Chelsea miss chance, Spurs slip-up

  • ESPN staff
  • April 9, 2012

Tottenham's push for a Champions League place next season is on the ropes after they suffered a shock defeat to Norwich. Newcastle took full advantage by beating Bolton, but Chelsea failed to move level on points with Spurs after they were held by local rivals Fulham.

• Brassell at St James' Park

Chelsea missed the chance to move into the Champions League places after a 1-1 draw against west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage. Following Tottenham's surprise defeat to Norwich earlier on Monday, Roberto Di Matteo's men had the chance to move up to fourth if they won by two goals or more at Craven Cottage.

Frank Lampard scored his 150th Premier League goal to put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Danny Murphy tangled with Salomon Kalou in the penalty area.

The goal came against the run of play, and Fulham were rewarded for their efforts eight minutes from time, Clint Dempsey rising high to nod a corner past a helpless Petr Cech after the keeper had made a point-blank save to keep out Aaron Hughes' header.

With Chelsea on the back foot, Fulham had the chance to snatch all three points, but John Arne Riise's first touch failed him after he was released by Dempsey, and Orlando Sa's header from the ensuing corner was kept out by Cech.

A much-changed Tottenham team - no Rafael van der Vaart, Scott Parker or Emmanuel Adebayor - were punished for a nervy start when Norwich's Anthony Pilkington fired the visitors in front. Pouncing on an error from Ledley King, the winger buried the ball from six yards.

But Norwich have found clean sheets elusive all season, and sure enough they were breached again on the half hour, England's Jermain Defoe boosting his Euro 2012 hopes with a neat finish. The goal was a controversial one, with Grant Holt feeling he should have been given a penalty shortly before Spurs broke upfield and netted.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert was furious - until his mood was lifted when a screamer from Elliott Bennett won the game for the Canaries 2-1, and dealt Tottenham a huge confidence blow ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea next weekend.

A magnificent solo effort from Hatem Ben Arfa illuminated Newcastle's 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at St James' Park.

Picking the ball up inside his own half, Ben Arfa waltzed past several players with a dazzling run before sliding past Alan Bogdan. Papiss Cisse netted once again - a tap-in - to take the game away from Bolton, who remain one point above the relegation places.

Everton warmed up for their FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool next weekend by thumping Sunderland 4-0 at Goodison Park.

The Toffees shaded a subdued opening period, and got their reward early in the second through Magaye Gueye who, scoring his first goal for Everton, hammered in after Leon Osman's shot was parried into his path by Simon Mignolet.

Steven Pienaar grabbed the second, finishing calmly from the edge of the area, before Osman and Victor Anichebe rounded off the scoring, meaning Liverpool cannot go ahead of David Moyes' men in the league table this weekend.

Stoke defender Robert Huth scored for the second time in 48 hours to earn his side a point in a dull 1-1 clash at Aston Villa.

Huth had netted his side's first goal when they came from behind to defeat Wolves and made another telling contribution against Alex McLeish's side.

The former Chelsea player's 71st minute header cancelled out a stunning strike from Villa striker Andreas Weimann which had broken the deadlock.


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