Fri, Apr 20, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Chelsea keep pressure on Man Utd

UNHAPPY HAMMERS Although West Ham managed to end Chelsea's run of eight straight clean sheets, they had no points to show for their efforts at Upton Park


Chelsea closed to within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester United on Wednesday by beating West Ham 4-1.

Shaun Wright-Phillips scored two goals, and Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba added the others for the two-time defending champions. Carlos Tevez scored for West Ham.

Liverpool needed two goals from Steven Gerrard to move back into third place with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough, while Blackburn beat last-place Watford 3-1.

Wright-Phillips scored his two goals in only six minutes in the first half, and Tevez scored his in between.

Kalou chested the ball to Wright-Phillips in the 31st for his first goal. The Chelsea midfielder avoided several defenders before changing direction with a dip of the shoulder and shooting past West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green.

Tevez briefly equalized in the 35th with a shot from 25m that Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech appeared to fumble.

The goal ended a string of eight straight clean sheets for both Chelsea and Cech.

Chelsea reclaimed the lead less than a minute later, however. Defender Wayne Bridge ran down the left side and crossed to Wright-Phillips, who volleyed past Green.

"I have to give the credit to Bridgey as well because it was a superb cross from him," Wright-Phillips said.

Kalou made it 3-1 in the 51st by tapping in a rebound after Drogba had nearly scored off Frank Lampard's cross.

Lampard was able to set up Drogba for the fourth goal, sending a looping pass that the Ivory Coast striker controlled with one touch and then shot through Green's legs. The goal was Drogba's 19th in the league this season.

"We felt confident even at 2-1," Lampard said. "They're playing to win the game so they left themselves open and we knew if we could get our passing game going it would create more chances for more goals."

West Ham had other chances to score in the first half, the best coming from James Collins in the 37th when his header from Jonathan Spector's cross straight right at Cech.

"We had our chances but they were not taken and we paid the price," West Ham manager Alan Curbishley said.

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