Soccer: Chelsea move into third with win

Chelsea came from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1 at Stamford Bridge today, denying Paolo Di Canio a sensational start in his first game as a Premier League manager.

Chelsea's victory, in a game that witnessed two own goals, lifted them above both Arsenal and Tottenham into third place, while Sunderland remain just a point above the relegation zone.

Appointed as the successor to Martin O'Neill amid a whirlwind of controversy over his alleged fascist sympathies, Di Canio saw his side take the lead on the stroke of halftime via a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal.

Matthew Kilgallon accidentally gifted Chelsea an equaliser in the 47th minute when he diverted Oscar's pass past visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Branislav Ivanovic completed the Chelsea comeback 10 minutes into the second half but his strike was similarly fortuitous, David Luiz's strike cannoning off him and trundling into the bottom-right corner.

"I am not worried (about relegation),'' said Di Canio.

"When I decided to move to Sunderland, I knew what players were here but we have to fight until the end of the season.

"I won't say this was a bonus game but it was a test for us to see what we can do.

I am not happy we lost 2-1, but there were positive things I can take from this.''

Earlier, Gylfi Sigurdsson snatched a late equaliser as Tottenham denied Champions League qualification rivals Everton victory in a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.

Spurs took the lead after just 34 seconds through Emmanuel Adebayor, however first Phil Jagielka and then Kevin Mirallas scored to put the visitors in front.

David Moyes' side were within sight of a fourth straight league win, only for Sigurdsson to tap home an equaliser in the 87th minute after Adebayor's shot came back off the post.

Tottenham finish the weekend in the fourth and final Champions League qualifying place, but although they are two points above Arsenal and six points clear of Everton, both their pursuers have games in hand.

"It looks like it will go down to the wire at the end of the season for these Champions League spots,'' said Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas.

"It's part of the game - everything shifts very, very quickly in the Premier League, but we have been in this position before and you have to deal with the pressure.''

Meanwhile, Shaun Maloney scored a glorious injury-time free-kick to earn third-bottom Wigan Athletic a 1-1 draw at second-bottom Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Loic Remy's magnificent 85th-minute strike looked to have breathed new life into QPR's bid to avoid the drop, only for Maloney to bend a free-kick into the top-right corner with practically the last kick off the game.

QPR, who had Bobby Zamora sent off in the first half, now lie seven points from safety with six games to play, while Wigan trail Sunderland on goal difference alone and have a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's bid for a European berth faltered as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at home to West Ham United.

The result leaves Liverpool in seventh, seven points outside the European qualifying places.

Elsewhere, Papiss Cisse struck in injury time to earn Newcastle United a 1-0 win at home to Fulham that lifted Alan Pardew's side five points clear of the bottom three.


- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 30 Aug 2014 14:56:30 Processing Time: 642ms