Tottenham and Villa miss chances to close on top

Tottenham, Aston Villa and Sunderland all missed good chances to close on the leading teams at the top of the Premier League today.

Tottenham could have gone level on points with leader Manchester United with victory but stayed in third place after a 1-0 loss to visiting Stoke, while Aston Villa drew 1-1 at lowly Wolves.

Sunderland was hoping to move into the top four but lost 2-1 at Birmingham.

With Manchester United at fierce rival Liverpool in one of Sunday's four matches, Chelsea can overtake the defending champions if it beat visiting Blackburn later Saturday.

Spurs dominated visiting Stoke at White Hart Lane but played the last 13 minutes with 10 men after an injury to winger Aaron Lennon and conceded a goal with four minutes left.

Ricardo Fuller burst down the right and cut a pass back to substitute Glenn Whelan, who smashed a shot past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Lennon limped off following a challenge from behind that went unpunished by the referee and Spurs had already introduced Michael Dawson, Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Jenas as its three substitutes.

The latter were tactical, but Woodgate had to be replaced 14 minutes into his first appearance of the season after a blow to the head.

Tottenham's third loss of the season left it on 19 points and likely to be overtaken by Arsenal and Manchester City on Sunday.

The fourth-place Gunners are at West Ham, while fifth-place Manchester City hosts Fulham. Bolton hosts Everton in Sunday's other match.

Villa is two points behind Tottenham in sixth place.

It took the lead in the 79th at Wolves through Gabriel Agbonlahor's sixth goal of the season but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake equalized four minutes later with a penalty awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell.

Liam Ridgewell and James McFadden gave Birmingham victory over Sunderland, which scored only in the 82nd through an own goal.

Hugo Rodallega scored twice to lead Wigan to a 3-1 win at Burnley, while Portsmouth and Hull stayed in the bottom three after a 0-0 draw at KC Stadium.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'