Wigan looked poised to claim a crucial point when Mohamed Diame scored a nice
equalizer eight minutes from time to cancel out a 62nd-minute goal from
But Mata was on hand to finish off a fantastic volley from Fernando Torres
that struck the post, moving Chelsea to within two points of fourth-place
Arsenal, which faces Manchester City on Sunday.
A draw would have moved Wigan out of the bottom three but the Latics remain in
the drop zone on goal difference.
Chelsea failed to impress in the first half but went ahead shortly after the
hour mark through Ivanovic, who brought down a ball from Raul Meireles in an
offside position and fired it past goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi with the flag
Ivanovic needed to clear a shot from Franco Di Santo off the goal line to keep
Chelsea in front, but a well-struck shot from Diame 20 yards from goal had
Wigan back on level terms.
It was a cruel blow for the visitors then as Didier Drogba's cross was smashed
against the post by Torres, leaving Mata the chance to bundle the ball over
the line from a few yards.
Sunderland 0, Tottenham 0
Sunderland, England - Tottenham and Sunderland played out a disappointing 0-0
draw at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, moving Spurs into third place but
leaving the club in danger of slipping out of the top four.
The result sees Harry Redknapp's side go one point clear of Arsenal, but the
Gunners can move past Spurs with a win against Manchester City on Sunday,
while Chelsea has closed to within three points.
Tottenham started well and had Sunderland under pressure in the first half but
failed to maintain that level of attacking play in the second half despite
Redknapp bringing on offensive-minded substitutions in Aaron Lennon and
Fulham 3, Bolton 0
Bolton, England - Bolton failed to put any distance between itself and the
chasing relegation pack on Saturday as Clint Dempsey netted two goals for
Fulham in a 3-0 victory for the Cottagers at the Reebok Stadium.
Wanderers were full of confidence after winning three straight games in league
play, but went behind on the half-hour mark after a well-taken free kick from
Dempsey found the top corner of the net.
The American doubled the advantage just before halftime when Damien Duff did
well to get free on the wing and cross to the back post for Dempsey to head
home his 15th league goal of the season.
Fulham had lost three games in a row but rebounded to beat Norwich City last
week and sealed a second straight win 10 minutes from time when Mahamadou
Diarra claimed his first goal for the club.
Liverpool 1, Aston Villa 1
Liverpool, England - A goal from Luis Suarez eight minutes from time prevented
Liverpool from a fourth successive league defeat as the Reds salvaged a 1-1
draw with Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.
Aston Villa cannot yet count itself among the teams safely clear of
relegation, but Chris Herd's goal after 10 minutes put the Villains in front
and had to have Liverpool fearing another disappointing outing.
But the Reds picked things up a bit after halftime and Suarez saw his header
come back off the post before Craig Bellamy was denied by the woodwork after
beating goalkeeper Shay Given.
Daniel Agger had a header kept out by the crossbar, but this time Suarez was
on hand to nod it home from a few yards to snatch a point.
Norwich City 2, Everton 2
Norwich, England - A second-half equalizer from Grant Holt helped Norwich City
to a 2-2 draw with Everton at Carrow Road on Saturday, helping the Canaries
move 12 points clear of the drop zone.
Nikica Jelavic scored both goals for Everton and has been in good form since
his arrival from Rangers, netting four goals in four games.
Jelavic had the Toffees on the board first with a goal after 22 minutes, only
for Norwich to equalize through Jonathan Howson six minutes before the break.
The visitors moved back ahead just after the hour mark with Jelavic once on
target, but David Moyes and his side were denied a third straight win when
Aaron Wilbraham collected his own rebound and squared it to Holt for the tying
goal 15 minutes from the end.
West Bromwich 3, Blackburn 0
West Bromwich, England - Blackburn's recent struggles continued on Saturday as
West Bromwich handed Rovers a 3-0 defeat at The Hawthorns.
The defeat is Blackburn's third in succession following back-to-back wins and
keeps the club in the bottom three on goal difference.
Martin Olsson's own goal after seven minutes left Blackburn chasing the
equalizer, and goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune and Liam Ridgewell after the
break secured a Baggies victory for the first time in five games.
West Brom is 11 points above the drop zone and appears to be safe.
Stoke City 2, Wolverhampton 1
Stoke-on-Trent, England - Wolverhampton moved closer to relegation on Saturday
as a goal from Peter Crouch in the second half doomed Wolves to a 2-1 defeat
at Stoke City.
With six points separating the visitors from safety a win would have been
vital for Terry Connor's men, and they started well with Michael Kightly
lofting a ball into the penalty area that skipped straight into the net
despite a lunging attempt by Wolverhampton's Dave Edwards to redirect it.
However, Robert Huth equalized before halftime for the Potters by beating
goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with a shot that slipped between his legs.
Jermaine Pennant's free kick in the 61st minute broke the deadlock as Crouch
got up in a crowded penalty area to head the ball beyond Hennessey and hand
Wolves a sixth straight defeat.