stay as close as possible to United."
"We have talked about the draws. Against Stoke we scored in the first minute and it was disallowed. It could have been different with the form we've been in at the end of the season.
"United have quality - especially on the bench. Against us they had Scholes, Giggs and Berbatov on the bench. You can change two or three players easily. We have less of these kind of players, though I am really pleased with my squad and really proud of what we've done this season.
"I will say congratulations to Manchester United - it's a good club, a big club."
Benitez added: "It has been very positive in terms of the performance of the team during the whole season. We had some problems for maybe one month but, especially at the end of the season, and often without Torres and Gerrard, it has been very positive.
"If you analyse things properly you see that 83 points is massive. United is a very strong team with a big squad. They've won a lot of games 1-0, games which could have been different.
"But over nine months you usually finish where you deserve."