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Rediff.com  » Sports » West Brom win and dream of another great escape

West Brom win and dream of another great escape

May 10, 2009 00:24 IST

West Bromwich Albion, who pulled off a famous escape from relegation in 2005, could be on their way to surviving in the Premier League again after beating Wigan Athletic 3-1 at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Marc-Antoine Fortune scored twice as West Brom won for the second time in three matches to keep alive their hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship (second division).

"We will just keep going," said West Brom manager Tony Mowbray, whose team could have been relegated on Saturday had results gone against them.

"It all rests on next week's game against Liverpool. If we can get some sort of result and take it to the last day against Blackburn then anything can happen."

With none of the top four teams playing apart from Liverpool who were facing West Ham United in a later kickoff (1630 GMT), the focus was on the tight battle to avoid the drop.

West Brom stayed bottom but moved on to 31 points, the same as Newcastle United and Middlesbrough who meet on Monday.

Hull suffered a fifth straight loss, going down 2-1 to Stoke City, who are now safe. Hull have 34 points, two behind Sunderland who are also deep in trouble on 36 points after drawing 0-0 at Bolton Wanderers.

FORTUNE STRIKES

Fortune gave West Brom the lead after eight minutes before Hugo Rodallega equalised for Wigan with a 25-metre free kick which took a deflection off Chris Brunt.

Brunt made amends when he put West Brom back in front on the rebound after his penalty was saved by Wigan's substitute keeper Richard Kingson, who had replaced the injured Chris Kirkland.

Fortune sealed the win with his second after 73 minutes.

Hull City came up with West Brom last year and made a stunning start, winning six of their first nine matches. That form long since deserted them and they looked hapless against Stoke, who were also promoted last year.

Stoke, with only one previous away win this season, sealed victory with Ricardo Fuller's turn and shot and a superb long-range strike from Liam Lawrence. Andy Dawson scored a last-minute consolation for Hull.

Blackburn Rovers look secure on 40 points after their 2-0 win over Portsmouth, who are not yet safe on 38 points.

Fulham beat Aston Villa 3-1 to move up to seventh, while FA Cup finalists Everton drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur, who moved up to eighth and kept on Fulham's heels in the race for a place in next season's Europa League, the revamped UEFA Cup.

On Sunday League leaders Manchester United play Manchester City and fourth-placed Arsenal host third-placed Chelsea.

Mike Collett
Source:
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