Football

Clarets suffer knockout blow

Clarets suffer knockout blow  (©PAphotos)
Clarets suffer knockout blow (©PAphotos).

Two goals from captain Steven Gerrard helped Liverpool to a 4-0 win which relegated Burnley from the Barclays Premier League.

With two matches to play the Clarets cannot now catch 17th-placed West Ham and return to the Championship after just one season in the top flight. Gerrard's first goal in the 51st minute was deflected off Burnley centre-back Leon Cort but his 25-yard strike seven minutes later was inch-perfect and Maxi Rodriguez and Ryan Babel wrapped things up.

The win, Liverpool's first in eight away league matches this year, kept Rafael Benitez's side in the hunt for next season's Champions League but only just.

Substitute Yossi Benayoun had a hand in the opening goal but luck played a greater part in the 51st minute.

Benayoun and Alberto Aquilani combined in the centre of the pitch to give Gerrard the ball in the inside-left position.

With Graham Alexander backing away he switched the ball on to his right foot before unleashing a 20-yard shot which deflected in.

Fortune also contributed to Gerrard's second seven minutes later when Glen Johnson and Rodriguez progressed a move down the right to Aquilani who slipped as he tried to turn inside.

However, the ball ran to Gerrard, whose 25-yard strike owed nothing to luck and everything to talent as he curled a shot perfectly through the gap between Brian Jensen's outstretched fingers and the left post.

Burnley's fate was sealed as Aquilani played in Rodriguez on the right of the penalty area and he clipped home his long-awaited first goal since signing from Atletico Madrid in January.

In the third minute of added time Babel sprang the offside trap to race clear and fire in a fourth before Turf Moor rose to acclaim their departing heroes.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
European News
Ryan Babel
Yossi Benayoun
Maxi Rodriguez
Football
Championship
Glen Johnson
Graham Alexander
Brian Jensen
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard
Leon Cort
Liverpool

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