LONDON: Newcastle and Tottenham both claimed Premier League wins to close up on third-placed Arsenal and ensure a battle all the way to the last kick of term for Champions League slots.
The Magpies grabbed a superb 2-0 win at Chelsea thanks to two remarkable strikes from Papiss Cisse, a result which leaves the Champions League finalists further off the pace in the race to make the top four.
Cisse put the visitors in front on 19 minutes with a vicious left-foot strike and then sealed with win late on – Newcastle’s first in the league at the Bridge since 1986 – when he netted an even better goal, his 13th in 12 league games since arriving from Freiburg in January.
The Senegal forward received the ball out wide on the left following a throw-in and then surprised everyone in the ground by turning and hitting the ball with the outside of his right foot, curling it over Petr Cech and into the net.
The goal came in injury time, a result of a lengthy stoppage following an injury to midfielder Cheick Tiote, who left the pitch on a stretcher while receiving oxygen following an aerial challenge with John Obi Mikel.
However, after the game boss Alan Pardew said he was hopefully Tiote would be able to play at the weekend having had a large cut stitched.
The defeat was Chelsea’s first at home under Roberto Di Matteo and leaves them four points behind both Newcastle and Tottenham with just two games to go.
Tottenham currently hold fourth place after a 4-1 win at Bolton, who were plunged deeper into relegation trouble. Luka Modric’s long-range strike put Spurs ahead before the break but Nigel Reo-Coker equalised six minutes after the interval.
The visitors, who came into the match having never won at the Reebok Stadium in the league, were soon back in front though via Rafael van der Vaart. Emmanuel Adebayor then added two goals to seal victory for Harry Redknapp’s men, who were clearly the better side in the second half, with Modric and Gareth Bale outstanding.
Bolton remain in the relegation zone. They trail QPR, who occupy the last position of safety, by goal difference.
At least there was some good news for the Trotters off the pitch with midfielder Fabrice Muamba able to watch the game from the stands. He suffered a heart attack when Bolton met Spurs in an FA Cup tie March but before this game he thanked fans for their support by making a tearful appearance on the pitch.
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