Chelsea missed the chance to go top in the English Premier League after Didier Drogba saw a late penalty saved in a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who had let substitute Drogba’s shot go through his hands for Chelsea’s 70th minute equalizer, brought down Ramires in stoppage time.
But the Brazilian then produced a fine save to deny Drogba, who took the spot-kick even though fellow substitute and regular penalty-taker Frank Lampard was on the field.
Had the penalty gone in and Chelsea won, the Blues would have gone top. Instead they stayed fourth.
Tottenham opened the scoring in the 15th minute when the unchallenged Roman Pavlyuchenko struck from inside the box after a pass from Jermain Defoe.
Drogba, on at the start of the second half, equalized 20 minutes from time when his shot found a way through Gomes’s hands to set up the game’s dramatic finale as Spurs regained fifth spot from Bolton, who beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 earlier on Sunday.
“I thought we deserved to win the game, especially in the second half, we dominated,” Chelsea captain John Terry told Sky Sports after the Blues avoided a fifth defeat in nine games. “That’s more like the Chelsea we know.”
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said Lampard was not in a position to take the penalty.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said a draw was a “fair result,” adding: “This says we’re as good a side as almost anybody. We can give anybody a game.”
Ten-man Bolton saw Stuart Holden snatch a dramatic late winner in a victory over Lancashire rivals Blackburn.
American-import Holden struck in the 88th minute, just seconds after Mame Biram Diouf seemed to have earned Blackburn a point.
Diouf canceled out a 63rd-minute opener from Fabrice Muamba for Bolton who had Mark Davies sent off after 54 minutes for a second bookable offense.
“I know I’ve got spirit in that dressing room and it was so evident again there, to take the blow of the equalizer and then come back and score such a wonderful goal,” Bolton boss Owen Coyle said.
In Sunday’s other match, Wolves clinched a crucial 1-0 win over Birmingham with their first clean sheet since April.
Stephen Hunt’s near-post finish on the stroke of half-time was the only effort to beat England international goalkeeper Ben Foster who put in another sublime performance to keep the hosts at bay at Molineux. Despite the win, Wolves stayed second from bottom.