Pienaar suffers in 'dirty' game

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In a dramatic action-packed last day of the English Premiership season in which Manchester United were crowned League Champions for the 17th time, Everton’s victory in front of nearly 40 000 fans confirmed their 5th place finish - 22 points behind United.

In a ‘dirty’ game that saw two Newcastle United’s players booked for fouls against the Bafana Bafana midfielder, Everton opened the score in the 28th minute following a direct free-kick after the first foul on Pienaar by Damien Duff.

Shortly after Newcastle had equalised in the 46th minute, Duff again went for Pienaar and minutes later Charles N’Zogbia also fouled the South African, who retaliated against Duff in the 64th minute.

This led to an Alan Smith booking, but Everton put the issue beyond doubt with a further two goals, including a penalty.

Everton manager David Moyes told the BBC: “We deserved to finish fifth, we have been in the top five since the New Year and we finished on a good note.”

While there was joy for Pienaar, Benni McCarthy’s Blackburn Rovers suffered a humiliating 4-1 loss to relegated Birmingham City in another hot-tempered match in which five cards were issued.

The Bafana striker came on in the 81st minute with the score at 2-1 and after he missed an opportunity to level, Birmingham netted twice in the space of just a minute, to leave Blackburn in seventh place – seven points below Everton.

Aaron Mokoena was not in the squad.