LONDON: Chelsea edged back into fifth place in the Premier League – ahead of Newcastle on goal difference – after Juan Mata scored a stoppage-time winner to prevent Wigan moving up out of the relegation zone.
The teams reached half-time at Stamford Bridge goalless with Maynor Figueroa having cleared a Didier Drogba header off the line after Ali Al Habsi had saved from Mata. The Oman keeper also tipped a powerful header from the Ivorien over the bar.
Chelsea then took the lead controversially when Raul Meireles crossed and Branislav Ivanovic, fringing offside, sidefooted home. The defender added to Wigan’s frustration moments later by clearing a goalbound effort from Franco Di Santo.
Mohamed Diame did equalise with a left-foot drive but Mata was then on hand in the closing seconds after a volley from Fernando Torres ricocheted back off a post.
The only good news for Wigan was that fellow strugglers Blackburn and Bolton also lost.
Clint Dempsey scored twice as Fulham ended Bolton’s recent revival. The American hit a superb 30-yard free-kick and headed a second on the stroke of half-time before John Arne Riise crossed for Mahamadou Diarra to make it 3-0 with his first goal for the club.
Blackburn lost by the same scoreline at West Bromwich, falling behind before half-time as full-back Martin Olsson sliced the ball into his own goal when attempting to clear a header from Albion centre-back Gareth McAuley.
Marc-Antoine Fortune made it 2-0 after being picked out by Chris Brunt and Liam Ridgewell headed home Graham Dorrans’ free-kick.
Higher up the table, Liverpool came from behind to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa at Anfield. Chris Herd swept the visitors into the lead before Dirk Kuyt missed a glorious chance for the Reds, ballooning over from close range after meeting Steven Gerrard’s cross-shot.
Luis Suarez grabbed Liverpool’s leveller, tapping home from close range after Daniel Agger’s header hit the crossbar, before substitute Andy Carroll headed the Uruguay forward’s cross straight at Shay Given.
Nikica Jelavic scored twice as Everton draw at Norwich. The Canaries spent most of the first half on the back foot and went behind in the 22nd minute when Jelavic back-heeled home his third goal in four matches.
Tony Hibbert struck the woodwork as Everton continued to dominate, but Jonny Howson popped up six minutes from the break to convert Wes Hoolahan’s cross.
Jelavic’s second was tinged with controversy as the ball became trapped beneath Steven Pienaar and, as Norwich stood off, the South African crossed for the former Rangers striker to finish.
But Norwich equalised once more when Aaron Wilbraham’s shot was saved but he turned the rebound into the path of Grant Holt, who side-footed home.
Wolves slid closer to relegation after losing 2-1 to Stoke.
In the day’s early kick-off, Gareth Bale headed Tottenham’s best chance onto the roof of the net as Harry Redknapp’s men failed to put pressure on their rivals for a Champions League place with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland.
Their goalless draw was enough to nudge Spurs at least temporarily up to third, but it was a frustrating afternoon for Redknapp with Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart also missing chances.
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