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A wild 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and struggling Aston Villa kept the holders from advancing back into the top four on New Year’s weekend. Villa led 2-1 through 84 minutes after an Ashley Young penalty and Emile Heskey’s goal just after half-time. But Didier Drogba scored for the home side in the 84th minute and John Terry in the 89th for the Blues, who appeared ready to take all three points. Instead young Ciaran Clark, one of seven Villa players to pick up a yellow card in the game, scored in injury-time to draw back even and share points. Villa get only as far as fifteenth place while Chelsea are held in fifth, a point behind Spurs.

And Newcastle United closed the weekend with a 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium. Shola Ameobi’s goal in the 19th minute made up for a missed header earlier on and proved enough to give Toon the away victory. The Magpies rattled the post on several occasions and were certainly the better side against the Latics. Wigan remain in seventeenth place, just one point clear of the drop zone, while Toon go to tenth.

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