Vol. 5 Num 317 Mon. April 18, 2005  

Spurs deny Liverpool

Andy Johnson's controversially won penalty secured a 3-3 Premier League draw for Crystal Palace against bottom-of-the-table Norwich on Saturday.

It was a result that did neither side much good, with Norwich and second-bottom Palace still where they were before kick-off.

Norwich, 3-1 up, had been on course for their first away league win in over a year when Palace striker Johnson went down in the box seven minutes from time before scoring his 10th penalty of the season.

Also remaining in the bottom three were Southampton who squandered a 2-0 lead at home to Aston Villa in a 3-2 defeat.

Bolton, who won 2-1 away to Charlton with on-loan Liverpool striker El-Hadji Diouf scoring for the visitors, leapfrogged the Reds into fifth place in the table.

Meanwhile Liverpool, who saw captain Steven Gerrard miss a penalty, were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham.

In Saturday's late game, Portsmouth, who marked Alain Perrin's first game in charge with a 4-2 win over Charlton last week, remained unbeaten under the Frenchman with a goalless draw away to Birmingham.

The result took Pompey eight points clear of the bottom three.

Elsewhere at the bottom, Fulham inched further away from trouble following a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at Craven Cottage.

At Selhurst Park, Joonas Kolkka put Palace ahead in the fifth minute.

But striker Dean Ashton, who turned down the chance to join Palace from Crewe in favour of Norwich, struck twice either side of half-time.

The Canaries then extended their lead when Leon McKenzie, a scorer in last week's shock 2-0 win against Manchester United, was on target again in the 53rd minute.

However, Michael Hughes gave Palace hope with a diving header 17 minutes from time before Johnson's 83rd minute penalty salvaged a point.

With none of the top four in action because of fixture delays caused by the FA Cup semi-finals, Liverpool, fresh from their midweek goalless draw away to Juventus which set up a Champions League semi-final against Premiership leaders Chelsea, knew they could close the gap on Everton at Anfield.

But not for the first time this season they struggled in the league days after European success.

Spurs took the lead thanks to a brilliant strike from Erik Edman in the 12th minute. However, Liverpool were back on terms a minute before the break thanks to a superb shot from Luis Garcia.

Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane restored Spurs's lead in the 55th minute and Liverpool then saw Gerrard shoot wide from the spot, after he'd been fouled by Stephen Kelly, before Sami Hyypia levelled in the 63rd minute.

Kick-off at St Mary's was delayed by 15 minutes because of traffic congestion but for the home fans the wait was worthwhile when Kevin Phillips scored in the fourth minute.

Phillips's strike partner Peter Crouch doubled the lead nine minutes later before Carlton Cole pulled one back for David O'Leary's men 15 minutes after the break.

Then Nolberto Solano's shot in the 70th minute made it 2-2 and two minutes later Steven Davis completed the fightback.

Charlton went behind to Jay-Jay Okocha's seventh-minute penalty before Francis Jeffers levelled.

But just before the hour mark Senegal striker Diouf restored Bolton's lead.

United States international Claudio Reyna put Manchester City ahead in the 20th minute before an error from former England keeper David James let in Luis Boa Morte for Fulham's equaliser late on.