Saha stars as Everton stun Chelsea
LONDON: Louis Saha had a night to remember by scoring both of Everton’s goals in a 2-1 win over Premier League leaders Chelsea that threw the title race wide open again.
The Blues were left just a point in front after second-placed Manchester United held on for a 1-1 draw away to Aston Villa after playing most of the match a man down after Nani was sent-off. Abou Diaby revived Arsenal’s title bid with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at home to Liverpool.
At the other end of the table, West Ham and Wolves moved out of the relegation zone with 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Birmingham and Tottenham respectively.
Saha, whose goals came either side of a missed penalty, scored twice after Chelsea had taken the lead against an Everton side who came into this match on the back of a Merseyside derby defeat by Liverpool.
Chelsea went ahead after ‘keeper Petr Cech’s goalkick was flicked on by Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda lashed home a shot from 16 yards to give the visitors a 17th minute lead. But Everton refused to lie down and equalised through Saha’s header from US international Landon Donovan’s 33rd minute corner after the French striker got in front Terry.
Saha then saw a penalty, awarded after Ricardo Carvalho brought down Donovan, saved by Cech. But he scored Everton’s second 15 minutes from time when he again beat Terry, this time to a long ball, before shooting through Cech’s hands.
Arsenal, beaten 2-0 by Chelsea last weekend, bounced back thanks to Diaby’s 72nd minute header from Tomas Rosicky’s cross, to move within six points of the leaders.
In Birmingham, Villa went ahead in the 19th minute when Carlos Cuellar headed into the top corner. But four minutes later United were level when Nani’s cross was volleyed back across goal by Ryan Giggs and went in off Villa’s James Collins for the visitors’ 10th own goal of the season. However, United found themselves down to 10 men when Nani was sent-off for a two-footed challenge on Stiliyan Petrov.