Mon, May 01, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Blues do it again

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Despite winning his second consecutive English Premier League championship, Blues manager Jose Mourinho is still not well respected

AP , LONDON

Chelsea's Hernan Crespo kisses the English Premier League trophy after they defeated Manchester United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in London, Saturday. It was the second consecutive league championship for the Blues.

PHOTO: AP

Chelsea won its second straight Premier League title Saturday while Birmingham City and West Brom were relegated.

With two game remaining, Chelsea clinched the title with a 3-0 home victory over second-place Manchester United with goals from William Gallas, Joe Cole and Ricardo Carvalho.

Birmingham City drew 0-0 with Newcastle, and West Brom didn't play. They were relegated to the League Championship, the level below the Premier League, because Portsmouth -- the team ahead of them -- defeated Wigan 2-1.

Sunderland was relegated several weeks ago.

Elsewhere, it was: Liverpool 3, Aston Villa 1; Manchester City 1, Fulham 2; Middlesbrough 0, Everton 1; Charlton 0, Blackburn 2

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley, one of four coaches supposedly in contention to take over England's national team, announced his resignation before the 2-0 loss to Blackburn. Charlton has one more game to play -- against Man United -- before Curbishley steps away.

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari took his name out of the running on Friday.

Curbishley, who took joint-charge in 1991 with Steve Gritt before becoming sole manager in 1995, is the second longest serving manager in the Premier League after Manchester United's Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who won back-to-back league titles with Porto in Portugal before moving to Chelsea, said he almost quit this season.

In breaking the domination of Man United and Arsenal, the Blues have parleyed the riches of billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich into trophies. However, they won one fewer trophy this year than last -- and made few friends doing it.

"During the season I have thought a couple of times to close the door and say goodbye," Mourinho said. "Not at that moment but to do it at the end of the season."

Mourinho has developed a reputation as a good tactician and motivator, but many have soured on his defensive style of play and his inability to lose gracefully.

"I won nine consecutive matches at the start of the season and, after that, I won a lot more matches," he said.

He said Chelsea had been "treated in a very negative way" during the season.

"I was never, never, never manager of the month. Not one single time. I'm here for two years. In two years I am champion and I'm manager of the month twice in two years."

Awarded a winner's medal after the match, Mourinho threw it into the crowd, saying he'd won one last season. When he was given a replacement, he also threw that to the crowd, explaining the fans had played a major part in Chelsea's 44-game unbeaten run at home.

With two games to play, Chelsea has 91 points with Man United and Liverpool both on 79. Liverpool has only one match to play. Tottenham is in fourth with 62 points and Arsenal has 58 as they contend for the final Champions League berth.

Arsenal has three games remaining, while Tottenham plays the first of its last two against Bolton on Sunday.

Today, it's: Sunderland vs. Arsenal, Manchester United vs. Middlesbrough, West Brom vs. West Ham. Blackburn hosts Chelsea on Tuesday, while Bolton hosts Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

Portsmouth guaranteed its spot in next season's Premier League with the 2-1 win over Wigan. Matthew Taylor converted a penalty in the 71st to break a 1-1 tie. Henri Camara had scored in the 34th and Benjani Mwaruwari equalized in the 63rd.

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