Everton add to Chelsea's woes

LONDON, Dec 12, 2009 (AFP) - Top-flight leaders Chelsea dropped points for the second time in as many English Premier League matches after they were held to a 3-3 draw by Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Everton went ahead when Louis Saha's header came off the post and hit Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech for a 12th-minute own goal.

But Didier Drogba, played in by Frank Lampard, levelled for Chelsea in the 18th minute with a shot from the edge of the box.

Chelsea's Italian Manager Carlo Ancelotti (R) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge, London on December 12, 2009. AFP PHOTO

Fellow forward Nicolas Anelka gave Chelsea, beaten 2-1 by Manchester City last weekend, the lead with a well-taken finish in the 23rd minute.

But Everton fought back when substitute Aiyegbeni Yakubu made it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time.

Ivory Coast striker Drogba restored Chelsea's lead by powering in his 18th goal in 20 games in all competitions this season in the 59th minute.

But minutes later Everton were level again when Drogba's headed clearance hit Saha on the head and looped over Cech.

"I am happy with the work of the team on the pitch; I am unhappy with the result," Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti told Sky Sports.

"We made some mistakes at set-plays. We lost a game against Aston Villa and then we worked on the set-plays and improved. Now we have to do the same."

Everton manager David Moyes added: "To come here and get a draw was terrific. I thought we deserved it for our resilience and endeavour."

Reigning champions Manchester United, who started the weekend two points behind Chelsea in second place, face Aston Villa in Saturday's late kick-off.

Wolves climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win away to Tottenham, who would have leapfrogged north London rivals Arsenal, who play Liverpool on Sunday, into third place if they had triumphed at White Hart Lane.

Manchester City, reduced to 10 men, came back three times in a 3-3 draw with struggling Bolton while Birmingham beat West Ham 1-0.

Younes Kaboul's stoppage-time equaliser gave bottom of the table Portsmouth a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland but the French defender's joy was cut short when he was sent off for removing his shirt while celebraing the goal, having already been booked.

"It shows we have a good spirit," said Pompey boss Avram Grant of Kaboul's goal, which cancelled out Darren Bent's 23rd minute opener.

As for the sending-off, the Israeli added: "It's a stupid rule."

Elsewhere Burnley and Fulham drew 1-1, Stoke and Wigan finished all square at 2-2 and Hull and Blackburn shared the points in a goalless draw.

Ivan Klasnic gave relegation-threatened Bolton an 11th minute lead against Manchester City.

Cash-rich City were struggling until Carlos Tevez drew them level in the 28th minute with a well-hit shot.

Bolton though regained the lead with Gary Cahill's curling shot two minutes before the interval but there was still time for City's Micah Richards to make it 2-2 ahead of half-time.

Klasnic restored Bolton's lead with a 53rd minute strike and things got worse for City when Craig Bellamy was sent off for a second bookable offence, for diving.

However, for the third time in the match - and a man down - City equalised when Tevez scored his second in the 77th minute.

The in-form Lee Bowyer scored Birmingham's winner with a cool one-on-one finish in the 52nd minute and West Ham were reduced to 10 men when Mark Noble was sent off.

Bobby Zamora put Fulham go 1-0 up in the 50th minute before Wade Elliott levelled for Burnley 10 minutes later.

Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen saved his third penalty in four games to ensure the Potters came away with a point

Wigan had taken the lead through Emmerson Boyce's early header, but Tuncay Sanli brought the hosts level.

A sensational goal from Maynor Figueroa, who beat Sorensen with a perfectly-placed dipping strike from inside his own half, restored Wigan's lead only for Ryan Shawcross to equalise moments later.

At White Hart Lane, Wolves clung on to a third-minute lead secured when Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle turned in Nenad Milijas's free-kick.

Source: AFP

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