Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Frank Lampard scored a late penalty to give Chelsea a 2-1 win over last-place Portsmouth that restored their three-point lead at the top of the English Premier League.
Chelsea looked to be heading for a fifth game without a win until defender Mark Wilson was penalised for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic and Lampard hit the resulting penalty past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Chelsea have 40 points to defending champion Manchester United's 37, and eight more than third-place Arsenal, who drew 1-1 at Burnley.
Chelsea lost their perfect home record at the weekend when they drew 3-3 with Everton and their fans were agitated again after on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne equalised for Portsmouth following a free kick that rebounded off the defensive wall.
But Lampard stepped up to score his sixth penalty of the season and prevent a repeat of the jeers that followed the team off the Stamford Bridge pitch at the weekend.
"It was very hard,'' Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
"After their goal, we had some difficulties and we lost our composure.
"We didn't have confidence to win the game because we did not win the last four games.
"It was very important to return to wins. We did a good job, not a beautiful job.''
Chelsea had led through a 23rd-minute goal by Nicolas Anelka but Piquionne volleyed his fifth goal of the season when Chelsea failed to clear early in the second half.