LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur continued their climb away from the Premier League danger zone when Roman Pavlyuchenko's early goal gave them a scrappy 1-0 home win over 10-man Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. West Ham United also leapt up the table after securing their first win for two months with a 1-0 success at Sunderland. Spurs struck after nine minutes when a lively Aaron Lennon crossed low for Russia striker Pavlyuchenko to sweep home smartly from 12 metres. Blackburn had Martin Olsson sent off for a second booking after 39 minutes and from then on the game drifted aimlessly to a close. Spurs, whose winning run suffered a blip when they lost at Fulham last week, climb to 15th on 15 points, only a month after they were rooted to the bottom with two. Blackburn, who barely tested Tottenham's nervy Brazilian keeper Heurelho Gomes, slip to second-last on 13 points. West Ham climbed to 13th on 17 points, leaving Sunderland just above the drop zone on 15. Valon Behrami scored West Ham's goal with a deflected shot after 20 minutes but Djibril Cisse missed a great chance to equalise within a minute when he glanced a header wide. That was as nothing compared with the howler by Behrami just before halftime. A mistake by former Hammer Anton Ferdinand allowed Craig Bellamy through on goal and when he squared for Behrami five metres in front of an open goal the Swiss international somehow lashed his shot against the bar. West Ham were on the defensive for most of the second half but Sunderland rarely threatened and when they did were let down by two more poor headers from Cisse. In Saturday's action there was a rare blank for the 'big four' as none of them managed a goal. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all drew 0-0 while Arsenal completed a week to forget with a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City. Leaders Chelsea were held by visitors Newcastle United, Liverpool also drew at home with Fulham while United played out a goalless draw at Aston Villa. Chelsea and Liverpool continue to lead the way on 33 points with United on 25 with a game in hand. Villa climb to fourth on 24 with Arsenal fifth on 23 after their fifth loss this season. Wigan Athletic host Everton on Monday night.
23 November 2008
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