Published March 01, 2011
LONDON – Frank Lampard converted a penalty kick in the 80th minute, giving Chelsea a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over first-place Manchester United on Tuesday night that tightened the Premier League race.
Wayne Rooney scored in his third straight Premier League game for the first time in a year, putting United ahead in the 29th minute with a 25-yard shot that beat goalkeeper Petr Cech.
David Luiz tied in the 54th by volleying in his first goal for Chelsea, and Lampard scored the go-ahead goal, putting his kick just over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar after Yuri Zhirkov was tripped in the penalty area by United defender Chris Smalling. Chelsea has won three straight league games against United.
United captain Nemanja Vidic was ejected in stoppage time when he received his second yellow card for a foul on Ramires. Vidic is suspended for Sunday's game at Liverpool.
United manager Alex Ferguson said Luiz, who already had a yellow card, should have been ejected in the second half by referee Martin Atkinson for fouling Wayne Rooney.
"You want a fair referee — or a strong referee, anyway — and we didn't get that," Ferguson said. "I don't know why he has got the game. I must say, when I saw who the referee was I did fear it. I feared the worst.
"The Luiz foul was 6 yards in front of the referee, maybe 8 if we give him the benefit of the doubt, no obstructions whatsoever. I don't know how he stayed on the pitch."
Manchester United (17-2-9) has 60 points, four more than second-place Arsenal (17-5-5), which has played one fewer game. The Gunners host United on May 1.
Chelsea (14-7-6) moved into fourth place — the final Champions League spot — with 48 points, two back of Manchester City (14-6-8) and one ahead of Tottenham (13-6-8).
"We're still a lot of points behind, but all we could do was win the game," Lampard said. "United are deservedly top of the league, but we've still got some fight in us and we showed that tonight."
United manager Alex Ferguson used the same starting lineup in consecutive games for the first time in 165 matches. Ryan Giggs entered in the 70th minute, a day shy of the 20th anniversary of his league debut for United. The 37-year-old tied Bobby Charlton's club record by making his 606th league appearance.
Fernando Torres failed to score and has no goals in four games since Chelsea bought him from Liverpool for about $80 million.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton was eliminated from the FA Cup with a 1-0 loss to second-tier Reading in the fifth round.
Matt Mills beat American goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 26th minute. The Toffees had beaten defending champion Chelsea in the fourth round.
In the quarterfinals on March 13, Reading will play either Manchester City or Aston Villa, who meet Wednesday.
In a further blow for Everton, midfielder Marouane Fellaini will have surgery Monday and miss the rest of the season after injuring an ankle Saturday against Sunderland.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Duisburg advanced to the German Cup final when it beat fellow second-division team Energie Cottbus 2-1 on goals by Stefan Maierhofer the 24th and Srdjan Baljak in the 54th.
Duisburg's Bruno Soares was ejected in the 77th for a foul in the penalty area, and Nils Petersen converted the resulting penalty kick.
In the final at Berlin on May 21, Duisburg will play the winner of Wednesday's game between Bayern Munich and Schalke.
MADRID (AP) — Sevilla beat Sporting Gijon 3-0 in the Spanish league on goals by Luis Fabiano, Diego Perotti and Alvaro Negredo.
Fabiano converted a penalty kick in the 28th minute after Sebastian Eguren was ejected for tripping him in the penalty area.
Also Tuesday, Emilio Nsue scored a tiebreaking goal off a rebound in the 83rd minute to lead Mallorca over Espanyol 2-1.
Nsue scored after goalkeeper Carlos Kameni made an acrobatic save on Akihiro Ienaga's volleyed shot. Kameni also saved Chori Castro's penalty kick in the ninth minute.
Alvaro Vazquez put Espanyol ahead in the 19th, and Pierre Webo tied it when he headed in Sergio Tejera's free kick in the 63rd.