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Chelsea win at Man City puts pressure on Man Utd
April 06, 2008 08:54 IST
Chelsea closed the gap on leaders Manchester United to two points by winning 2-0 at Manchester City on Saturday.
Arsenal are five points off the pace after a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool.
Chelsea's victory gave them 74 points from 33 matches and means the pressure will be on United when they travel to Middlesbrough for their game in hand on Sunday.
"I don't know if I will be watching United (on television) tomorrow but I know what result I want," Chelsea manager Avram Grant told the BBC.
A Richard Dunne own goal and Salomon Kalou's second-half effort were enough for Grant's side to maintain their dogged title challenge.
It also put the Stamford Bridge club in good heart for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Fenerbahce when they must overturn a 2-1 deficit.
Chelsea, who made six changes to the side that lost in Turkey, had to work hard for victory after Dunne turned City old boy Nicolas Anelka's cross into his own goal on six minutes.
Kalou gave them breathing space when he rounded keeper Joe Hart to slot home in the 53rd.
Anelka, who has not scored for two months, missed a chance when he was put clean through the City defence.
Peter Crouch fired Liverpool ahead before halftime and, although Nicklas Bendtner headed the equaliser, Arsenal's chase of United now looks forlorn.
Arsenal and Liverpool both made several team changes after their 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday, a result that made the Merseysiders favourites to go through after the second leg at Anfield.
Crouch was given a rare start by manager Rafael Benitez, who opted to leave Fernando Torres on the bench, and the tall England striker sparkled.
He forced Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia into an athletic save in the opening exchanges and then played in John Arne Riise but the Norwegian failed to hit the target.
Bendtner, in for top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor, wasted a good chance for Arsenal before Crouch struck to put Liverpool in front after escaping the attentions of William Gallas.
Cesc Fabregas was the provider for Arsenal's goal nine minutes after the break, Bendtner heading in his free kick.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent on Adebayor in a desperate attempt to snatch the points but Liverpool could have won it when Andriy Voronin shot over the bar.
"We are disappointed because we dominated the second half and I believe we had a penalty again not given," said Wenger.
"With our situation in the table a victory was needed."
Fulham look like joining bottom club Derby County through the relegation trapdoor after losing 3-1 at home to Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers's survival chances also diminished after a 4-0 hammering at Aston Villa.
Birmingham City remain just above the bottom three after losing 2-0 at fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic.
Newcastle United picked up a third consecutive win to end their relegation worries, beating Reading 3-0, while Blackburn Rovers drew 1-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Fulham have 24 points from 33 games with Bolton on 26. Birmingham have a four-point cushion on the bottom three, with Reading two points above.