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Blues miss chance to close the gap

sports Updated: Mar 25, 2012 00:13 IST

Agencies
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Chelsea missed the chance to close the gap on Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification on Saturday after a 0-0 stalemate with their London rivals at Stamford Bridge.

A free-kick from Juan Mata that bounced back off a post was the closest Chelsea came to finding the net in a game that saw Tottenham create the better chances without ever truly dominating.

Tottenham saw Gareth Bale's header hit the bar after Gary Cahill, the Chelsea defender, had made a goal-saving block to deny Emmanuel Adebayor. The stalemate means Tottenham remain five points ahead of Chelsea in the battle for fourth place.

Both sides had suffered midweek setbacks, with Tottenham's 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City and Chelsea losing 2-1 at Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Arsenal won their seventh game on the trot with a 3-0 dismantling of Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London. Goals from Kieron Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta gave the Gunners a three-point lead in third place.