Barclays Premier League

Spurs down Chelsea

2010-04-17 20:52
Gareth Bale, left and Jermain Defoe (AP)

London - Tottenham Hotspur breathed fresh life into the English Premier League title race with a 2-1 win over leaders Chelsea on a dramatic day of top-flight action in England on Saturday.

Spurs's win in front of their White Hart Lane faithful cut Chelsea's lead over champions Manchester United to just a point with three games left to play.

And to make matters worse for Chelsea, they finished the match against their London rivals down to 10 men after captain John Terry was sent-off for two bookable offences

Tottenham's win meant Harry Redknapp's men, who last weekend lost an FA Cup semi-final to Portsmouth, climbed up into fourth place and two points clear of Manchester City in the race for the final Champions League spot on offer to English clubs.

Jermain Defoe put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot in the 15th minute after England defender Terry handled in the box and Gareth Bale, on target in the 2-1 midweek north London derby win over Arsenal, doubled Spurs' lead a minute before half-time when he beat Petr Cech at the goalkeeper's near post.

Terry, already booked for a foul on Roman Pavlyuchenko, was sent off for a second yellow card offence by referee Phil Dowd after he went to ground and brought down Wales international Bale in the 67th minute.

Spurs, who wasted numerous chances to kill the game off, saw Chelsea pull a goal back in stoppage time through England midfielder Frank Lampard.

Earlier, veteran midfielder Paul Scholes kept United's title ambitions alive with a stoppage-time goal in a 1-0 derby win away to Manchester City.

There were barely 20 seconds left in the three minutes of added-on time at the end of the match when Scholes headed in Patrice Evra's cross at Eastlands.

"Towards the end, City made a bit of a charge, it got a bit open, the game, and I decided to push Scholesy forward a bit and it paid off," explained United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

City's Italian boss Roberto Mancini, while disappointed by defeat, insisted his side's bid for Champions League was still on course.

"The crucial match will be against Tottenham here (on May 5)," he said.

Elsewhere, Sunderland edged Burnley nearer relegation with a 2-1 home win while second-bottom Hull remained in the drop zone after a goalless draw away to Birmingham.

Australia international Tim Cahill's 10th goal of the season boosted Everton's European hopes as he scored the winner in a 3-2 victory away to Blackburn Rovers.

Bolton all but assured themselves of Premier League football next season after two goals in the final five minutes from Matt Taylor saw them come from behind to beat Stoke 2-1.

Wolves inched nearer safety with a goalless draw away to Europa League finalists Fulham.

Darren Bent and Alan Hutton set up Frazier Campbell's 25th minute opener for Sunderland. Campbell returned the favour when, five minutes before half-time, his header was volleyed in by England striker Bent.

Steven Thompson gave Burnley hope with an 82nd minute goal.

Everton took the lead at Ewood Park through Mikel Arteta's fourth minute penalty after the Spaniard was brought down by New Zealand's Ryan Nelsen.

But Rovers levelled after Steven Nzonzi let fly with a swerving 30-yard shot in the 69th minute.

Substitutes then scored for both sides, Everton forward Yakubu heading the visitors 2-1 up less than 30 seconds after coming on before Rovers striker Jason Roberts equalised nine minutes from time.

Yakubu then turned provider for Cahill's 90th minute winner.

At the Britannia Stadium, striker Dave Kitson fired hosts Stoke into a 13th minute lead.

Bolton equalised through Taylor's free-kick five minutes from time before, in the 88th minute, he turned in Vladimir Weiss's cross.

Strugglers Wigan are at home to Arsenal on Sunday.

Meanwhile, already-relegated Portsmouth face Aston Villa at Fratton Park.

Liverpool, put up for sale by US co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett on Friday, face relegation-threatened West Ham at Anfield on Monday.



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