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Chelsea miss chance as Toon capitalise on Spurs slip-up

ESPN staff
April 9, 2012 « Hoy glad for 'kick up backside' | Chartbeat test »
Clint Dempsey scored his 22nd goal of the season to clinch a point for Fulham © PA Photos
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Tottenham's push for a Champions League place next season is on the ropes after they suffered a shock defeat to Norwich. Newcastle took full advantage by beating Bolton, but Chelsea failed to move level on points with Spurs after they were held by local rivals Fulham.

Chelsea missed the chance to move into the Champions League places after a 1-1 draw against west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage. Following Tottenham's surprise defeat to Norwich earlier on Monday, Roberto Di Matteo's men had the chance to move up to fourth if they won by two goals or more at Craven Cottage.

Frank Lampard scored his 150th Premier League goal to put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Stephen Kelly tangled with Salomon Kalou in the penalty area.

The goal came against the run of play, and Fulham were rewarded for their efforts eight minutes from time, Clint Dempsey rising high to nod a corner past a helpless Petr Cech after the keeper had made a point-blank save to keep out Aaron Hughes' header.

With Chelsea on the ropes, Fulham had the chance to snatch all three points, but John Arne Riise's first touch failed him after he was released by Dempsey, and Orlando Sa's header from the ensuing corner was kept out by Cech.

Only goal difference is keeping Tottenham Hotspur above Newcastle in fourth place after they were stunned 2-1 by Norwich at White Hart Lane.

Anthony Pilkington opened the scoring for Norwich at White Hart Lane © Getty Images
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A much-changed Spurs team - no Rafael van der Vaart, Scott Parker or Emmanuel Adebayor - were punished for a nervy start when Anthony Pilkington fired the visitors in front. Pouncing on an error from Ledley King, the winger buried the ball from six yards.

But Norwich have found clean sheets elusive all season, and sure enough they were breached again on the half hour, Jermain Defoe boosting his Euro 2012 hopes with a neat finish. The goal was a controversial one, with Grant Holt feeling he should have been given a penalty shortly before Spurs broke upfield and netted.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert was furious - until his mood was lifted when a screamer from Elliott Bennett won the game for the Canaries, and dealt Tottenham a huge confidence blow ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea next weekend.

A magnificent solo effort from Hatem Ben Arfa illuminated Newcastle's 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at St James' Park. Picking the ball up inside his own half, Ben Arfa waltzed past several players with a dazzling run before sliding past Adam Bogdan. Papiss Cisse netted once again - a tap-in - to take the game away from Bolton, who remain one point above the relegation places.

Everton warmed up for their FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool next weekend by thumping Sunderland 4-0 at Goodison Park. The Toffees shaded a subdued opening period, and got their reward early in the second through Magaye Gueye who, scoring his first goal for Everton, hammered in after Leon Osman's shot was parried into his path by Simon Mignolet.

Steven Pienaar grabbed the second, finishing calmly from the edge of the area, before Osman and Victor Anichebe rounded off the scoring, meaning Liverpool cannot go ahead of David Moyes' men in the league table this weekend.

Robert Huth earned a point for Stoke as they drew 1-1 at Aston Villa. Alex McLeish's side looked to be heading for victory after Andreas Weimann's stunning first-half effort from the edge of the area, but Huth scored his second goal in as many matches, jumping high to nod in Jermaine Pennant's free kick.

Ryan Shawcross thought he had snatched a late winner for Stoke when he smashed home Peter Crouch's knockdown, but the linesman signalled that Pennant's cross had swung out of play.

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