Tuesday 23 January 2018

Villa point is enough for Carlo

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was content with a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa despite missing out on the chance to move seven points clear at the top.

Nicolas Anelka headed against the woodwork in the closing seconds and so the Blues failed to take advantage of Manchester United's home draw with West Brom.

Ancelotti said: "We didn't start so well and gave Villa a couple of chances. (But) the way we played in the second half we deserved to win, but Villa did well in the first half, so a draw is fair."

Arsenal joined United on 14 points after a 2-1 win over Birmingham, which saw Jack Wilshere sent off late on for a foul on Nikola Zigic.

Zigic had put the Blues in front before a Samir Nasri penalty and a Marouane Chamakh goal sealed the win.

"I mistimed the challenge on Zigic and accept I deserved to be sent off," Wilshere said.

Controversy reigned elsewhere, however, when referee Mike Dean allowed Tom Huddlestone's 63rd-minute winner for Tottenham to stand at Fulham after assistant Martin Yerby had initially flagged William Gallas offside.

"The goal should have been wiped out because Gallas is in an offside position as the ball is struck by Huddlestone," said Fulham boss Mark Hughes, who had earlier seen Diomansy Kamara's first-half opener immediately cancelled out by Roman Pavlyuchenko.

In contrast, West Ham boss Avram Grant felt his side were denied a legitimate goal in stoppage time against Wolves.

The game finished 1-1 after Mark Noble's penalty had cancelled out Matt Jarvis' first-half opener at Molineux, but Frederic Piquionne was penalised for handball in the dying moments after thinking he had fired home the winner.

"Mark (Clattenburg) is one of the best referees ... but, unfortunately, it was against us and it cost us two points."

Bolton boss Owen Coyle also felt referee Peter Walton was wrong to send off goalscorer Ivan Klasnic after the Trotters beat Stoke 2-1.

Klasnic scored the winner in the second minute of injury time but picked up two yellow cards before the final whistle.

"The first yellow I can accept ... but I thought (the second) was very harsh," said Coyle.

Elsewhere, Newcastle boss Chris Hughton praised the spirit of his team as they fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a point against Wigan.

"What we have got in this side is great character," he said.

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