Fulham continued to recreate their own version of The Great Escape, Reading's Premier League future remains in jeopardy while Manchester United and Chelsea remain locked together at the top of the table.Roy Hodgson's Fulham climbed out of the drop zone as they inflicted defeat on relegation-threatened Birmingham City on Saturday at Craven Cottage.Brian McBride and Eric Nevland were on target for the home side as they secured back-to-back wins for the first time this campaign and leave Alex McLeish's Birmingham staring demotion in the face.
Reading continued to suffer the distress of second-season syndrome as Steve Coppell's men slipped into the relegation places with a 1-0 loss against Tottenham Hotspur.Robbie Keane struck the only goal of the game on 16 minutes, with The Royals' only consolation being that they face already-doomed Derby County in their final encounter of the season - a win, though, still might not be enough to avoid the dreaded drop.
At the right end of the table, 10-man Manchester United smashed a poor West Ham United side 4-1 to leave the Red Devils needing victory over Wigan Athletic on the last day to seal their 10th Premier League trophy.The unremitting Cristiano Ronaldo took his season's tally to a staggering 40 as he fired a first-half brace, before Carlos Tevez hit a stunner against his former club, only for Dean Ashton to hand The Hammers a lifeline with a marvellous overhead kick.Nani was then dismissed for a daft head-butt on Lucas Neil, sparking pleas from the visiting fans for a memorable comeback. It never materialised, though, and Michael Carrick sealed the success after further slack defending from Alan Curbishley's men.
United's title tilt will go down to the wire after Chelsea kept pace at the top with a 2-0 victory away at Newcastle.The Blues were not at their best on Tyneside but did enough to ensure that they remain in the hunt for a third top flight crown in four years.Michael Ballack headed the visitors in front after an hour at St James' Park, before Florent Malouda sealed the points with a well taken low drive eight minutes from time.
Bolton are on the brink of survival after their 2-0 triumph over already-safe Sunderland at the Reebok Stadium.El-Hadji Diouf, who looks set to leave the club in the summer, opened the scoring just before the break with Daryl Murphy putting into his own net to secure the three points for Gary Megson's team - who boast a superior goal difference over their relegation rivals.
Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough sealed their top-flight status as they claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over FA Cup finalists Portsmouth at The Riverside.Southgate's decision to recall Chris Riggott from his loan spell at Stoke paid dividends as the defender opened the scoring before Tuncay wrapped up the triumph.
Wigan secured their Premier League safety and appeared to scupper Aston Villa's hopes of a fifth placed berth as Steve Bruce's side triumphed 2-0.Antonio Valencia was the hero for The Latics, firing a brace to ensure Bruce can now focus on rebuilding his side for another term in the top flight.Villa's loss at the JJB Stadium presented Everton with a golden opportunity to wrap up the sought-after fifth position, which would guarantee them a spot in next season's Uefa Cup.
David Moyes' side looked set for their point as they defended admirably against Arsenal on Sunday; however, on 77 minutes, Nicklas Bendtner rose to head past Tim Howard, meaning The Toffees must now avoid defeat in their final game of the campaign against Newcastle.
Paul Jewell's Derby County officially became the worst team in Premier League history after their 28th defeat of the season at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.Kenny Miller's 19th minute opener only awoke Rovers from their slumber as a Roque Santa Cruz brace and a goal from Jason Roberts completed the turnaround for Mark Hughes' men.
In the weekend's final game, Sven Goran Eriksson's reportedly slim chances of holding onto his job at Manchester City were not helped as his men slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool.Fernando Torres took his to his impressive debut-season tally to 23 league goals, netting on 58 minutes in what was a largely uneventful fixture.