Spurs go fourth, City and Reds draw

BY foxsports • February 21, 2010

The highly-anticipated Premier League clash between Champions League-chasing rivals City and Liverpool failed to live up to expectations in a disappointing goalless encounter at Eastlands. If this was an audition for Europe's elite club competition, then neither would gain entry next season as there was a distinct lack of quality on both sides. Liverpool's Jose Reina was the only goalkeeper to make a genuine save, tipping Emmanuel Adebayor's second-half shot on the turn around his post as the importance of not losing over-rode the desire to push for victory. At the DW Stadium, a brace from substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko steered Spurs into the top four. Jermain Defoe, who scored five goals against Wigan earlier in the campaign, made the breakthrough in the 27th minute from what appeared to be an offside position. Pavlyuchenko then finished with a flourish with two goals in the final minutes of the game to floor Wigan. Spurs are above Manchester City on goal difference, although Roberto Mancini's men have a game in hand. Liverpool are a point back in sixth spot. Earlier, Stewart Downing scored his first brace of top-flight goals for Aston Villa, who put a poor first-half performance behind them to beat Burnley 5-2 at Villa Park. The Clarets took a shock 10th-minute lead through Steven Fletcher and all Villa could muster before half-time was a fortuitous equaliser from Ashley Young. But four goals in 13 minutes after the break from Downing (two), Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor changed the picture before Martin Patterson's injury-time consolation. Elsewhere, Bobby Zamora fired a dramatic late winner as Fulham came from behind to edge a scrappy clash with Birmingham 2-1. Zamora struck a beautiful free-kick in the 90th minute to claim his 15th goal in 32 starts, provoking chants of 'Bobby for England' - although watching national-team coach Fabio Capello had already left Craven Cottage. An inexplicable own goal from Chris Baird had given Birmingham a third-minute lead before Damien Duff fired a spectacular equaliser just before the hour mark. In the noon kick-off, Blackburn added to the woes of local rivals Bolton with a 3-0 win. Goals from Nikola Kalinic, Jason Roberts and Gael Givet saw Rovers to what was a comfortable win in snowy conditions at Ewood Park. The victory eased Blackburn further clear of danger - they are beginning to look safe - but Bolton remain in the drop zone after a fifth league game in a row without scoring.

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