Chelsea’s title hopes suffer another blow

February 8th, 2009 - 1:33 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, Feb 8 (DPA) Chelsea’s title hopes took a potentially decisive blow Saturday when they were held goalless at home by Hull City in the English Premier League.
Aston Villa leapfrogged them into third place after they won 2-0 at Blackburn Rovers, their seventh consecutive away win.

Liverpool needed two goals in the final five minutes to secure a 3-2 victory at Portsmouth. West Bromwich Albion remain bottom after they were edged out 3-2 at home by Newcastle United, while there were also wins for Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland.

Chelsea, beaten at Liverpool last weekend, put in another disappointing performance as Hull City gained a vital point in their own quest for survival.

Ricardo Quaresma was given his debut for the club but he was barely influential as Chelsea’s poor home form continued with a fifth draw at Stamford Bridge, dropping them to fourth.

Disgruntled fans chanted “You don’t know what you’re doing” at manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who sent his assistant, Ray Wilkins, to face the press.

“When the fans are chanting things like that, I’m not sure managers from foreign countries understand,” Wilkins said.

“I won’t tell him. It’s unnecessary and I don’t think it should be heard round our stands. “It’s a minority who start it and others join in. People pay a lot of money and they want to boo that’s up to them,” he added.

Villa moved above Chelsea into third, level on points with Liverpool, after a hard-earned 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

James Milner fired them ahead in the 27th minute and though Blackburn had chances to level, a deflected strike from Gabriel Agbonlahor in injury time sealed the points for Martin O’Neill’s side.

David Nugent gave Portsmouth the lead against Liverpool, only for Fabio Aurelio to level from an indirect free-kick awarded after goalkeeper David James had handled a Peter Crouch backpass.

Hermann Hreidarsson restored Portsmouth advantage, only for Dirk Kuyt to level with five minutes remaining.

Fernando Torres headed the winner deep into injury-time, to return Liverpool to the top of the table, one point clear of champions Manchester United, who have two games in hand. Manchester are away to West Ham United on Sunday.

Brazilian Jo scored two goals on his debut as sixth-placed Everton beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0, while Kenwyne Jones and David Healy scored the goals as Sunderland beat ten-man Stoke City 2-0.

Manchester City added to Middlesbrough’s relegation worries after they beat Gareth Southgate’s side 1-0, Craig Bellamy scoring the only goal of the game six minutes into the second half.

Wigan and Fulham drew 0-0 in the day’s other game, and with the bottom four teams all losing, West Brom remain at the foot of the table with an inferior goal difference to Middlesbrough after their defeat by Newcastle United.

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