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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
Read
Jan 2, 2012

Zamora strikes late to down Gunners

Arsenal suffered a late 2-1 defeat at Fulham while Chelsea were on the right end of a last-ditch win at Wolves and Blackburn failed to kick on from their historic win at Old Trafford as they slumped to defeat at home to Stoke.

• Jolly: Lamps reprises reprieve role

The Gunners had started the better side in the London derby and took the lead in the 21st minute. Aaron Ramsey dinked in a ball that took a deflection, it found the unmarked Laurent Koscielny who was able to calmly plant a header into the far corner from seven yards out.

It looked like being two almost straight away when but Fulham survived thanks to two superb saves from David Stockdale. First Theo Walcott's cross found Ramsey who fired a shot in from 12 yards, Stockdale parried that, then diverted Alex Song's follow-up onto the post.

Fulham rallied yet Arsenal looked like taking the points, but the dismissal of Johan Djourou in the 78th minute changed the course of the game. Djourou hauled down Bobby Zamora after the striker was played in by Clint Dempsey, leading to a second yellow card. Fulham argued the foul was inside the box but referee Lee Probert awarded a free-kick just outside.

The Cottagers piled on the pressure and levelled with five minutes left as former Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos flicked the ball on for Steve Sidwell, who also used to be on the Gunners' books, to nod in from close range.

And Martin Jol's side were not done there as the grabbed the winner deep into stoppage time. It was a splendid finish from Zamora, who drilled home after a cross was nodded across his own box by Arsenal substitute Sebastien Squillaci.

Frank Lampard saved Chelsea's blushes as they scraped to a 2-1 win over Wolves at Molineux.

Still reeling from their defeat to Villa at Stamford Bridge, manager Andre Villas-Boas restored Lampard and Fernando Torres to the starting line-up, and Lampard justified his selection with a late winner, after Stephen Ward looked to have snatched a point for Wolves, cancelling out Ramires' second-half strike.

Lampard was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card in the first half after a clumsy challenge on Adam Hammill. Hamill and Karl Henry swiftly followed Lampard into Peter Walton's book, as well as Kevin Doyle and Oriol Romeu as the game threatened to boil over.

Despite Chelsea's early dominance, Wolves nearly took the lead as the clock passed the half-hour mark, as Hammill's free-kick found Roger Johnson, whose header at the far post beat Petr Cech, only to clatter the post. Moments later another Hamill free-kick from the right saw Ward head wide from six yards out.

After a goalless first half, it was Chelsea who took the lead, John Terry failing to make decisive contact with Juan Mata's corner-kick, but after Wolves fail to clear their lines, Ramires pounced to lash the ball high into Wayne Hennessey's net.

But Wolves, who took a point off Arsenal at Emirates Stadium last week, refused to lie down, and Ward grabbed the equaliser - lashing home from close range after substitute Steven Fletcher knocked back from Matt Jarvis' chipped ball to the far post.

But in the final minute, Lampard slotted home after Torres found Ashley Cole on the left, and the defender delivered an inch-perfect cross to his England team-mate. Wolves almost snatched point at the death, with Petr Cech pulling off a fine save from Doyle's header, but the Blues hung on for the victory.

Blackburn came crashing back down to earth with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke.

Buoyed by their morale-boosting win at Old Trafford on Sunday, Blackburn started brightly, and were unlucky not to take an early lead. Just moments after rattling the crossbar with a header, Chris Samba found the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul by Yakubu on Tomas Sorensen.

But it was Stoke who claimed the lead at Ewood Park, Peter Crouch firing the Potters into the lead after 17 minutes. Dean Whitehead chipped the ball into the box, and Crouch controlled the ball before lashing in at the near post for his 100th league goal of his career.

And Crouch doubled Stoke's lead on the stroke of half-time, sending a left footed strike high into the centre of the net after a fast break from the Potters, shaking off his marker to receive Matthew Etherington's cross from the left.

David Goodwillie gave Rovers hope of a comeback, lashing home from close range after Yakubu's initial effort was blocked after Stoke failed to clear a corner, but they were unable to find a way back.

Joey Barton went from hero to zero as Norwich won the battle of the battle of the Premier League newboys with a 2-1 win over QPR at Loftus Road.

Rangers captain Barton opened the scoring for QPR, firing a low strike past John Ruddy from Clint Hill's cross from the left. But the former Newcastle midfielder was given his marching orders in the 36th minute after a confrontation with Bradley Johnson.

Norwich made their advantage count just moments later, Bradley Johnson feeding Anthony Pilkington after a good spell of possession by the visitors before Pilkington evaded the attentions of the QPR defence before firing in a low 20-yard strike low to Paddy Kenny's left.

However, QPR began to settle, and were an adequate match for the 11-man Canaries, Adel Taarabt nearly regained the lead for Rangers, John Ruddy diving to steer a free-kick onto the post.

But despite enjoying much of the possession in the second half, QPR were left to rue Barton's indiscipline, as Steve Morison grabbed all three points for the visitors, sweeping home from Elliott Bennett's cross.

Aston Villa failed to build on their win at Stamford Bridge as they fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea.

Solid at home, Swansea had not won on the road all season, but Brendan Rodgers' men got off to a blistering start, Nathan Dyer giving the Swans an early lead.

Dyer dispossessed Stephen Warnock in the box before coolly slotting past Brad Guzan in the fourth minute. Villa failed to recover from a shaky start, and Guzan was called upon to keep his side in the contest, saving from Danny Graham after Dyer had left Warnock trailing in his wake.

Swansea started the second half in a similar vein as they began the first; Danny Graham's effort hit the post, and Wayne Routledge was on hand to put away the rebound from an acute angle.

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