Chelsea stall, Fulham enthral

Clint Dempsey scores hat-trick as Fulham come from behind while AVB’s Chelsea side suffer another frustrating afternoon.

Andre Villa-Boas looks on from the touchline as his Chelsea side once again fail to finish the job [GALLO/GETTY] 

Chelsea’s slim Premier League title hopes took another blow on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Norwich.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side failed to take advantage of their second-half dominance at Carrow Road, with out-of-form striker Fernando Torres missing the best of a host of chances created after the break.

“The second half was all ours. We finished with 12 shots on goal and we couldn’t find the back of the net again,” Villas-Boas said.

“It was a frustrating day. For a super-motivated Norwich, (the result) is not bad. For us in the league, it’s not enough.”

Results and fixtures

Saturday January 21

 Norwich 0-0 Chelsea 
 Everton 1-1 Blackburn 
 Fulham 5-2 Newcastle
 QPR 3-1 Wigan
 Stoke 1-2 West Brom
 Sunderland 2-0 Swansea
 Wolves 2-3 Aston Villa
 Bolton 3-1 Liverpool

Sunday January 22 

 Man City v Tottenham 
 Arsenal v Man Utd

Chelsea stayed fourth in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, who play third-place Tottenham on Sunday.

Juan Mata, Torres’ Spain teammate, saw a late shot excellently saved by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy and also fired wide from a good position.

Paul Lambert’s Norwich – who were promoted last season – now sit in an impressive ninth position in the league and are unbeaten in their last five games.  

“You know you are going to come up against a team who will create chances when you play Chelsea, but the game plan worked again and we’ve got a very good point,” goalkeeper Ruddy said.   

Fulham continue to show their first half performance doesn’t dictate their second with a stunning 5-2 victory over a high-flying Newcastle side.

Martin Jol’s men had to come from behind at Craven Cottage after a superb drive from 25 meters from Danny Guthrie put the visitors deservedly ahead in the first half.

However, Fulham dug deep and Danny Murphy levelled from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute before American Clint Dempsey continued his superb form this season by securing a hat-trick and victory for the Cottagers. Bobby Zamora also got on the scoresheet converting another spot kick in the 68th minute.

Liverpool were surprised by the team with the worst home record in the English Premier League losing 3-1 to Bolton Wanderers.

Former Liverpool forward David Ngog had a hand in goals for Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker that seemed to put Wanderers well in control.

Craig Bellamy, a constant threat for Liverpool, halved the deficit in the 37th minute before becoming embroiled in an altercation with Reo-Coker as the teams went down the tunnel at halftime.

Then a first goal of the season for defender Gretar Steinsson restored the two-goal cushion for Bolton, who rose four points above the relegation zone. 

Keane haunts old club 

Robbie Keane scored his first goals for Aston Villa after joining on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, earning his new team a 3-2 win over former club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Villa’s Darren Bent scored his 99th Premier League goal from the penalty spot in the 10th minute of the Midlands derby, but Michael Kightly levelled with a low drive and David Edwards made it 2-1 to the hosts in the 31st minute.

Keane equalised after 52 minutes, swiveling round to drill home a low shot. The Irishman did not celebrate the goal against the club where he started his career, despite the boos he received throughout the game.

On loan striker Keane was twice on target against old team Wolves [GALLO/GETTY] 

He then followed up by scoring the winner in 84th minute with an unstoppable shot.

Mark Hughes got his first victory with QPR after his side defeated bottom of the table Wigan 3-1 at Loftus Road.

The result moved The Hoops up to 16th and out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Superb goals by Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner gave Sunderland a 2-0 victory over Swansea to maintain the team’s revival under new manager Martin O’Neill.

The three points lifted Sunderland above Swansea and into 10th place in the standings.

West Bromwich Albion ended 30 years without a win at Stoke with a 2-1 victory that lifted them a little further away from the relegation zone.

West Brom pulled the win out in injury time for their first win at Stoke since September 1982, and to end a three-match losing run in the league.

David Goodwillie grabbed a fortunate second-half equaliser to earn Blackburn a 1-1 draw at Everton, keeping the visitors out of the drop zone.

The point kept Blackburn fourth from bottom, above Wolves on goal difference.

Source : News Agencies

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