Owen bids football farewell
Michael Owen called time on his career but there was to be no fairy-tale ending, as Stoke were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
After an illustrious career that has taken him to Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United, the former England striker announced in March that this was to be his last season. The fact Owen has not started a league match for Stoke since joining them last summer only highlights that and he began the final game of his career on the bench.
Stoke started the second half with a bang as Peter Crouch headed them ahead within two minutes. Rickie Lambert netted the 15th goal of his debut Barclays Premier League season to level and, with 16 minutes remaining, Owen came on to a standing ovation from all four corners of the ground.
Captain Kevin Nolan scored a hat-trick as West Ham signed off the Barclays Premier League campaign with an entertaining 4-2 win over relegated Reading at Upton Park.
The Irons were in complete control after a mistake from new England call-up Alex McCarthy gifted Nolan the opener on 23 minutes, with Ricardo Vaz Te sweeping home a second following more good work from Andy Carroll, completing the final game of his season-long loan from Liverpool.
However, the Royals, who were relegated a couple of weeks ago, responded with two quick goals at the start of the second half through Garath McCleary and substitute Adam Le Fondre. The Irons, though, made sure of a creditable top-10 finish when Nolan netted again and then completed his hat-trick with a header three minutes from time.
Wigan's eight seasons in the Barclays Premier League came to an end with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.
Darren Bent took advantage of a rare start to put the visitors ahead less then five minutes in but Emmerson Boyce levelled in the 21st minute before an own goal from Nathan Baker just before half-time put the FA Cup winners ahead.
Wigan pushed for a third at the start of the second half but they were pegged back in the 61st minute by Ron Vlaar's brilliant volley, and that was the way it stayed.
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