(CNN) -- West Bromwich Albion have become the first team to be relegated from the English Premier League this season after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Liverpool on Sunday.
West Bromwich Albion will be playing Championship football again after their Premier League relegation.
Liverpool's ninth win in 10 matches guarantees Rafael Benitez's side will finish second to champions Manchester United with the best points total in the club's history, while also condemning Albion to their third relegation from the top flight in just seven years.
Albion's defensive problems have been evident all season and in the 28th minute they fell behind when Dutch defender Shelton Martis hesitated in possession, allowing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to nick the ball off him before clipping it over home goalkeeper Dean Kiely.
After 63 minutes, Liverpool struck again. Gerrard fed Dirk Kuyt and the Dutchman surged at retreating defenders before drilling the ball past Kiely from the edge of the box.
Albion piled forward in vain and Marc-Antoine Fortune missed two clear chances to get them back into the game, including heading over the crossbar when unmarked just six yards out.
Fortune then had an effort disallowed for offside while Ryan Babel and Lucas Leiva both missed chances at the other end in an entertaining enounter at The Hawthorns.
The result leaves Albion on 31 points, meaning they cannot escape from the bottom three, although they might still avoid finishing bottom of the table.
The other two relegation places are between four clubs, with Middlesbrough and Newcastle currently favorites to go down, although Hull and Sunderland are still in danger of the drop.
Meanwhile, in the day's other match, interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink finished his last game in charge at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 home win over Blackburn.
Chelsea, who will finish third in the table, have lost just one match under the Dutchman and the fans want him to stay in charge of the club.
However, Hiddink has always maintained his commitment to return to his position as coach of the Russian national side.
Chelsea took a fourth minute lead when Florent Malouda headed home Nicolas Anelka's cross and Anelka himself added the second after the interval when firing home from the edge of the area for his 18th league goal of the season.