Posted: Saturday April 30, 2011 2:33PM ; Updated: Saturday April 30, 2011 4:28PM

Title-chasing Chelsea fights back to beat Spurs 2-1 on late Kalou goal

Story Highlights

Chelsea substitute Salomon Kalou scored a 89th-minute goal to sink Spurs.

Spurs GK Heurelho Gomes made another high profile mistake to cost his team

Relegation-threatened Wigan surprisingly held Everton to a 1-1 draw

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Heurelho Gomes
Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes made a horrendous error which resulted in a controversial equalizer for Chelsea.
Darren Walsh/Getty Images

LONDON (AP) -- Two favorable refereeing decisions gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday, keeping the champions' Premier League title hopes alive and hampering their London rival's bid for Champions League qualification.

"I think we got the benefit of two fortunate decisions,'' Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "You can see that, yes, we were lucky with the goals - but that is football and the referee doesn't have the benefit of TV replays.''

Salomon Kalou won the match in the 89th minute by poking the ball into the unguarded net despite appearing to be in an offside position after being fed by Didier Drogba.

Chelsea was three points behind leader Manchester United after being given a route back into the game on the stroke of halftime when Frank Lampard contentiously canceled out Sandro's Tottenham opener.

A fierce, dipping 30-meter (yard) strike from Lampard squirmed through goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes' arms and legs.

As Gomes desperately stretched back, he managed to just stop the ball creeping completely over the line, but referee Andre Marriner and assistant Mike Cairns ruled the goal should stand.

Peter Berlin: Five things we learned in Saturday's Premier League action

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Cairns "had a guess ... and he's guessed wrong.''

"The linesman's made a mistake - an honest mistake,'' Redknapp added. "It's the most difficult thing in the world to see from where he was - he was probably on the 18-yard (meter) box when the ball dropped on the line, and he's given what he thought was the right decision.

"But technology's got to come in. That took seconds to see it, five seconds just to go, 'Yes it's a goal, no it's not a goal.' You get a fair decision, the game moves on.''

But Lampard said he felt he deserved such a favorable decision after being denied a clear goal for England at the 2010 World Cup, when the ball from his shot clearly crossed the line in the last-16 match that Germany went on to win.

The embarrassment at FIFA led to president Sepp Blatter reviving investigations into goal-line technology, although football's lawmaking body is yet to find a high-tech aid that rules on disputed goals with perfect accuracy and speed.

"The one that didn't go over the line, I was due one of those - I had a big one in the summer,'' Lampard said. "You get what you deserve and, that's not rubbing it in on Tottenham, we deserved that, we created enough, we were bright enough to win the game.''

With three games to go, Chelsea is three points behind Manchester United, which is still to play at Arsenal on Sunday before hosting Ancelotti's second-place side a week later.

"We're fighting to the end,'' Lampard said. "We had a couple of months where we let ourselves down a bit and let it slip, but you saw the character today. We deserved it today.

"(United) are in the driving seat and it's theirs to lose, but if they do slip up we're in a position now where we'll have a real go to try and do it. We've kept ourselves alive today and we can sit back and watch and hope tomorrow.''

Tottenham's failure to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1990 was a blow to the north London club's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season.

After winning just one of its last eight matches, Tottenham was four points behind Manchester City in the fourth and final Champions League spot having played an extra game, although the two sides must still meet.

Tottenham took a surprise 19th-minute lead when Rafael van der Vaart flicked a throw-in over to Brazil midfielder Sandro, who blasted the ball through the fingertips of Petr Cech to score his first goal for the club in his debut season.

Before the latest botched piece of goalkeeping from Gomes, the erratic Brazilian had been frustrating Chelsea with a series of fine saves.

A powerful, swerving free kick from Drogba look destined for the top corner before the slightest of touches from Gomes' right hand pushed it over.

A low save kept out Florent Malouda's effort and Michael Essien's header was tipped over, but all that fine work was undone on the stroke of halftime.

And a rejuvenated Chelsea side won for the eighth time in nine league matches. That transformation has been despite - rather than due to - the 50 million-pound (then $81 million) arrival of Fernando Torres in January.

Some of the pressure on the Spain striker was relieved by his first Chelsea goal in last Saturday's win over West Ham.

The reward was a starting spot against Tottenham, but the closest Torres came to finding the net was the sidenetting after 10 minutes, and he was hauled off in the 62nd.

His best contribution was being replaced by Kalou, who went on to deliver the three points.

***

In other games, the identity of the clubs to be relegated from the Premier League this season remained unclear Saturday after Wigan and Blackpool each picked up a valuable point in their fight against the drop.

Blackpool drew 0-0 with FA Cup finalist Stoke, while Wigan drew 1-1 with seventh-place Everton.

Wigan led through Charles N'Zogbia's 21st-minute goal but Leighton Baines equalized with 12 minutes left with a penalty awarded for a handball by Hugo Rodallega.

Blackpool, in 17th place, and Wigan, in the third and final relegation spot, are tied on 35 points and separated only by goal difference with three games of their seasons remaining.

Last-place West Ham has 32 points, one fewer than second-from-bottom Wolverhampton Wanderers. Both play Sunday.

Blackburn improved its chances of avoiding demotion with its first win since Jan. 23, beating Bolton 1-0. Martin Olsson scored the only goal with a low shot in the 20th, while Simon Davies scored twice as Fulham moved into the top half of the standings with a 3-0 win at Sunderland.

West Bromwich Albion's place in next year's Premier League looks secure after it rallied to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint