Last-minute thrillers render Chelsea win, Arsenal loss

January 3rd, 2012 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Arsenal London, Jan 3 (IANS) Chelsea edged past Wolverhampton while Fulham stunned Arsenal in two thrilling matches played in the English Premier League — with this loss Monday, the Gunners were kicked out from the elite club of top four.

Frank Lampard acted as the saviour of the Blues again as his last-minute goal at Molineux presented the team a first victory in as many as five matches in the League, Xinhua reported.

After a poor start which almost gave the opponent an opener, Chelsea rallied to gain absolute command of the match. At the beginning of the second half, Ramires struck the ball into the top corner. However, the persistent Wolves pulled themselves together and levelled the score in the 84th minute.

Three minutes later, Lampard proved his value again by receiving Ashley Cole’s brilliant cross and netting in from close range to seal the win 2-1.

“It was an important win based on recent results,” said Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas.

“The team showed good strength of character to come back from negative results and to come away with a win today has a special flavour.”

In another match, the visiting Gunners dominated the first half with a header from Laurent Koscielny. But the situation changed after Arsenal player Johan Djourou was showed a red card and Fulham were seemingly encouraged.

In the 85th minute, Steve Sidwell headed an equaliser. But this was not the end of the Gunners’ nightmare. In the last minute of injury time, Bobby Zambora, receiving a pass from Stephen Kelly, volleyed a sensational finisher to give his side a 2-1 success amid fanatic screams of spectators.

Arsenal were hence kicked out from the elite club of top four.

In other matches, Swansea beat Aston Villa 2-0, Blackburn lost against Stoke at 1-2, and Queen’s Park Rangers were defeated by Norwich 1-2.

Temporarily ranked in the top four were Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea, respectively.

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