Chelsea held, Arsenal pip Portsmouth
London, December 29:
Second-placed Chelsea were held to a dramatic 2-2 draw by Fulham as Liverpool ended 2008 on top of the Premier League with a 5-1 win away to Newcastle on Sunday.
The result meant the Reds have a three-point lead heading into the new year. Meanwhile, former Arsenal captain Tony Adams saw the Gunners leave his Portsmouth side just three points above the relegation zone with a 1-0 win.
Everton won 3-0 at home to Sunderland as Ricky Sbragia’s first match since being confirmed as the Black Cats full-time manager. West Ham fought back to beat 10-man Stoke 2-1 with the losers also having Ricardo Fuller sent-off for a slap on his own captain Andy Griffin.
Robinho rescued a point deep into stoppage-time for Manchester City away to Blackburn Rovers as manager Mark Hughes’s club, 2-0 down with six minutes to play, drew 2-2 against his old one in a dramatic late kick-off. One consolation for Rovers was that the point they earned took them off the bottom after West Brom had beaten 10-man Tottenham 2-0
Fulham’s Clint Dempsey stunned Chelsea when he got on the end of Simon Davies’s 10th minute free-kick at Craven Cottage. But five minutes into the second-half Frank Lampard equalised when he capitalised on a mix-up between Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Aaron Hughes. Lampard put Chelsea ahead when his 72nd minute free-kick deceived Schwarzer only for Dempsey to head in Fulham’s second from a corner a minute from full-time.
Arsenal, who saw Pompey striker Peter Crouch hit the post with a first-half header, had to wait until nine minutes before full-time to break the deadlock when William Gallas seized on an error by England keeper David James.
Mikel Arteta put Everton in front against Sunderland with a 25-yard free-kick in the 10th minute and the Spanish midfielder doubled the lead 17 minutes later. Dan Gosling added a third in the 83rd minute.
Goals from Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts appeared to have sealed victory for Blackburn at Ewood Park. But Manchester City substitute Daniel Sturridge turned the match on its head, scoring one and setting-up Robinho’s equaliser.