More Blues for Chelsea against West Brom

League leaders Man City have no problems disposing of Bolton but Chelsea and Andre Villas-Boas continue to struggle.

    Feeling blue: Chelsea were once more unable to secure win under AVB [GALLO/GETTY] 

    The pressure intensified on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas on Saturday after his side suffered another disappointing result against West Brom.

    The London side slipped to a 1-0 defeat and also slipped further behind Arsenal in their chase for a Champions League spot. 

    In the early kick-off Robin van Persie secured Arsenal a precious win and some precious points with a 2-1 victory over League Cup winners Liverpool.

    Arsenal lie in fourth behind Tottenham with Chelsea three points back in fifth, trailed by Newcastle and Liverpool.

    There were no problems for Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday who defeated Bolton 2-0 to move five points clear of city rivals Manchester United who play Tottenham on Sunday.

    Results and fixtures

    Saturday March 3

     Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
     Blackburn 1-1 Aston Villa
     Man City 2-0 Bolton  
     QPR 1-1 Everton 
     Stoke 1-0 Norwich
     West Brom 1-0 Chelsea
     Wigan 0-2 Swansea

    Sunday March 4

     Newcastle v Sunderland
     Tottenham v Man Utd
     Fulham v Wolves

    Chelsea continued to look out of sorts against Roy Hodgson's men, something which must worry Villas-Boas who faces overturning a 3-1 deficit to Napoli in the Champions League on March 14th.

    However, after West Brom's late goal courtesy of defender Gareth McAuley, it is unclear whether the Portuguese manager will still have his job for this European fixture.

    Italian Roberto Mancini looks safe in his job in English football after City continued their winning streak against Bolton.

    Gretar Rafn Steinsson's 23rd-minute own-goal put the league leaders ahead and Mario Balotelli doubled the advantage in the 69th, scoring his 11th Premier League goal of the season from a backheel pass by Adam Johnson.

    The victory preserved City's perfect home record and leaves them top with 66 points with 11 games of the season remaining. Second-place United can stay within two points of local rivals if they win at Tottenham.

    City's 19 straight home wins across two seasons matches the Premier League record set by United between October 2010 and October 2011.

    David Dunn's late equaliser gave Blackburn a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa and a valuable point in their battle against relegation.

    Villa took the lead in the 24th minute through Charles N'Zogbia's shot, but Dunn levelled when he headed in at the far post in the 85th from Bradley Orr's cross. Villa goalkeeper Shay Given got a hand to the ball but failed to keep it out.

    Both team's managers were subject to fan protests before the match but it will be Rovers manager Steve Kean who will be buoyed by the result. Aston Villa fans would likely have expected more from their team who have struggled of late under new manager Alex McLeish.

    Hoops still wobbling

    Relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers again failed to convert their home advantage after drawing 1-1 with Everton.

    QPR have won only two league games at Loftus Road this season and are provisionally 16th in the 20-team league, above Wolves and Blackburn on goal difference.

    Everton went ahead through a long-range strike from Royston Drenthe in the 31st minute before Bobby Zamora bundled home the equaliser five minutes later.

    QPR pushed hard for a winner after the interval but could not find a goal and have now secured just one victory from 15 games.

    Balotelli secures City's win against Bolton to keep the pressure on chasing Man United [GALLO/GETTY]

    Stoke continued their Premier League recovery with a 1-0 victory over Norwich to provisionally move to eighth place
    after a second-half goal from Matthew Etherington.

    The Potters failed to convert first-half opportunities at the Britannia Stadium with Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy denying Jon Walters, Dean Whitehead and Peter Crouch.

    Etherington struck in the 72nd minute after collecting the ball from substitute Cameron Jerome, who had flicked on a throw-in.

    Stoke snapped a four-match losing streak by beating Swansea 2-0 a week ago, however, the Welsh team got their revenge against Wigan on Saturday with their own 2-0 victory.

    Swansea hung on with 10 men to beat bottom-placed Wigan and continue a successful debut season in the top league.

    Gylfi Sigurdsson scored in each half, curling a shot in just moments before halftime, and repeated the effort from almost the same spot soon after the break.

    The workaholic Nathan Dyer was red-carded for a high tackle on Jordi Gomez, but Wigan hardly responded to having the man advantage and were booed off DW Stadium.

    Swansea remain well clear of the relegation zone, while Wigan look headed for the drop after going 12 straight matches at home without a league win.

    With a lack of funds and talent it is a forgivable situation for Latics manager Roberto Martinez to be in, as for Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea, Roman Abramovich might not be quite so understanding.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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