EPL PIX: Chelsea climb to third as Spurs lose again
Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea who beat West Ham United 2-0 to move into third place in the Premier League above Tottenham Hotspur who suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Fulham on Sunday.
Most of the attention was focused on the two London derbies with Spurs and Chelsea involved in an increasingly tight battle for a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League.
West London prevailed in both games with Chelsea's win moving them on to 55 points, one more than Spurs, who have played one more match.
"It is a long race," Benitez told Sky Sports.
"We have to carry on, win our next game and see what the others do. We have to be pleased because we scored two goals and kept a clean sheet, but we could have finished it earlier."
Lampard struck his milestone goal after 19 minutes against his former club after converting a cross from Eden Hazard and the Belgian added the second in the second half to seal the points.
Image: Eden Hazard of Chelsea (centre) celebrates scoring against West Ham
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters
Spurs in crises
While Chelsea are battling through their crisis, Spurs seem to be entering one.
Fulham put a huge dent in Tottenham's Champions League ambitions when former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal after 52 minutes.
Fulham's victory, only their third at White Hart Lane in the League since they first played Spurs there 104 years ago, was enough to consolidate their mid-table place and leave Spurs fans nervously dreading another end of season collapse.
Fulham manager Martin Jol, the former Spurs coach, said he took no personal satisfaction from the win, but was delighted with the three points.
"They are a very strong team and you come here hoping for a point, but we got all three today and I am very happy. I still think Spurs will finish in the top four, but we deserved it today."
Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas told reporters he did not think the team's well documented collapse last season would have an impact on the run-in.
"Well the situation is a bit different now than it was two weeks ago, but we have got enough games to recover," he said. "We did not create enough today or play well enough, but we just have to make sure we fight against it when we come back after the international break."
Image: Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov (right) celebrates his goal against Tottenham
Photographs: Eddie Keogh /Reuters
'It was an awful tackle'
FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan Athletic stayed in the relegation zone despite Arouna Kone scoring a last-minute goal in a 2-1 home win over Newcastle United and Sunderland continued to flirt with danger after drawing 1-1 with 10-man Norwich City.
Wigan's victory was marred by a shocking tackle by Callum McManaman on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara which left Newcastle manager Alan Pardew fuming.
"It was an awful tackle," Pardew said. "I've got a boy going to hospital and that is a worse feeling than losing."
Earlier, Sunderland's run without a Premier League win stretched to seven matches when they failed to beat 10-man Norwich City in a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Norwich were reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Bunn was sent off but they held on for a point to keep themselves well clear of the relegation battle.
Image: Newcastle United players look at their injured teammate Massadio Haidara
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters