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08.05.2007 Football News



Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien headed a brave goal for Chelsea on Sunday but it was not enough for the defending Premiership champions to retain their title.

Chelsea's bid to complete a hat-trick of successes ended in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal and handed the title to Manchester United.

Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva put Arsenal ahead at the Emirates stadium with a first-half penalty after Dutch international Khalid Boularouz was sent-off for a foul.

But 10-man Chelsea fought back and levelled when Essien headed in deftly at the near post from a cross by England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Chelsea's best chance to win fell to Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou, but his side-footed shot was palmed over the bar by keeper Jens Lehmann.

For once, Chelsea, missing Kalou's international captain Didier Drogba and five other first-choice players through injury, could not find a late winner.

A rare goal from Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo helped Everton take a significant step towards Uefa Cup qualification with a 3-0 home win over Portsmouth.

Yobo headed in from close range after 62 minutes, the second of Everton's three second-half strikes.

Fulham's powerful Senegalese midfielder Pape Bouba Diop was sent off in stoppage time, but his team overcame Champions League finalists Liverpool by the only goal to virtually confirm their survival.

South African forward Benni McCarthy opened the scoring for Blackburn Rovers at Newcastle United after some typically poor defending from the home team.

His 14th minute volley was McCarthy's 16th league goal of an excellent first season at Blackburn.

Englishman Jason Roberts scored Blackburn's final goal in a 2-0 win that prompted the resignation of Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder.

Watford defender Danny Shittu celebrated his return to the Nigerian national squad after a two-year absence by scoring for the relegated Hornets on Saturday.

Shittu's goal provided the platform for a 2-0 away victory at Reading, a rarity in a bleak season for Watford.

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o's goal helped leaders Barcelona banish the memories of recent poor away form with a 2-0 win at relegation-strugglers Real Sociedad on Saturday.

After a nervous first half, Barcelona settled when Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta broke the deadlock two minutes after the break.

Only a string of saves from Real's Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo kept Barca at bay, but there was nothing he could do after 88 minutes to stop Eto'o chasing on to a pass from Brazilian Ronaldinho to deliver a trademark cool finish.

Uefa Cup finalists Espanyol followed up their midweek win over German side Werder Bremen with a vibrant 2-1 victory over a disappointing Atletico Madrid, Moroccan midfielder Moha setting the home team on their way with a well taken far-post volley.

Espanyol's Uefa Cup opponents Sevilla travelled to Real Madrid and started brightly when Malian striker Fredi Kanoute headed on for Italian midfielder Enzo Maresca to volley in a classy opening goal.

However, Real's Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored twice in a superb second-half comeback, Real eventually winning 3-2 to move above Sevilla in second place, just two points behind Barca.

The double strike lifted Van Nistelrooy above Kanoute at the top of the goal-scoring charts.

The Dutchman has 20 league goals while Kanoute remains on 19.

A first-half goal from Ghana's Sulley Muntari was not enough to earn Udinese any points from their game at Cagliari in Serie A.

Cagliari came back to win 2-1 and all but end Udinese's hopes of UefA Cup qualification.

Senegalese striker Mamadou Niang scored a late penalty to claim three points for Olympique Marseille at Monaco.

Frenchman Jeremy Menez gave Monaco an early lead, his countryman Franck Ribery levelled on the stroke of halftime and then Niang's cool finish won the points for Marseille.

Marseille remain fourth and are now on 55 points from 35 matches, just one behind Racing Lens and Girondins Bordeaux.

Lens left it late to hold second place with a 2-0 home win over Toulouse.

Malian midfielder Seydou Keita opened the scoring after 84 minutes and Gabon striker Daniel Cousin secured the result with a late penalty.

Morocco's Mohamed Armoumen was sent-off after a second caution as his side Lokeren lost 1-0 to visiting Genk.

Lokeren are still in the thresholds of relegation with two games remaining in the league.

Beveren are almost certainly relegated after losing 8-1 to league leaders Anderlecht.

There were hat-tricks for Morocco's Mbark Boussoufa, DR Congo striker Dieumerci Mbokani with another strike from Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan to seal the emphatic victory.

It is a two-horse race for the title between Anderlecht who have a two-point lead and Genk.

In another high scoring game, Ivorian Francois Zoko grabbed a brace for Mons-Bergen who mauled Roulers 6-1.

Nigerian Mannaseh Ishiaku was among the scorers for Club Bruges who put four past relegated Lierse.

Cape Verde striker Claudio Lito had equalised in the 78th minute for Naval but they still lost 2-1 to Benfica, who are involved in a three-horse race for the title.

Porto lead with Sporting Lisbon in second position.

Fellow Cape Verdean Eduardo Dady was also on target for Belenenses who lost 2-1 at Braga.

Egyptians Basheer Abdelhamid and Ibrahim Said were both sent-off but their team Rizespor were able to hold Erciyesspor to a 1-1 draw.

Isaac Promise of Nigeria scored the opener for Genclerbirligi but Konyaspor came from the goal down to win 2-1.

Cameroon defender Rigobert Song equalised for Galatasaray in the 69th minute as his side drew 1-1 with Antalyaspor.

Ghana captain Stephen Appiah produced a man-of-the-match performance to help Fenerbahce beat rivals Besiktas 1-0 in the top-of the table clash.

The win left Fenerbahce on 63 points, five points clear of Besiktas and well placed to seal their 17th title next week against Trabzonspor.