Chelsea slips, Clint Dempsey scores in England

London: Chelsea missed a chance to put pressure on the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, yielding a goal with two minutes left in a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Wigan.

Chelsea looked on course for a fourth straight Premier League victory when Daniel Sturridge scored his eighth goal of the season in the 59th minute. But Wigan dominated the second half and Jordi Gomez tapped in from close range after a mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

The result left Chelsea with 32 points from 16 matches, four behind second-place Manchester United and six behind longtime leader City.

Defending champion United could take first place for the first time since mid-October if it wins at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday and Manchester City loses to visiting Arsenal. Sunderland is at fourth-place Tottenham and Liverpool is at Aston Villa in Sunday`s other matches.

The draw left Wigan in the relegation zone with Blackburn and Bolton, which remained anchored to the bottom of the league after a 2-0 loss at Fulham

Two weeks after becoming the most prolific American scorer in England`s top division, Clint Dempsey scored his 38th Premier League goal to get Fulham rolling. He scored his fifth league goal this season and eighth overall with a 32nd-minute header from Bryan Ruiz`s cross. Costa Rica forward Ruiz chipped over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to make it 2-0 two minutes later.

Last-place Bolton has only nine points from 16 games. That`s one fewer than Blackburn, which lost 2-1 to visiting West Bromwich Albion. Peter Odemwingie scored West Brom`s winning goal with a minute left.

Wolverhampton is one place and one point above the relegation zone after giving up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss against Stoke. Stoke is three points behind Newcastle, which spent three months in the top four but is now without a win in five matches after drawing 0-0 with visiting Swansea.

In the League Championship, American defender Daniel Potts made his debut for West Ham in a 1-0 home draw against Barnsley. A member of the U.S. Under-20 team, Potts is captain of the Hammers` Under-18 team and signed a 2 1-2-year professional contract on Friday. He overcame leukemia two years ago.

Bureau Report

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