posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 03:34 PM
Chelsea are on the brink of the Barclays Premiership title after a 3-1 win against Fulham at Stamford Bridge. The victory means Jose Mourinho's side
will be crowned champions if second-placed Arsenal do not win against Tottenham on Monday.
Joe Cole opened the scoring for the Blues with a fantastic shot from the edge of the area, although Collins John levelled for the Cottagers before
half-time. Winger Arjen Robben was introduced after the interval and he set up Frank Lampard to restore the lead and Eidur Gudjohnsen wrapped up the
win with a neat finish after racing onto Tiago's pass.
At the other end of the table Crystal Palace climbed out of the bottom three after a crucial 1-0 victory against Champions League hopefuls Liverpool
at Selhurst Park. Palace striker Andrew Johnson scored the only goal of the game after 34 minutes, deftly heading in from Wayne Routledge's wayward
shot. Rafael Benitez's side pushed forward in the second half - bringing on striker Djibril Cisse in the process - but could not find a way past
Eagles keeper Gabor Kiraly.
Norwich hauled themselves off the bottom of the table after a dramatic late winner from Mathias Svensson against Charlton. Dean Ashton came close for
the hosts before the break and Addicks keeper Dean Kiely also had to save from Svensson shortly after the striker was brought off the bench. With two
minutes remaining Svensson volleyed in after the visitors failed to clear a corner. Danny Murphy had hit the post for the Addicks from a free-kick.
West Brom slipped back into the drop zone after a first-half blitz from Middlesbrough striker Szilard Nemeth. The Baggies wasted a raft of chances to
open the scoring and boost their hopes of survival, and Boro took advantage after 27 minutes when Nemeth finished well. The Slovakia striker's cross
six minutes later was fumbled in by Russell Hoult, and Nemeth then made it three after Hoult had saved from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Stewart Downing
made it 4-0 to Boro after scoring a late free-kick from 25 yards.
Duncan Ferguson snatched a point for Everton with a late equaliser against Birmingham at Goodison Park. David Moyes' side suffered a setback in the
fifth minute when Emile Heskey turned and fired in from 25 yards. But with just five minutes remaining Ferguson, who scored a midweek winner against
Manchester United, finished from close range to make it 1-1 after Maik Taylor had saved from Tim Cahill.
Everton remain fourth because as well as Liverpool losing, Bolton also failed to win. The Trotters' drew 1-1 against Aston Villa at Villa Park. The
hosts took the lead after 26 minutes when Bolton veteran Fernando Hierro headed past his own goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen after poor communication
between the pair from a corner. Gary Speed, however, rescued a point for Sam Allardyce's men when he headed home superbly from El-Hadji Diouf's cross
from the right after 54 minutes. Everton now require just six points from their last four games to clinch fourth place.
Blackburn and Manchester City had little to play for at Ewood Park - and neither side could muster a goal in a disappointing clash. Rovers full-back
Lucas Neill stretched to reach a half-volley early on which skimmed a couple of yards wide of the post. Jon Stead toiled up front for Mark Hughes'
side but he found City keeper David James in fine form.