2006-12-12

Chelsea fought hard to tie with Arsenal

Chelsea FC dropped two points at home Sunday, needing an 84th-minute equalizer from Michael Essien to just get a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the Premier League.

Mathieu Flamini put the Gunners ahead in the 78th, scoring after receiving a pass from Alexander Hleb. Essien then leveled with an incredible long-range shot that went in off the inside of the post at Stamford Bridge Stadium.

"I think the goal was tremendous, unbelievable,"Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted.

It's fair to say that Essien and Frank Lampard nearly gave Chelsea the win in injury time. Essien hit the crossbar from right in front of goal, and Lampard then hit the post.

Actually, this draw gives Manchester United an eight-point lead at the top of the standings, but with one more game played than Chelsea. Man United has 44 points, followed by Chelsea with 36. Arsenal only reach 26 points.

We msut mention that Mourinho was confident that his team would cut the gap to five after Wednesday's match against Newcastle, and he warned Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson not to celebrate his side's lead too much.

"I'm convinced that he must be happy now because we can say we dropped two points, but if he thinks it's over, he is in trouble,"Mourinho said. "Chelsea are ready. We were losing at home with five minutes to go but we had an incredible reaction and should have won the match.