Blues send Black Cats down

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SUNDERLAND became the first side to be relegated from The Premiership after going down 2-0 to Birmingham at St Andrews, while elsewhere West Brom moved a step closer to the drop with a 2-1 defeat to Everton and West Ham remain in trouble after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa.

Bryan Hughes' first goal of the season two minutes before the break and Christophe Dugarry's first goal for Blues was enough to condemn Mick McCarthy's side to the Nationwide and leave Birmingham six points clear of the drop zone.

Sunderland's misery was compounded when Marcus Stewart was sent-off for violent conduct seven minutes from time for a foul on Stern John.

Everton pushed West Brom closer to relegation and kept up their hunt for a Champions League place as they came from behind to beat Gary Megson's men 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies ended their goal drought to go in front on 18 minutes with Igor Balis converting from the penalty spot after Alan Stubbs was penalised for handball.

The lead was short-lived as David Weir responded for The Toffees five minutes later bundling home from Mark Pembridge's corner and Kevin Campbell gave Everton the lead on the stroke of half time with a close-range finish.

West Ham are now three points adrift of safety after a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Trevor Sinclair got The Hammers off to the perfect start with the opening goal after 15 minutes to ease their nerves, but Darius Vassell drew the visitors level from the penalty spot after Tomas Repka fouled Marcus Allback in the area.

Villa then stunned the home side going in front on 53 minutes with substitute Oyvind Leonhardsen finishing Gareth Barry's cross.

Freddie Kanoute put rumours about his future behind him by hitting the equaliser on 65 minutes with a superb left-footed volley.

Chelsea maintained their push for a place in the Champions League and closed to within a point of third-placed Newcastle with a hard-fought win over Bolton at Stamford Bridge.

Carlton Cole netted the all-important winning goal for the hosts after 58 minutes with a fine solo effort.

Liverpool got their Champions League bid back on track with a 2-0 win over struggling Fulham at Anfield.

Emile Heskey made the breakthrough for The Reds on 36 minutes with a nice turn and finish and Michael Owen doubled the lead on 59 minutes with a cool finish under Maik Taylor.

The result leaves Liverpool five points behind Chelsea while Fulham drop to fifth from bottom as their slide continues.

Mark Viduka's late penalty earned Leeds a 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Elland Road to help them climb to 13th spot.

Viduka followed up his hat-trick at Charlton last week by breaking the deadlock against Tottenham on 31 minutes, but Tottenham turned the game on its head with two goals in two minutes from Teddy Sheringham (37) and old boy Robbie Keane.

Viduka secured a point for the home side converting from the penalty spot on 76 minutes after Kasey Keller hauled down Harry Kewell in the box.

Blackburn kept up their chase for a European berth with a 1-0 win over Charlton at Ewood Park.

Damien Duff kept up his rich vein of form in front of goal with his fourth goal in successive games with the only goal of the game after 34 minutes.

Manchester City ended their poor run of form with a goalless draw against Middlesbrough in a dour game at Maine Road.

Click on fixture for full match summary

Birmingham City v Sunderland
Blackburn Rovers v Charlton Athletic
Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers
Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Fulham
Manchester City v Middlesbrough
West Brom v Everton
West Ham United v Aston Villa

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