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Sunday, December 14, 1997 Published at 18:59 GMT


Nine-man Leeds hold Chelsea
image: [ Leeds manager George Graham saw two of his men sent off ]
Leeds manager George Graham saw two of his men sent off

Gritty Leeds thwarted Chelsea's hopes of drawing level at the top of the English Premier League on Saturday, forcing a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge - despite being reduced to nine men.

Referee Graham Poll showed the red card to Leeds defenders Alfie Haaland and Gary Kelly in a bruising first half littered with cautions.

Victory for Chelsea would have given them the same number of points as leaders Manchester United, who host Aston Villa on Monday.

The X-rated action contrasted with the mood before the match when players and fans stood in silence in memory of Leeds legend Billy Bremner, who died last week.

Despite being two men down, Leeds restricted Chelsea to half chances and deserved their point for their outstanding rearguard action.

Tore Andre Flo had one effort disallowed for Chelsea.

At Highbury, Blackburn went second after coming from behind to beat Arsenal 3-1.

[ image: Marc Overmars celebrates his Arsenal goal with Dennis Bergkamp]
Marc Overmars celebrates his Arsenal goal with Dennis Bergkamp
Dutchman Marc Overmars lobbed Arsenal ahead but Blackburn stormed back in the second half.

Tony Adams' error let in Jason Wilcox for the equaliser, Kevin Gallacher scored the second after Chris Sutton flicked on a goal kick and Tim Sherwood sealed the win with a late break-away goal.

It was Arsenal's fourth defeat in six games as their title challenge withers.

Afterwards it was reported that striker Ian Wright was questioned by police after allegedly making comments to Blackburn fans.

The only consolation for Gunners' fans was that Spurs were caned again, 4-0 at Coventry. It follows last week's 6-1 humiliation at home to Chelsea.

Spurs had the better of the first half and it looked bad for the Sky Blues when Gary McAllister limped off with a recurrence of a knee injury.

But Darren Huckerby put Coventry ahead just before the break and Spurs fell apart in the second half.

Gary Breen, Marcus Hall and a second for Huckerby completed the rout.

Liverpool seem happier away from Anfield these days and their 3-0 win against Crystal Palace went with the form book.

Palace are the only team in England yet to record a home win, despite a formidable record on their travels.

Steve McManaman volleyed the first on 39 minutes. Michael Owen collected a Jamie Redknapp pass to chip home for the second and Ovyind Leonhardsen sealed victory for the Reds.

Barnsley and Newcastle shared the points and four goals in a rollercoaster match at Oakwell.

Two stylish strikes by Keith Gillespite either side of the break overturned Barnsley's opener from Neil Redfearn.

The Yorkshire side claimed a point with a rocket from John Hendrie 15 minutes from time but remain bottom.

West Ham continued their fine form at Upton Park, inflicting boss Ron Atkinson's first defeat since his return to Sheffield Wednesday.

Paul Kitson, back in the starting line-up after injury, scored the only goal in the second half.

[ image: Matthew Le Tissier - on target for Saints]
Matthew Le Tissier - on target for Saints
Matthew Le Tissier was on the mark early in Southampton's 2-1 win against Leicester at the Dell.

Francis Benali fired in the second for the Saints and Robbie Savage's late piledriver proved mere consolation for the Foxes.

There is still little cheer for Everton fans who saw their side grind out a 0-0 draw at home to Wimbledon. Everton are second from bottom.

In Sunday's Premier League game Bolton drew 3-3 at home to Derby.

In Division One, Middlesbrough beat Reading 4-0 at home to go three points clear of Nottingham Forest at the top.

Forest visit Wolves on Sunday.


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