posted on Jan, 4 2005 @ 04:21 PM
A Didier Drogba double helped Chelsea extend their lead at the top of the Barclays Premiership to seven points as second-placed Arsenal were held at
home by Manchester City.
The Gunners drew 1-1 at Highbury, with England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips opening the scoring for the visitors in the 31st minute. Patrick Vieira
gave away possession in his own half and after taking a touch to steady himself, Wright-Phillips drilled a right-foot shot beyond Manuel Almunia.
Defeat was unthinkable for the Gunners and they equalised with 15 minutes to go as an inspired Thierry Henry overhead kick was headed home by Freddie
While the north Londoners stumbled, Chelsea strolled to a 2-0 win at home to Middlesbrough. Frank Lampard played a one-two with Arjen Robben before
slotting the ball through to Drogba, who held off Boro captain Gareth Southgate to slot home in the 15th minute. Lampard then laid on Drogba's second
of the game and ninth of the season two minutes later, his free-kick into the centre headed home by the Ivorian striker. Chelsea had plenty of further
chances to add to their tally, with Damien Duff hitting the crossbar early in the second half.
Manchester United are now 11 points behind Jose Mourinho's side in third, but it should have been 12 after an incredible let-off against Tottenham.
United had dominated the match but a hopeful lob by Pedro Mendes in the last minute was fumbled well over the goalline by Roy Carroll, but amazingly
no goal was given by referee Mark Clattenburg and the match ended 0-0. The closest United had come was when Noe Pamarot's attempted clearance struck
the inside of his own post, with Ledley King just getting to the loose ball first.
Fourth-placed Everton bounced back from two straight defeats on the road with a last-gasp 2-1 victory against Portsmouth at Goodison Park. Blues
captain Alan Stubbs, back in the side after injury, headed a corner past Shaka Hislop in the 29th minute. But Pompey were level within seconds when a
long throw caused confusion in the home defence and Aiyegbeni Yakubu drove an unstoppable shot past Richard Wright. Everton piled on the pressure and
grabbed the winner when Stubbs' hopeful ball into the box fell to Leon Osman, and he drove a shot high past Hislop.
Bolton, who had not won any of their last 10 Premiership matches, snatched a 2-1 victory at Birmingham thanks to a last-minute Kevin Nolan goal.
Wanderers forged ahead after 16 minutes when El-Hadji Diouf was first to react when Maik Taylor parried an acrobatic volley by Jay-Jay Okocha.
Birmingham, who dropped Robbie Savage after he requested a transfer, managed to draw level after 65 minutes. Emile Heskey nodded a corner towards
Clinton Morrison, whose overhead kick struck the angle of post and crossbar and centre-back Matthew Upson was on hand to score. However, Bolton
claimed maximum points and moved above the Blues into 11th when Taylor fumbled Okocha's shot and Nolan pounced.