LONDON (AP) — West Bromwich Albion was relegated after one season back in the Premier League after losing 3-1 at Arsenal on Sunday, ending Sam Allardyce’s proud record of never having taken a side down from England’s top division in 30 years as a manager.
A 19th defeat of the campaign left next-to-last West Brom 10 points from safety with just three games remaining and joining last-place Sheffield United in returning to the second-tier Championship.
Fulham, which is in third-to-last place, will join them if it loses at home to Burnley on Monday.
Allardyce was hired by West Brom in December as a replacement for the fired Slaven Bilic. The club — then placed 19th in the 20-team division — was attracted by the former England manager owing to his reputation as a so-called survival specialist. It was his eighth spell at a Premier League team and his previous seven weren’t relegated under him.
West Brom didn’t manage to improve its position under Allardyce and has the worst defensive record in the league, with the Arsenal goals scored by Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Willian taking that tally conceded to 68.
Smith Rowe volleyed in from Bukayo Saka’s left-wing cross in the 29th minute, before Pepe doubled the lead six minutes later by curling home a shot into the top corner from the right of the penalty area.
Matheus Pereira has been a rare bright spark in an otherwise dismal season for West Brom and the Brazilian playmaker showcased his ability to any potential suitors by scoring his 10th goal of the season — and it was perhaps his best.
He ran at the heart of Arsenal’s defense from near the halfway line, getting to just outside the area before shooting low into the corner.
Willian ensured West Brom would not be grabbing a draw to stay alive for a few more days by curling home a free kick in the 90th minute.
Arsenal’s win came three days after a heartbreaking exit from the Europa League at the semifinal stage and lifted Mikel Arteta’s team to ninth place. Arsenal is six points behind fifth-place West Ham and is unlikely to qualify for a European competition next season, ending a 25-year run of doing so.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports