English Premier League Roundup, Dec. 20
Frank Lampard drove home a twice retaken penalty against his former
club as Chelsea came from behind to draw 1-1 at West Ham on Sunday
to move four points ahead at the top of the Premier League.
After Scott Parker blocked a header from Chelsea defender
Branislav Ivanovic on the line, West Ham went ahead in the final
minute of the first half. Ashley Cole brought down Jack Collison
and Alessandro Diamanti drove home the penalty.
Chelsea equalized in the 61st minute after Matthew Upson was
harshly judged to have brought down Daniel Sturridge even though
the West Ham defender appeared to make contact with the ball.
Lampard twice fired home the spot kick but each time had to
take it again because players from both teams had run into the
penalty area. He had to beat goalkeeper Green for a third time.
“I didn’t need that, especially after missing one a few weeks
ago,” said Lampard. “In the end I was pleased to see it at last in
the back of the net.”
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti put his team’s low-key
performance down to the rigors of playing twice a week.
“We only started playing after 45 minutes,” he said. “Maybe
we played without intensity, and slowly. We didn’t move the ball
quickly in midfield.
“It’s not the best time for us but every team has problems.
There are a lot of matches, every three days, and it’s not easy to
maintain the concentration and strength.”
Chelsea’s second draw of the season means that Carlo
Ancelotti’s team now has 41 points from 18 games. Second place
Manchester United has 37 after losing 3-0 at Fulham on Saturday.
West Ham would have slipped to last with a defeat but instead
moved a point ahead of Portsmouth into 19th place. Portsmouth beat
Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday.
Birmingham’s five-game winning streak ended with a 1-1 draw
at Everton where Alex McLeish’s team had to come from behind to get
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov fired Everton ahead in the fifth minute
but Sebastian Larsson equalized in the 22nd as Birmingham jumped
above Liverpool into seventh place and stretched its unbeaten run
to nine games.
Goals in each half by Nenad Milijas and Kevin Doyle lifted
Wolves out of the relegation zone and up to 12th place after a 2-0
victory over Burnley, which has only captured one point in nine
games away from home.
Relegated from the Premier League last season, Newcastle
opened up a 10 point lead at the top of the League Championship by
beating neighbor Middlesbrough 2-0 with goals by Marlon Harewood
and Shola Ameobi.