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Le Fondre brace heaps pressure on Rafa's Chelsea

Shane Long and Wes Hoolahan both got their names on the scoresheet tonight while Joey O’Brien also had the ball in the net — but it was at the wrong end.

Oscar: we know how you feel
Oscar: we know how you feel
Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RAFA BENITEZ CAME under more pressure as supersub Adam Le Fondre scored two late goals to snatch a 2-2 draw for Reading against Chelsea.

The Blues, held to a draw by third-tier Brentford in the FA Cup, had to wait until first-half stoppage-time before taking the lead at the Madejski Stadium, with a neat pass from Fernando Torres setting up his fellow Spaniard Juan Mata, who drilled a low shot into the net.

Frank Lampard, repeatedly linked with a move away from Chelsea despite impressing yet again this term, made it 2-0 in the 66th minute when he rose above the Royals’ defence to head in a corner.

But Le Fondre increased the pressure on Chelsea interim manager Benitez with two well-struck goals in the final three minutes.

Elswehere Tottenham remained fourth thanks to Gareth Bale’s superb leveller in a 1-1 draw away to Norwich.

The Canaries, fresh from the embarrassment of being knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Luton, went ahead when Wes Hoolahan turned in Anthony Pilkington’s 32nd minute cross.

But Bale struck in the 80th minute when he collected the ball inside his own half, ran at the defence and curled a shot across the goalkeeper.

At Goodison Park, Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long was on the scoresheet for West Bromwich Albion but it wasn’t enough to deny Everton a 2-1 to move within a point of Spurs.

Leighton Baines gave Everton a 29th minute lead at Goodison Park when his well-timed run saw him found by Leon Osman before the left-back lashed a shot into the roof of the net from 16 yards.

Baines then doubled Everton’s lead with a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Claudio Yacob brought down Victor Anichebe in the box.

Long cut the deficit with a 65th minute header but Everton took all three points.

Meanwhile Fulham beat London rivals West Ham 3-1 at Craven Cottage.

Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov celebrated his 32nd birthday by opening the scoring for Fulham with a 10th minute header.

There was a goal rush early in the second half, with Kevin Nolan equalising for the Hammers only for Hugo Rodallega to restore Fulham’s lead a minute later when he turned in Damien Duff’s cross.

Joey O’Brien’s late own-goal sealed Fulham’s victory.

- © AFP, 2013

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