English Premier League Roundup, Dec. 16
Frank Lampard scored a late penalty Wednesday to give Chelsea a 2-1
win over last-place Portsmouth that restored its three-point lead
at the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea looked to be heading for a fifth game without a win
until defender Mark Wilson was penalized for a foul on Branislav
Ivanovic and Lampard hit the resulting penalty past goalkeeper
Chelsea has 40 points to defending champion Manchester
United’s 37, and eight more than third-place Arsenal, which drew
1-1 at Burnley.
Niko Kranjcar scored twice to help fifth-place Tottenham beat
Manchester City 3-0 and hand its rival just a second league defeat,
while Liverpool rose to sixth with a 2-1 win over Wigan.
Chelsea lost its perfect home record at the weekend when it
drew 3-3 with Everton and its fans were agitated again after
on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne equalized for Portsmouth
following a free kick that rebounded off the defensive wall.
But Lampard stepped up to score his sixth penalty of the
season and prevent a repeat of the jeers that followed the team off
the Stamford Bridge pitch at the weekend.
“It was very hard,” Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
“After their goal, we had some difficulties and we lost our
composure. We didn’t have confidence to win the game because we did
not win the last four games.
“It was very important to return to wins. We did a good job;
not a beautiful job.”
Chelsea had led through a 23rd-minute goal by Nicolas Anelka
but Piquionne volleyed his fifth goal of the season when Chelsea
failed to clear early in the second half.
Arsenal looked on course for a third straight Premier League
win when Cesc Fabregas scored in the seventh minute at Burnley, but
Graham Alexander equalized with a 28th-minute penalty awarded for
Thomas Vermaelen’s foul on Andre Bikey.
Fabregas limped out of the match just before halftime.
Tottenham rallied from its shock loss to Wolverhampton
Wanderers at the weekend to become just the second team after
Manchester United to beat City this season.
Kranjcar and winger Aaron Lennon starred for Tottenham at
White Hart Lane, but England striker Peter Crouch was instrumental
in Spurs’ first two goals.
His header was blocked and rebounded for Kranjcar to score
the 37th-minute opener and he flicked on a long punt by goalkeeper
Heurelho Gomes in the 54th for Jermain Defoe to tap in from close
range for his 17th goal of the season.
Kranjcar then beat two defenders and slipped the ball under
goalkeeper Shay Given to complete the scoring in injury time.
Spurs rose to 30 points, two fewer than Arsenal and
fourth-place Aston Villa.
Liverpool is three points behind Tottenham after David Ngog
and Fernando Torres scored against Wigan.