Chelsea beats Manchester City


Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 on Wednesday to close within six points of English Premier League leader Manchester United. Frank Lampard converted a penalty in the 28th minute for his 20th goal of the season after winger Salomon Kalou was fouled by defender Micah Richards. Chelsea controlled possession for the remainder of the game to send Manchester City to its fifth straight defeat. In the only other Premier League game Wednesday, Arsenal beat Aston Villa 1-0 on a goal by Vassiriki Diaby in the 10th minute to move past Liverpool into third place. Manchester United leads the standings with 72 points and nine games left compared, while Chelsea improved to 66. Arsenal has 55 points, two more than Liverpool. “We will be taking it one game at a time,” Chelsea defender John Terry said. Chelsea is seeking its third title in as many years. For the second time in a week, Kalou was instrumental in the result. After scoring a late equalizer to earn Chelsea a 3-3 draw with Tottenham in Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal, on Wednesday he outmaneuvered Richards to draw a clear foul. Lampard confidently put his penalty into the left corner for the only goal needed. Chelsea welcomed back captain Terry following an absense of more than two weeks after being kicked in the head during the Blues’ League Cup final victory on Feb. 25. His presence solidified a defense that had allowed four goals in two matches. He was one of four changes from Sunday’s lineup against Tottenham. Up front, Ukraine’s Andriy Shevchenko was kept on the substitute’s bench after injuring his left ankle in training on Tuesday. And, this time, standout forward Didier Drogba performed below par. Manchester City hasn’t won in the league since New Year’s Day and has fallen from mid-table to 17th place, one above relegation but six points ahead of 18th-placed Charlton. Arsenal’s victory restored some confidence after being eliminated from the English League Cup, FA Cup and European Champions League in 11 days.