Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Ben Foster gets the credit this time

The Birmingham goalkeeper puts his mistake against France when on England duty behind him with a string of superb saves that played a major role in inflicting Chelsea's second consecutive Premier League defeat.

Alex McLeish was full of praise for Ben Foster after the Birmingham goalkeeper put his mistake against France when on England duty behind him with a string of superb saves that played a major role in inflicting Chelsea's second consecutive Premier League defeat.

"I've always said a good keeper is paramount," said the Birmingham manager as his side climbed out of the bottom three. "He can win you championships, earn you points, save you points, or keep your team in the division.

"Ben has been superb for us. I thought the criticism of him with England was a bit harsh.He made some great saves today and in other games and has been on top form since he came here."

McLeish conceded that Birmingham enjoyed good fortune after being under pressure for the majority of the game. "We got a bit of luck but I would say that in recent weeks we have deserved to win games which never went our way. We have had plenty of bad luck this season so far. Maybe we got a bit of luck today."

Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, insisted that only the result disappointed him after Lee Bowyer's first goal in nearly 12 months doomed Chelsea to successive league defeats for the first time in four and a half years. Said Ancelotti: "I've already said to the players 'don't lose confidence because you played good football.' The result is frustrating but they deserved to win.

"We didn't win because we were unlucky and because Ben Foster played a good game.

"A month ago I said when we were doing well that there would be difficult moments ahead. This is one of them."

Ancelotti refused to blame the departure of his assistant Ray Wilkins for Chelsea's slide in fortunes and declined to comment on Wilkins' claim that he had been unfairly dismissed.

Other results

Blackpool 2 // Wolves 1

Mick McCarthy admitted the pressure was mounting after Wolverhampton Wanderers slipped to yet another defeat yesterday, this time against Blackpool. The 2-1 defeat was their ninth loss in their last 11 games and McCarthy said: “If you are not getting results the pressure mounts but I don’t sit and worry about that. I worry about not getting points.”

Liverpool 3 // West Ham 0

Liverpool returned to winning ways in comfortable fashion with a 3-0 victory but their task was made easy by a woeful West Ham United side at Anfield in last night’s late game. First-half goals from Glen Johnson and Maxi Rodriguez, either side of a Dirk Kuyt penalty, were enough to wrap up the points. Robert Green kept the score down with a string of fine saves but the Hammers remain bottom.


Manchester United 2 // Wigan 0

Wayne Rooney made his first appearance for Manchester United since the contract saga that saw him threaten to leave before signing a new five-year deal. He came off the bench after 57 minutes mainly to cheers although there were some jeers, too. “That [the reception] was good – that will be pleasing for him,” said Sir Alex Ferguson, his manager.

West Brom 0 // Stoke 3

Tony Pulis said he was content to let others get excited after his team extended their winning run in the league to three games with victory at West Brom. “It is a great achievement by the players, but as I have said, whether you are losing or winning, I think it is important the manager stays as level as he possibly can,“ said the Stoke manager. “It is a great achievement by the player,” he added.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Real Madrid players Angel Di Maria, left, Pepe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Marcelo attend a training session at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training grounds outside Madrid on April 22, 2014. Real Madrid will play Bayern Munich in a Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg match in Madrid on Wednesday. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

In pictures: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale train with Real Madrid

A well-rested Real Madrid side trains on Tuesday ahead of their Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night. Stadnouts Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are both expected to be in action at the Bernabeu.

 Chelsea players argue with Atletico Madrid during their scoreless draw in the Champions League semi-final first leg match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid, Spain on Tuesday. Gerard Julien / AFP / April 22, 2014

In pictures: Chelsea lock horns with Atletico in scoreless Champions League draw

Chelsea held Atletico Madrid scoreless at home on Tuesday as the two will head to Stamford Bridge for a winner-take-all second leg.

 Walter Zenga wants his Al Jazira side to continue building on the recent positive results they have had in Asian Champions League, even though they have already qualified for the knockout stage. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga aims for Al Jazira to carry momentum in Asian Champions League

The Al Jazira coach Walter Zenga is set to field his strongest line-up as the UAE club seek to topple Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab as leaders of Group A.

 Sourav Ganguly, left, and Sanjiv Goenka, vice-chairman of RPG Enterprises, pose with footballs during a press conference to announce their ownership of the Kolkata franchise in the upcoming Indian Super League on April 14, 2014. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

Indian Super League high on ambition, short-seeming on the football

While a number of high-profile figures are throwing in with the Indian Super League hoping to make a splash in world football, many local voices are arguing the foundation for the tournament is shaky.

 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Gareth Bale share a laugh during training on Tuesday. Both players will be fit for Wednesday night’s Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg against Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu. Chema Moya / EPA

Rested Real Madrid side hope to catch Bayern Munich on a slide

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will be fit for Real Madrid in Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg match while the holders are trying to recover from a Bundesliga slump.

 Toni Kroos of Bayern Munich will lead his team against Real Madrid in a Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg match on Wednesday night. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

Toni Kroos is a wanted man at Bayern Munich

Kroos’s talks with Bayern over renewing a contract have stalled while Manchester United, and Wednesday night’s opponents, Real Madrid, are among those keen to offer him an alternative place of work, writes Ian Hawkey.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National