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Friday, Jan. 7, 2011

Wolves add to Chelsea's league woes

LONDON (AP) Chelsea's dismal form worsened Wednesday when it slipped to a 1-0 defeat at last-place Wolverhampton Wanderers for one of its most embarrassing defeats in the Premier League.

News photo
Slide continues: Chelsea's Didier Drogba receives a pass as Wolverhampton's Christophe Berra (left) and Richard Stearman look on in Premier League action on Wednesday night at Molineux Stadium. Wolves won 1-0. AP PHOTO

While Manchester City fell two points behind Premier League leader Manchester United with a 0-0 draw at third-place Arsenal, a fifth-minute own-goal by Jose Bosingwa left defending champion Chelsea outside the Champions League qualifying places after two wins in its past nine matches.

Early season leader Chelsea has now taken just 10 points from the last 11 games.

Chelsea's defeat meant that Tottenham kept fourth place despite a 2-1 loss at Everton, which completed a good night for United, which beat Stoke 2-1 on Tuesday to maintain the league's only unbeaten record. United has 44 points from 20 games as it pursues a record 19th English championship.

Liverpool's poor form also continued with a 3-1 loss at Blackburn, which only led to more chants from fans for manager Roy Hodgson to be fired.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti had said he was in danger of being fired following a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend, but Wednesday's result was even worse for a coach who won the league and F.A. Cup in his debut season.

Bosingwa put lowly Wolves ahead when he bundled a corner over his own line. Salomon Kalou missed a chance to equalize in the second half and Didier Drogba hit the bar as Wolves moved off the bottom of the standings to be replaced by West Ham.

The Hammers' mini revival ended with a 5-0 defeat at Newcastle, while Wigan is 19th after a 1-1 draw at Bolton. Aston Villa slipped into the relegation zone after losing 1-0 to visiting Sunderland.

Arsenal utterly dominated an unadventurous City side at Emirates Stadium and hit the frame of the goal three times in the first half.

Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott constantly created paths through City's static midfield for Arsenal, while the home side's defense limited an attack led by the ineffective Jo to just a handful of harmless counterattacks.

City's best chances were a shot over the bar from Carlos Tevez and a low blocked shot from Yaya Toure.

City's Pablo Zabaleta and Arsenal's Bacary Sagna were sent off in the final minute after shoving each other following a tussle for the ball on the touchline.

At Blackburn, Benjani Mwaruwari scored twice in his first start since Nov. 6 after Martin Olsson had given the hosts the lead.

Steven Gerrard pulled one back in the 81st but then sent a penalty high five minutes later to dash Liverpool's hopes of a comeback. Hodgson has been under severe pressure after a lackluster first half of the season, and chants of "You're getting sacked in the morning" ran out from the Liverpool fans during the second half.

2015 Asian Cup to Oz

DOHA (AP) Australia will host the 2015 Asian Cup after having its bid approved by the Asian Football Confederation on Wednesday.

The AFC voted in favor of Australia, the only country to submit a bid, at a meeting in Doha ahead of the Asian Cup which runs from Friday until Jan. 29 in Qatar. The bid was never in doubt after AFC president Mohamad bin Hammam came out in support of it.

"We considered all the achievements made in Australia toward the development of football and to encourage the next step in developing the game," Bin Hammam said. "We are happy to announce the AFC has approved Australia to host the 2015 Asian Cup."

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