Middlebrough hold Chelsea to draw

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

Chelsea's English Premier League title challenge was effectively ended on April 10 when they were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Middlesbrough.

Middlebrough hold Chelsea to draw

London:

Chelsea's English Premier League title challenge was effectively ended on April 10 when they were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Middlesbrough. The Blues now trail league leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand, by six points and have only six games to make up the deficit. Chelsea looked to keep up the pressure on English Premier League leaders Arsenal when they entertained Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Joe Cole made a rare start for Roman Abramovich's billionaires and was at the heart of Chelsea's early chances. The skilful England international had a sight of goal in the ninth minute, but blasted over from a difficult position. The visitors also looked fluent going forward though and a fine piece of play in the 14th minute resulted in Chelsea goalkeeper Marco Ambrosio diving to stop Gaizka Mendieta's deflected shot. But the Blues dictated the pace of the game as the first half wore on and went close to breaking the deadlock in the 38th minute. Claude Makelele teed up a chance for Eidur Gudjohnsen, but his strike came back off a post. Frank Lampard was perfectly placed to tap-in the rebound, only to miss the target from six yards out. Lampard, undoubtedly Chelsea's player of the season, tried his luck again moments later with a strike that arced wide of the target. Juan Sebastien Veron made his return from a lengthy injury lay-off as a second half substitute for Chelsea and went close on the hour mark with a free-kick that cleared the 'Boro goal. The visitors were working hard to foil Chelsea, but struggled to create chances. Substitute Michael Ricketts could have grabbed a winner as the game entered the last 10 minutes thougha€"he should have at least tested Ambrosio with his header from 12 yards out. Chelsea had chances to seal the victory as the match entered the closing stages, but when Gudjohnsen was denied a goal by Stuart Parnaby's brave block, the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists knew that it was not to be their day. Claudio Ranieri's side now trail Arsenal by six points after the goalless draw, but have played a game more than the league leaders. (AP)



Topics : Football
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