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Offline Prince james C. Inyogu

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An 88th-minute goal from Salomon
Kalou earned Chelsea a controversial
2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at
Stamford Bridge, with both the
hosts' goals awarded in contentious
circumstances. The victory moves
Chelsea three points behind
Manchester United, who have played
a game less, and deals a significant
blow to Spurs' hopes of playing
Champions League football next
- Premier League gallery
Chelsea, who began with Didier
Drogba and Fernando Torres
upfront, made the sharper start to
the match - but it was Spurs who
took the lead, as Sandro hammered
in an unstoppable strike from 30
yards on 19 minutes.
Although there had been the odd
attack from Chelsea, the visitors
looked set to take a lead into the
interval until Heurelho Gomes
committed the latest in a long line of
howlers. With seconds to go before
half-time, he let Frank Lampard's
long-range strike slip through his
grasp and, in the eyes of the
linesman, over the goalline - but
replays suggested the whole of the
ball had not crossed.
Despite dominating possession
throughout the second period,
Chelsea appeared on course to
endure a frustrating afternoon until
Kalou, who replays suggested was
offside, diverted Drogba's mishit shot
into the net. It was a bitter late blow
to Spurs, who are now three points
behind fourth-place Manchester City,
having played a game more than
Roberto Mancini's men.
Blackburn Rovers opened up a three-
point gap to the relegation places
with a crucial 1-0 win over Bolton
Wanderers at Ewood Park, while
Blackpool and Wigan Athletic could
only manage home draws.
Martin Olsson was the inspiration for
Rovers' rapid start and, shortly after
having a shot cleared off the line, he
gave the hosts a deserved lead on 20
minutes, unleashing a howitzer from
just outside the area that thundered
past Alan Bogdan.
Blackburn never looked entirely
convincing after that point,
particularly when enduring a nervy
second period, but held on for only
their fourth league win in 18 matches
since sacking Sam Allardyce.
Meanwhile, Blackpool are above the
drop zone on goal difference after a
0-0 draw with Stoke City. The
stalemate marks the first occasion
any side has kept a clean sheet at
Bloomfield Road this season.
Following a tense opening period,
Kenwyne Jones spurned a glorious
chance for Stoke on the brink of half-
time, slicing the ball well wide when
presented with an open goal. And
just after the interval it was
Blackpool's turn to blow a clear-cut
opportunity, as Matt Phillips' hit a
point-blank volley straight at the
But despite some late pressure,
Blackpool were unable to force a win,
leaving their Premier League position
under serious threat, with trips to
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester
United still to come.
Wigan Athletic remain in 18th
position after former Latics star
Leighton Baines earned Everton a 1-1
draw at the DW Stadium.
A terrific strike from Charles N'Zogbia
nudged Wigan ahead on 21 minutes,
with the Frenchman pouncing on a
half-cleared set-piece to curl in from
18 yards - but Everton responded
well to going behind and forced a
penalty, which Mikel Arteta saw
saved by Ali Al-Habsi ten minutes
before the break.
Wigan conceded the initiative in the
second period, dropping deep into
their own half, and Everton's
pressure yielded another penalty.
This time Leighton Baines made no
mistake, stepping up on 79 minutes
following Hugo Rodallega's
inexplicable handball.
Ten-man West Bromwich Albion
leapfrogged Aston Villa in the
Premier League table by defeating
their Midlands rivals 2-1 at the
The Baggies got off to a disastrous
start, falling behind after four minutes
following an own goal from
Abdoulaye Meite, who somehow
contrived to deflect Stewart
Downing's cross into the back of the
net. West Brom's 61st-minute
equaliser was similarly scrappy, with
Peter Odemwingie finally netting
following an almighty scramble in
the penalty area - but the hosts' joy
was short-lived, as Paul Scharner
was shown a second yellow soon
after for hauling down Stiliyan
Villa's unbeaten Premier League
record against West Brom was in
tatters six minutes from time when
Youssouf Mulumbu struck.
Fulham consolidated their place in the
top half of the table by hammering
Sunderland 3-0 at the Stadium of
Steve Bruce's side dominated the first
half hour but, without any fit senior
strikers, they looked impotent
upfront - and Fulham punished them
by taking the lead on 33 minutes, as
Gael Kakuta prodded the ball home
from six yards, having latched onto
Bobby Zamora's pass. The Cottagers'
opener shone the spotlight on Lee
Cattermole, who had earlier wasted a
golden chance to nudge Sunderland
in front.
Fulham moved closer to only their
second win in the last 36 away
league matches when Simon Davies
made it two on 61 minutes, easing
the ball into the net after meeting
Steve Sidwell's cutback. And Davies
put the game to bed eight minutes
later, tapping in from a couple of
yards after the Sunderland defence
made a mess of clearing Zamora's
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Offline Chris.

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