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Monday, May 2, 2011

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Still kicking: Chelsea's Didier Drogba, left, is tackled by Tottenham's Younes Kaboul on Saturday in London. The Blues won 2-1 to stay alive in the Premier League race. AP

Kalou scores late as Chelsea stays alive


LONDON — Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou scored in the 89th minute on Saturday to give his team a 2-1 win over Tottenham that keeps alive its hopes of retaining the Premier League title.

Spurs led through Sandro's 19th-minute shot from long range but Frank Lampard equalized in the final minute of the first half after Heurelho Gomes spilled his shot.

The referee gave the goal even though replays showed the recovering goalkeeper just prevented the whole ball crossing the line and Kalou scored the winner from what appeared to be an offside position, stabbing in Didier Drogba's deflected shot.

The win keeps up the pressure on Manchester United, which was seeking to extend its three-point advantage over Chelsea against Arsenal on Sunday.

"They're 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," Lampard said. "We've kept ourselves alive today and we can sit back and watch and hope tomorrow."

Chelsea has just three games remaining to United's four, but one of those is the meeting between the teams at Old Trafford next weekend.

"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."

Tottenham still has not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990 and is now unlikely to qualify for the Champions League. Manager Harry Redknapp's side is four points behind Manchester City, which occupies the fourth and final Champions League spot having played one game fewer.

"You've got to look at the two goals," Redknapp said. "The first one wasn't over the line and the second I thought was offside.

"I don't see why we're still messing around after all these years and haven't got technology in the game. It's amazing."

Manchester City was set to host last-place West Ham on Sunday, when Wolverhampton Wanderers was at Birmingham, and Liverpool was to host Newcastle.

The identity of the clubs to be relegated remained unclear after Wigan and Blackpool each picked up a valuable point in their fight against the drop.

Blackpool drew 0-0 with F.A. 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.

Dortmund wraps up title


Dortmund, Germany — Shinji Kagawa on Saturday became the latest Japanese player to win the German Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund wrapped up the title with two games to spare with a 2-0 win over Nuremburg.

Despite missing the title run-in through injury, Kagawa, who broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot at the Asian Cup in Qatar in January, was a smash hit in the first half of his rookie campaign and made a significant contribution to Dortmunde_SSRqs title win with eight goals in 17 matches.

Closest challenger Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-0 at struggling Cologne and the two results left Dortmund an unassailable eight points ahead with two matches each to play.

Madrid misses chance


Madrid — Real Madrid stumbled to a 3-2 defeat against Zaragoza and missed an opportunity to stay in the hunt for the Spanish title after league leader Barcelona slipped up in a 2-1 loss at Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Angel Lafita scored twice and set up a penalty as Zaragoza capitalized on Madrid's low morale following its Champions League loss to Barcelona on Wednesday to leave the Spanish giant's title challenge on the brink of collapse.

But Sociedad rallied to score twice in the final 20 minutes to keep Barcelona from matching the Basque club's own league record of 32 games without defeat from the 1979-80 season.

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