BLUES BOOST TOP-FOUR HOPES; SPURS HELD
Juan Mata grabbed a stoppage-time winner for Chelsea as Wigan were denied the chance to move out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
It was goalless at the interval, Maynor Figueroa clearing Didier Drogba's header off the line after Ali Al Habsi saved from Mata. The Oman international also tipped over Drogba's bullet header.
Chelsea took a controversial lead when Raul Meireles crossed and Branislav Ivanovic, suspiciously offside, sidefooted the ball home. The defender then added to Wigan's frustration by clearing Franco Di Santo's goalbound effort moments later.
Mohamed Diame equalised with a powerful left-foot drive from 20 yards but Mata was on hand after Fernando Torres' superb volley came back off a post, meaning Wigan remain 19th in the table.
Their fellow strugglers fared no better, though, with defeats for Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves
Clint Dempsey scored twice as Fulham ended Bolton's recent revival at the Reebok Stadium.
The American hit a superb 30-yard free-kick and headed a second on the stroke of half-time before John Arne Riise crossed for Mahamadou Diarra to make it 3-0 with his first goal for the club.
Blackburn lost by the same scoreline at West Brom, falling behind before half-time as full-back Martin Olsson sliced the ball into his own goal when attempting to clear a header from Albion centre-back Gareth McAuley.
Marc-Antoine Fortune made it 2-0 after being picked out by Chris Brunt and Liam Ridgewell headed home Graham Dorrans' free-kick.
Rock-bottom Wolves moved closer to the relegation trapdoor as Peter Crouch's header condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at Stoke in the teatime game.
Results earlier in the day had presented Wanderers with an opportunity to reduce the six-point gap between them and safety, but for the third successive match, they took the lead only to end up with nothing.
Michael Kightly put Wolves in front in the 26th minute with a lofted pass that drifted straight in, but Robert Huth drove home an equaliser with eight minutes of the first half remaining before Crouch - following up his recent wonder strike against Manchester City - nodded in the winner just after the hour mark.
Higher up the table, Liverpool came from behind to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa at Anfield.
Chris Herd swept the visitors into the lead before Dirk Kuyt missed a glorious chance for the Reds, ballooning over from close range after meeting Steven Gerrard's cross-shot.
Luis Suarez grabbed Liverpool's leveller, tapping home from close range after Daniel Agger's header hit the crossbar, before substitute Andy Carroll headed the Uruguay forward's cross straight at Shay Given.
Nikica Jelavic scored twice as Everton also shared the spoils at Norwich.
The Canaries spent most of the first half on the back foot and went behind in the 22nd minute when Jelavic back-heeled home his third goal in four matches.
Tony Hibbert struck the woodwork as Everton continued to dominate, but Jonny Howson popped up six minutes from the break to convert Wes Hoolahan's cross.
Jelavic's second was tinged with controversy as the ball became trapped beneath Steven Pienaar and, as Norwich stood off, the South African crossed for the former Rangers striker to finish.
But the Canaries equalised once more when Aaron Wilbraham's shot was saved but he turned the rebound into the path of Grant Holt, who calmly side-footed home.
In the day's early kick-off, Gareth Bale headed Tottenham's best chance onto the roof of the net as Harry Redknapp's men failed to put pressure on their rivals for a Champions League place with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland.
Their goalless draw was enough to nudge Spurs at least temporarily up to third, but it was a frustrating afternoon for Redknapp with Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart also missing chances.
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