Mon, Nov 15, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Chelsea still leads league

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL A 4-1 win over Fulham kept the Blues on top of the Premier League standings as Arsenal edged Tottenham 5-4 for its first victory in three weeks

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Fulham's Luis Boa Morte, left, and Chelsea's Claude Makelele fight for the ball during their English Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London, Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

The Premier League's top two clubs set the tone on a day of 32 goals across England.

League leader Chelsea dominated again on Saturday, beating Fulham 4-1, while slumping Arsenal recorded its first league victory in three weeks, rallying past north London rival Tottenham 5-4.

Arsenal's victory marked the first time nine different players scored in the Premier League.

Fulham briefly threatened Chelsea, leveling at 1-1 on Papa Bouba Diop's goal in the 57th at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium in west London. The league goal was only the fourth Chelsea has yielded this season.

But the Blues bounced back with goals from Arjen Robben, William Gallas and Cardoso Tiago for the lopsided victory.

Out for three months with a knee injury, the Dutch winger Robben has lifted Chelsea since he made his team debut just two weeks ago.

"He [Robben] has a winning attitude, but his ambition is even bigger," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.

"Since he has been playing, the team has improved a lot."

Thierry Henry, Lauren, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires rallied Arsenal for the victory at archrival Tottenham, giving the Gunners their first league victory in four games.

The league victory was the first for the Gunners since Manchester United snapped their record unbeaten string of 49 league games three weeks ago.

The winless slide cost the defending champions first place, which Chelsea took over a week ago.

In a classic matchup at White Hart Lane, the attacking was wide open and the defending abysmal. By giving up four goals, Arsenal yielded as many as Chelsea has in all of its league games.

Chelsea leads the Premier League with 32 points followed by Arsenal (30), Everton (26), Bolton (22), Aston Villa (21) and Liverpool (20). At the bottom, Norwich (8) is topped by Blackburn (9) and West Brom (9).

Tottenham took a 1-0 lead in the 37th when defender Noureddine Naybet chipped in a free kick from Michael Carrick and Henry equalized just before halftime.

It got wild in the second half with seven goals. Arsenal's Lauren and Vieira made it 3-1. Spurs' Jermain Defoe narrowed it to 3-2 in the 61st.

Arsenal's Ljungberg increased the lead in the 69th. Spurs' Ledley King made it a one-goal margin again in the 74th, only to see substitute Pires score the clincher in the 81st. Spurs' Freddie Kanoute scored in the 88th.

It was Tottenham's fifth straight league defeat.

Third-place Everton continued to be the surprise of English soccer, beating Birmingham 1-0 on Thomas Gravesen's penalty in the 69th. The win came a day after manager David Moyes signed a new contract to stay with the club through the 2008-2009 season.

Czech striker Milan Baros scored all three goals for Liverpool -- two on penalties -- in the 3-2 win over Palace.

In Southampton's victory, Portsmouth went ahead 1-0 in the 12th on an own-goal by Claus Lundekvam. Dexter Blackstock equalized in the 18th with the winner from Kevin Phillips in the 71st.

Thomas Hitzlsperger scored in the 89th to give Villa its 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Bolton.

Charlton broke loose for four goals -- two from Jonatan Johansson -- in beating Norwich 4-0.

Antoine Sibierski gave Man City a 1-0 lead in first-half injury time with Paul Dickov equalizing on a penalty for Blackburn in the 78th.

In news off the field, Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer escalated the battle for control of Manchester United by voting three members off the board. The club is one of the richest sports franchises in the world, with a value of about US$1.3 million.

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