Chelsea beats Middlesbrough 1-0

John Terry scored in the 62nd minute to give leader Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the English Premier League.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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John Terry scored in the 62nd minute to give leader Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the English Premier League. While Chelsea kept winning to boost its season points total to 40, there were mixed results for the chasing clubs. Manchester United defeated Portsmouth 3-0 at Old Trafford on goals by Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy to hold second place with 30 points. United has a game in hand on Chelsea. The sellout crowd at Old Trafford saluted George Best - the former Northern Ireland and Manchester United star who was buried yesterday - with a minute's standing ovation. The tribute came three days after United fans gave Best a minute of silence before a League Cup match at Old Trafford. Liverpool wins Liverpool won its sixth straight league game as Peter Crouch broke his goal drought in a 3-0 victory over Wigan at Anfield. Liverpool improved to 28 points - good for third place - and has played one fewer game than Chelsea. Arsenal slipped 2-0 at Bolton, dropping the Gunners 14 points behind Chelsea. Arsenal also has a game in hand on Chelsea. In other results yesterday, it was: Blackburn 0, Everton 2; Newcastle 1, Aston Villa 1; Tottenham 3, Sunderland 2; West Brom 0, Fulham 0. Today, it's Charlton vs. Manchester City. Birmingham hosts West Ham tomorrow. After Liverpool in third place, the next clubs are: Tottenham (27), Arsenal (26), Bolton (26) and Wigan (25). At the bottom, Sunderland has five, topped by Birmingham City (9) and Portsmouth (10). Chelsea, which is unbeaten in 33 home games, has won its last 11 at Stamford Bridge. "Today was a difficult game," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. "It was not a beautiful one, but it was very competitive." 'Boro's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink missed a chance to score early in the game. "I can imagine if Jimmy scores, it would have been more difficult for us," Mourinho said. Disputed goal In Liverpool's victory, Crouch appeared to score twice, although the first in the 19th was disputed when Wigan goalkeeper Mike Pollitt palmed the ball into his own net. Crouch left no doubt in the 42nd, chipping the ball over Pollitt's head. The 6-foot-7 England striker had gone seven months without scoring for club or national team. His last goal had come on a penalty on May 7 playing with Southampton. Luis Garcia capped the scoring in the 70th. "I'm obviously pleased to score today, it was bugging me a bit," Crouch said. Crouch, who moved from Southampton on a 7 million-pound (USD 12 million) transfer, scored in the 19th and 42nd minutes. Controversial goal His first goal was controversial. Garcia broke from midfield and shot from 20 meters. The ball deflected off Wigan's Leighton Baines, looping high into the air. Pollitt attempted to clear the ball over the crossbar but palmed it into the net instead. There was no debate on the second. Taking a pass and narrowly keeping himself onside, Crouch chipped the ball over the head of Pollitt, who raced out attempting to block the shot. "The first one took a big slice of luck, obviously, but I'm really pleased," said Crouch. He had failed to score in just over 24 hours of elapsed time playing in club and national team games. Asked if he would claim the first goal, Crouch replied: "Of course". Garcia made it 3-0 when he chested the ball into the goal off a header from Spain teammate Fernando Morientes. Yesterday's games came with Best's funeral as a backdrop. Farewell to Best More than 100,000 fans said a bittersweet goodbye to Best, the Manchester United star who died last week after a long battle with alcohol. Best, 59, received a state-style funeral inside Stormont Parliamentary Building, Northern Ireland's most impressive public space on a hill overlooking the city, in the biggest display of public mourning ever experienced in this British territory of 1.7 million. In the League Championship, leading Reading kept winning and beat Luton 3-0. Reading has 53 points with Sheffield United on 49. Sheffield United defeated crosstown rival Sheffield Wednesday 1-0, while Leeds moved into third with a 2-1 win over Leicester. Leeds has 39 points. (AP)