Chelsea wins to retain EPL title hopes

The Associated Press
Monday, March 21, 2011; 2:02 AM

LONDON -- Chelsea boosted its slim chances of retaining the Premier League title by beating Manchester City 2-0, while Liverpool closed in on fifth-place Tottenham with a 2-0 victory at Sunderland on Sunday.

Brazil internationals David Luiz and Ramires scored in the final 12 minutes to settle a hard-fought match at Stamford Bridge, lifting Chelsea a point above City into third place and nine points adrift of league leader Manchester United with a game in hand.

"The longer the game went on, the better we got going forward," Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "It was a big win for us. "We have nine games to play and we have to do our best. Our form is good."

City, which was without injured Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, is four points above Tottenham having played one more match. With the team's title hopes all but over, its focus could now be on staying in the top four.

"We played three days ago against Dynamo Kiev (in the Europa League), and in the last 20 minutes we were so tired," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "Until 70 minutes, it was normal that Chelsea had more possession but we conceded nothing before then."

A controversial penalty, scored by Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt in the 34th minute, set Liverpool on its way to victory at the Stadium of Light. Video replays showed Jay Spearing was fouled outside the box by John Mensah but the assistant referee awarded a penalty.

A wonderful solo effort from Uruguay striker Luis Suarez in the 77th minute clinched the three points for Liverpool before Mensah was given a straight red card for hauling down Suarez as he chased a long punt upfield by goalkeeper Jose Reina.

The Reds are four points behind Tottenham but have played a game more.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Osasuna scored twice in each half to thrash Hercules 4-0 for its third straight win in the Spanish league.

Javier Camunas scored Osasuna's 10th-minute opener after Enrique Sola set the Spanish winger up inside the area.

Right back Nelson Tomar doubled the lead in the 35th before goals by Krisztian Vadozc and Sola in the second half.

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