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Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
Drogba blows chance to help Blues taste victory
LONDON (AP) Didier Drogba came off the bench Sunday to earn Chelsea a 1-1 draw at Tottenham, although the striker wasted a chance to clinch his team's first Premier League win for a month when he missed an injury-time penalty.
Roman Pavlyuchenko had put the home side ahead in the 15th minute but Drogba, who entered the game at halftime, equalized midway through the second half when he latched onto a bouncing ball in the area and smashed a shot at goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who fumbled it over the line.
In the second minute of added time, Gomes then barged Ramires over in the area following a flick on by Drogba.
Instead of putting the resulting penalty to the goalkeeper's right — as he had done for his four previous kicks — Drogba hit it the other way and Gomes made a comfortable save to stretch Chelsea's run without a win to five league matches.
Chelsea still moved level on points with third-place Manchester United, but United can leapfrog Manchester City and provisional leader Arsenal if it beats the Gunners on Monday.
"We fully deserved to win the game," Chelsea captain John Terry said. "We dominated them. That's more like the Chelsea we all know."
But Chelsea has now lost three and drawn two of its last five matches at White Hart Lane.
Also Sunday, Stuart Holden scored with two minutes left to help Bolton overcome its fourth red card of the season and beat Blackburn 2-1. Stephen Hunt scored to give Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-0 win over Birmingham that boosts its attempt to avoid relegation.
Chelsea enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges at White Hart Lane until Pavlyuchenko took a pass inside the area from fellow striker Jermain Defoe and pushed it laterally past two defenders with his first touch before scoring with a firm shot low past goalkeeper Petr Cech at his near post.
Nicolas Anelka had an equalizer ruled out for offside just before halftime and Gomes made two good second-half saves before his mistake gave Drogba his eighth league goal of the season.
Drogba appeared to handle the ball as he challenged defender Michael Dawson but the defender hesitated as he turned toward his own goal, giving Drogba time to get there first. Drogba lashed a shot at Gomes and, although the goalkeeper blocked it, the pace of the ball caused it to spin off his gloves and up over his head into the goal.
Both teams went for the win, Tottenham introducing Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane as Chelsea's Frank Lampard made his first appearance in three months as a 78th-minute substitute.
Tevez eyes City exit
LONDON (AP) Carlos Tevez says he wants to leave Manchester City because he has fallen out with officials at the Premier League club.
Tevez says his relationship "with certain executives and individuals at the club has broken down and is now beyond repair."
Tevez did not identify the officials but added that he had not fallen out with team manager Roberto Mancini despite the pair exchanging angry words on the touchline when Mancini substituted the player last week.
With less than three weeks until the January transfer window, City said Sunday that the Argentina striker's written request for a transfer was motivated by a desire for an improved contract.
City said it turned down the request and that Tevez remained available for selection.