English Premiership

Chelsea fight back to win

2011-04-30 20:39
Salomon Kalou (AP)

London - Chelsea kept their Premier League title dream alive on Saturday after scrambling a controversial late 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Second-half substitute Salomon Kalou's 89th-minute strike secured a priceless win for the reigning champions, who closed the gap on leaders Manchester United to three points.

But Chelsea's win owed everything to a bitterly contested equaliser by Frank Lampard on the stroke of half-time after Sandro had fired Spurs ahead with a 25-yard rocket on 19 minutes.

The flashpoint - which is certain to renew debate about the use of goal-line technology - occurred when Lampard let fly with a long-range effort that Heurelho Gomes appeared to have covered.

But the erratic Spurs keeper could only watch in horror as he fumbled Lampard's shot and the ball rolled through his legs towards goal.

Gomes scrambled back desperately to hook the ball back to safety but referee Andre Marriner checked with his assistant and the goal was given despite furious protests from Tottenham's players.

Television replays lent weight to Spurs' sense of injustice, indicating the ball had not completely crossed the line before being recovered by Gomes and so should not have stood.

There was a second dose of controversy surrounding Kalou's winner, when replays suggested the Ivorian was marginally off-side in the build-up.

Chelsea's victory sets up a potential title decider next weekend when Carlo Ancelotti's men travel to Old Trafford to face United.

Chelsea skipper John Terry vowed to chase United, who tackle Arsenal on Sunday, all the way to finish line.

"We said a few weeks ago when we were nine points behind we never give up. You can see the character and we fight till the end," he told Sky Sports.

"We never give up. (Man United) have known all along how good a squad we have and we have the hunger to win the title again. We will fight all the way to win the title for our supporters."

But the defeat leaves Spurs' hopes of overhauling Manchester City for fourth place - and entry to next season's Champions League - hanging by a thread.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp bemoaned the two decisions for Chelsea's goals that went against his team.

"Two wrong decisions have cost us dearly today," Redknapp said. "The first one wasn't over the line and the second one was offside."

Redknapp said the blunder over Lampard's goal highlighted the need for authorities to introduce goal-line technology.

"Technology's got to come in. It takes five seconds to get a fair decision. It's got to happen. I don't see why we're messing around with it," he said.

Ancelotti admitted Chelsea had benefited from the two decisions.

"To be honest we were lucky because some of the decisions were good for us. But this is football," he said.

Fifth-placed Spurs now trail City by four points. Roberto Mancini's side can stretch the gap to seven points if they beat bottom club West Ham on Sunday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Blackburn scored their first victory in three months with a 1-0 win over Bolton that eased the club's relegation fears.

Rovers' Swedish international defender Martin Olsson scored the decisive goal at Ewood Park after 20 minutes, lashing in a low shot from 20 yards to beat the outstretched hand of Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

In other games, Wigan were denied a priceless victory against Everton, who came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium.

Charles N'Zogbia fired Wigan ahead on 21 minutes, curling his shot into the top corner from the from the right of the penalty area.

Everton squandered a chance to equalise towards the end of the half however, when Mikel Arteta missed a penalty but made amends in the second half when Leighton Baines levelled from the spot on 78 minutes.

Blackpool's hopes of Premier League survival remain on a knife-edge after a gritty 0-0 draw with Stoke at Bloomfield Road.

The hard-earned point left Ian Holloway's men hovering just above the relegation zone, ahead of 18th placed Wigan on goal difference.

Fulham maintained their recent run of good form at Sunderland, downing the Black Cats 3-0.

The Cottagers went ahead through loan signing Gael Kakuta before Welsh international Simon Davies scored twice in the second half.

Ten-man West Brom came from behind to take the honours in their Midlands derby against Aston Villa, winning 2-1 at the Hawthorns, goals from Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu giving the Baggies the win after Villa had taken the lead through an Abdoulaye Meite own goal.

Read more on:    fifa  |  epl  |  salomon kalou  |  sepp blatter  |  frank lampard  |  chelsea
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