Chelsea gets back into title discussion with huge win

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Chelsea gets back into title discussion with huge win


Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, center, jumps over Blackpool’s goalkeeper Richard Kingson during their English Premier League soccer match in Blackpool, northern England, March 7. [REUTERS/YONHAP]

BLACKPOOL, England - Two goals from Frank Lampard and another from John Terry gave Chelsea a 3-1 win at Blackpool on Monday to renew its hopes of retaining the Premier League title.

After an unmarked Terry made it 1-0 with a 20th-minute header from a corner, Lampard scored twice for Chelsea within four second-half minutes at Bloomfield Road to move within nine points of leader Manchester United having played one fewer match.

Lampard converted a penalty in the 63rd minute after Salomon Kalou was fouled by Blackpool defender Ian Evatt. Three minutes later, Kalou slipped a pass through the defense for Lampard to slide the ball beyond goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

Chelsea was 15 points off the pace and seemingly out of the running for the title a week ago, but its victory over Manchester United followed by the leaders’ loss at Liverpool on Sunday has rejuvenated Chelsea’s campaign.

“We have to believe,” Lampard said. “It is a long shot and we have a lot to do, but if we go and win every game we will have a great chance to do it, but it will be very difficult.

“It’s been a good week for us. We weren’t at our best tonight, we were a bit sloppy and we cannot afford to be like that if we want to do anything. If we win every game we still have a chance, but Arsenal and Manchester United are good sides and they have a good lead.”

Chelsea has also solidified its hold onto at least the final spot in the Champions League, moving three points clear of fifth-place Tottenham.

Blackpool is two points above the drop zone after recording only one win in its past nine matches to be in 15th place. Blackpool refused to curb its attacking style, testing goalkeeper Petr Cech throughout the first half and scoring a consolation goal in the 86th from Jason Puncheon.

Chelsea struggled to find any fluency in attack until Kalou came on for Didier Drogba, who injured his hip. Fernando Torres has continued to slump and has failed to score in five matches since moving from Liverpool in a 50 million pound ($81 million) transfer.

“I am happy as he is working hard, supporting the team defensively and he has very good behavior on the pitch,” Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said of Torres.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was critical of referee Mike Dean’s decision to award the penalty that allowed Lampard to score.

“I think that was key, particularly when Lampard is going to take it as he normally scores,” Holloway said. “He [Kalou] couldn’t wait to go down, and we were a bit naive and the ref couldn’t wait to give it. In the championship that may not have been given.

“We deserved a goal in the first half, but unfortunately last year’s champions are good enough to hurt you. But I am proud of the team, we kept going and I felt we could have got something.”


Related Korean Article[뉴스엔]

첼시, 블랙풀에 3-1 승…4위 유지

첼시3-1블랙풀 잡고 맨시티 바짝, 램파드 2골1도움-토레스 무득점

첼시가 블랙풀을 3-1로 잡고 3위 추격에 나섰다.

첼시는 3월 8일(한국시간) 영국 블랙풀 블룸필드 로드에서 열린 2010/2011 잉글리시 프리미어리그(EPL) 경기에서 블랙풀 원정에 나서 3-1로 승리했다.

블랙풀은 홈팬들의 응원 속에 첼시를 압박해나갔다. 하지만 첼시는 스타군단답게 흔들리지 않고 수비를 공고히한 후 차분히 골 기회를 만들어갔다.

첼시는 세트플레이에서 선제골을 뽑아냈다. 전반 20분 코너킥 상황에서 프랭크 램파드의 코너킥을 존 테리가 헤딩으로 연결해 선취득점에 성공했다.

선제골을 허용한 블랙풀은 공격을 더욱 강화했다. 제이슨 펀천이 연이어 감각적인 슛을 시도했지만 페트르 체흐 골키퍼의 놀라운 선방과 골포스트를 맞추는 아쉬움 속에 골로 연결되진 못했다. 첼시에게는 충분히 가슴을 쓸어내릴만한 상황이었다.

후반 들어서도 양팀은 공세 위주로 경기를 진행했다. 특히 첼시는 1골에 만족할 수 없다는 듯 수비보다 공격에 화력을 집중했다.

결국 후반 17분, 첼시의 칼루가 블랙풀 예밧에게 파울을 당하며 페널티킥을 얻어냈고 램파드는 키커로 나서 가볍게 골을 성공해 차이를 2-0으로 벌렸다.

램파드는 4분 뒤인 후반 21분 또 1골을 터뜨렸다. 칼루가 수비를 뚫고 쇄도하던 램파드에게 감각적인 패스를 연결했고 램파드는 구석을 향해 정확히 차넣어 승부에 쐐기를 박았다.

하지만 블랙풀은 아예 포기하지 않고 공세를 더 강화했다. 결국 후반 41분 들어 이날 경기 내내 좋은 모습을 보여줬던 펀천이 만회골을 성공시켜 영패의 수모를 면하게 됐다. 후반 44분께는 좋은 기회를 만들어냈으나 존 테리의 수비에 막혀 무릎을 꿇어야했다.

결국 경기는 3-1 첼시의 승리로 돌아갔다. 램파드가 2골 1어시스트로 맹활약해 첼시의 이날 3득점에 모두 기여했다. 하지만 최고의 이적료를 기록하며 첼시로 옮겨온 토레스는 이날도 침묵을 지켰다. '드록신' 드록바의 골도 폭발하지 않아 아쉬움을 남겼다.

한편 첼시는 이날 승리로 첼시는 여전히 EPL 4위를 유지하게 됐다. 3위 맨체스터 시티와는 승점 2점차다.

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