• Premier League

Magpies frustrate Chelsea as Spurs snatch late win

ESPN staff
November 28, 2010
Andy Carroll opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season © PA Photos


Chelsea failed to return to the top of the Premier League title after being held to a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

Despite heavy snowfall overnight, referee Andre Marriner allowed the game to go ahead. Chelsea were looking to avoid their third straight league defeat, but the champions soon found themselves on the back foot.

Just moments after striker Shola Ameobi had found the sidenetting, Andy Carroll scored his ninth goal of the season after a defensive error from Chelsea. Jon Obi Mikel gave away possession in midfield, and a mix-up between Alex and Petr Cech saw the defender knock the ball past his 'keeper, and Carroll was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net.

Chelsea desperately searched for an equaliser, and they were rewarded when Salomon Kalou levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time. Florent Malouda flicked the ball on to Kalou, who turned onto his right foot to fire a deflected shot past Tim Krul.

The Blues had the majority of the possession, and continued to pile pressure on Krul's goal in the second half, but they were unable to find a way through. Didier Drogba had the ball in the net, but was deemed to have handled the ball before lashing it in.

Newcastle had their chances to snatch all three points; Ashley Cole denied Wayne Routledge with a superb header off the line.

In the day's late kick-off, Spurs boosted their title ambitions thanks to a last-minute winner from Aaron Lennon that handed them a 2-1 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Earlier, Martin Skrtel had scored at both ends as Tottenham succeeded in their bid to win three successive league games for the first time this season.

Martin Skrtel scored at both ends © PA Photos

Redknapp's decision to start with injury doubt Rafael van der Vaart backfired after ten minutes when the Dutch midfielder was forced off with a recurrence of a hamstring problem. Spurs appeared to be rocked by the loss of their talisman, allowing an ambitious Liverpool side to gain a foothold in the game.

They twice went close through Maxi Rodriguez, who was enjoying success when he drifted off the left flank and ran at the heart of Tottenham's rearguard. The Argentinian saw his first attempt drift harmlessly wide of the post, but the second required a full-stretch save from Gomes.

Liverpool were nearly made to rue their inability to profit from a spell in the ascendancy when Pepe Reina palmed an innocuous centre straight into the path of Jermain Defoe five yards out - but Jamie Carragher produced a heroic block that kept the scores level.

Spurs' injury woe intensified ten minutes before the break when Younes Kaboul was unable to continue after being struck by a shot from the largely ineffectual Fernando Torres. The Reds, whose attacks looked much more cohesive than they did in early part of the season, took advantage of their hosts' defensive disarray as Skrtel stabbed them ahead on 43 minutes after Tottenham failed to deal with a set piece.

It should have been two on the stroke of the interval when Maxi, who had tormented Spurs with some incisive thrusts, went clean through on Gomes - but his finish was ponderous, and allowed the 'keeper to snuff out the danger.

Unsurprisingly, a re-energised Spurs lay siege to the Liverpool goal at the start of the second period. Raul Meireles was forced to clear a Gareth Bale shot off the line after another piece of unconvincing goalkeeping from Reina, before the Londoners were handed the chance to equalise from the penalty spot after David Ngog inexplicably handballed in the area.

Defoe pulled the penalty wide of the post, but six minutes later his blushes were spared as Skrtel put through his own net following a devastating burst and cross from Modric. The goal meant that, for the first time, all 20 Premier League teams scored in the same weekend.

The match appeared to be heading towards a draw before Lennon outpaced Paul Konchesky and passed the ball into the corner.

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