| Everton’s Steve Watson scores over Bolton Wanderers’ Simon Charlton in their English Premier League match at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton on Tuesday. Everton won 2-1. (Reuters)
London: Chelsea twice came from behind to beat Leeds 3-2 to stay in title contention in the Premier League, while Bolton and Sunderland both lost at home to stay deep in relegation trouble.
Harry Kewell and Teddy Lucic both scored for Leeds at Stamford Bridge but Eidur Gudjohnsen scored the Blues’ first equalizer and Frank Lampard the second with 10 minutes to go.
Lampard also clinched all three points three minutes later with a shot that went in off the boot of Leeds defender Dominic Matteo.
Bolton went down 2-1 at home to Everton and Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by Southampton to stay in the last four. James Beattie, tipped as an England star of the future, scored his 16th League goal of the season.
The amazing result of the night, however, was at the Riverside Stadium where Aston Villa, with no away wins all season, ended Middlesbrough’s unbeaten home record with an amazing 5-2 victory.
Chelsea’s 10th home win means that Claudio Ranieri’s fourth place team now has 44 points, one behind Newcastle, three fewer than Manchester United and eight behind leader Arsenal.
Chelsea had won nine of its previous 10 home games but struggled hard to keep that run going as Leeds, managed by former midfielder Terry Venables, twice led at Stamford Bridge despite the absence of Robbie Fowler and Jonathan Woodgate who are reportedly in transfer talks.
Striker Fowler is reported to have rekindled a move to Manchester City while centreback Woodgate is supposed to be in talks with Newcastle.
In the 18th minute, Mark Viduka won the ball in the air and flicked the ball on to fellow Australian international Kewell who took the ball on his chest and volleyed it past goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
Icelandic star Gudjohnson levelled with an overhead kick from almost level with the byline from Lampard’s cross.
Chelsea began to take control but Leeds regained the lead when Kewell had a shot blocked and Swedish defender Lucic scored from the rebound for his first goal since his move to Elland Road.
But Lampard levelled again with a low shot into the bottom corner after Leeds failed to clear a cross and the England midfielder claimed the winner from close range although the ball took a deflection off the boot of Leeds defender Matteo.
“We’re very disappointed not to at least get a point,” Venables said. “You can’t blame Dominic Matteo though, he would have cleared that 99 times out of 100. It’s just one of those things.”
United States World Cup striker Brian McBride, who scored three goals on his first two appearances for Everton, had two shots blocked and also headed wide for the Toffees at Bolton.
But Everton broke through when defender Steve Watson scored with an overhead volley in the 33rd minute and the same man added the second before half time by scoring from the rebound after Gary Naysmith’s shot was blocked by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Delroy Facey netted a 90th minute reply for Wanderers but Bolton remains in trouble just outside the relegation zone.
Sunderland is just one place below after its loss at home to Southampton at the Stadium of Light.
The only goal came in the 50th minute when Michael Svensson’s long ball out of defence put Beattie clear to score. The young striker now has as many goals in the League as Sunderland has scored all season.
Sunderlands’ seventh home loss of the season means that Howard Wilkinson’s team could wind up in last place on Thursday if the two teams below, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham, win their home games against Charlton and Blackburn, respectively.
At the riverside stadium, Villa raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first 31 minutes. Darius Vassell shot home in the 24th minute from poor back pass by Andrew Davies and then Johannes Gudjonsson marked his debut with a free kick went through the hands of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
But Boro hit back with Italian striker Massimo Maccaroe scoring after he had been set up by a Joseph Desire Job back-header and then Jonathan Greening scored the equalizer after a dribble past two Villa men.
Villa regained the lead when Gareth Barry deflected a hot from Thomas Hitzlsperger into the net in the opening minute of the first half and defender Lloyd Samuel added the fourth with 10 minutes to go with a shot that went in off the inside of the post.
First division basement side Recreativo Huelva produced a dogged defensive display to hold Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw at the Calderon and secure a place in the last four of the King’s Cup on Tuesday.
The goalless draw meant that Recreativo’s 1-0 home win in the first leg was enough to see them through to the semi-finals for the first time in their history and end Atletico’s dreams of winning the Cup in their centenary season.
Atletico, who trailed 1-0 after the first leg, dominated the match as they pushed forward in search of a goal to level the tie.
But despite monopolising the possession and stringing together some neat passing moves, Luis Aragones’s side found it difficult to penetrate the deep-lying Recreativo defence.
Recreativo rarely ventured forward and their only scoring chance of the game came when midfielder Emilio Viqueira, who scored the winner in the first leg, went close with a free kick on 64 minutes.