West Ham, Wolves, York and Lincoln
Premier League ~ Late Hammers show sinks Blues
West Ham United got their first victory over Chelsea since May 2003 with a 3-1 win at Upton Park. The Hammers were trailing after just 13 minutes when Juan Mata scored his eighth goal of the season. It took until the 63rd minute for the home side to level, with Carlton Cole heading in. Mohamed Diamé got their second four minutes from time before Modibo Maïga scored the third in the final minute. The win will be a relief to West Ham, who had only won once in their previous eight games.
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce said: "I could not control my emotions. It was a tough six days. And to finish the week in such style was one of those outstanding moments. We looked dead and buried by half time and found it difficult once they scored, but the tactics we used to expose the opposition, using belief, attitude and quality we upped in the second half and they cracked in the end." He also warned Chelsea manager Rafa Benítez that "You cannot survive if the fans are not behind you. It just won't happen. The only way to get the fans behind you is if you win, that's all you can do. If you are winning games the fans will always, always be behind you."
Championship ~ Wolves rip into Robins
Wolverhampton Wanderers recorded their first victory in ten matches by beating Bristol City 4-1 at Ashton Gate. Wolves were third in the league after their victory over Blackburn in October but had since slipped to 18th after gaining just three points between then and the end of November. All the visitors' goals came in the first half; Sylvan Ebanks-Blake opened the scoring after 20 minutes, Kevin Doyle got two and Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson made it four just before half time. Neil Danns got a late consolation but the win will have cheered up Wolves manager Stale Solbakken, whose car was vandalised this week.
Solbakken said: "I think what is important is the way of playing – that the players feel it can work again. It had worked for long periods but it had also been very bad for long periods. So it was important for the players to see that. We have something to build on with the way we played and the way we stuck to our principles. Hopefully we can build on this and we can be a December team because we certainly weren't a November team. But I'm not the type of guy to get carried away."
League Two ~ York hold off Dale comeback
York City managed to resist a second-half fightback by Rochdale to register their first win in eight league and cup games. The Minstermen had taken a 3-0 lead after 35 minutes; two Michael Potts goals sandwiching Jason Walker's fifth of the season. The home side rallied after the break and Rhys Bennet pulled a goal back on 61 minutes. With seven minutes remaining Rochdale were awarded a penalty that Bobby Grant scored to give the play-off-chasing Dale hope. However, York held their nerve for their first win since October.
City manager Gary Mills said: "I think it was about getting the win, no matter how we got it we've needed that, I think we've deserved it. We kept saying, if we take our chances, sooner or later someone's going to be down three or four at half-time and it's happened today against Rochdale. I thought it was very even second half but overall we've deserved the victory."
FA Cup ~ Stags and Imps entertain
Two of the form sides in the Conference National played out an exciting 3-3 draw in the FA Cup second round on Saturday. Lincoln City, whose last league defeat was to Luton at the start of October, hosted Mansfield, who have lost just once in seven games. Matt Green opened the scoring for Mansfield after 21 minutes but the home team turned it around with goals from Alan Power and Jamie Taylor either side of the break. Louis Briscoe levelled for the Stags before Power again put Lincoln ahead with 25 minutes remaining. It took until stoppage time for Matt Rhead to force a reply between the teams, the winner of which will host Liverpool in the third round.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox said: "What a game of football. I think for every supporter that was in the ground it was a proper football match. When there's local derbies and a lot at stake, usually you get a stalemate. But you had two teams that just went at each other's throats and I think for both sets of supporters it was a cracking cup tie." Tom Hocking