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Tottenham beats Chelsea 2-1 in League Cup final; Villa, Blackburn win Premier League games

Tottenham beats Chelsea 2-1 in League Cup final; Villa, Blackburn win Premier League games

Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-1 after extra time to capture the League Cup on Sunday and Aston Villa and Blackburn gained Premier League wins.
Jonathan Woodgate's first goal for two years was the extra time winner for Spurs at Wembley. It gave Tottenham manager Juande Ramos a trophy only four months after he replaced Martin Jol. Ramos led Sevilla to back to back triumphs in the UEFA Cup.
"I am very happy for all of these fans, all of the people, all of the team," said Ramos, speaking unusually in English. "I am happy because the people (fans) are very happy."
While Spurs lifted the first title of the English season, Villa won 2-1 at Reading to improve its chances of playing in the Champions League and Blackburn outplayed relegation-threatened Bolton 4-1 with Benni McCarthy converting two penalties.
Didier Drogba fired Chelsea ahead at Wembley in the 39th minute with a 25-meter free kick after he had been fouled by Didier Zokora, his Ivory Coast countryman.
Spurs deservedly leveled in the 69th, however. Dimitar Berbatov stroked home a penalty awarded for Wayne Bridge handling the ball while trying to control it under pressure in his own area.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech blocked shots from Zokora and Berbatov before the game went to extra time when he was beaten again. The Czech international left his line to deal with a free kick and pushed the ball onto Woodgate's head and the rebound went into an empty net.
"I don't really go up for corners but I took a chance and was able to get my head on it and luckily it went in," said centerback Woodgate, whose career with Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Middlesbrough has been blighted by long term injuries.
"I think we were the best team and hopefully we can push on from this next year. Chelsea are a top side and they showed that today but we did it."
In the Premier League, Villa wasted a 33rd-minute penalty at the Madejski Stadium when Gareth Barry completely missed the target after the ball struck Kalifa Cisse on the arm just inside the Reading area.
But Villa always looked dangerous on the break and Cisse's mistimed tackle allowed Gabriel Agbonlahor to break down the right. The striker pulled the ball back to the unmarked Ashley Young, who drove it confidently into the roof of the net from 10 meters (yards).
Villa goalkeeper Scott Carson blocked a shot from Nicky Shorey and Reading striker Dave Kitson missed a close range header before the visitors scored again in the 83rd minute.
Marlon Harewood collected the ball in his own half on a breakaway, fed Young and then took the return pass to lob a curling shot over Royals goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.
After Carson had made another blocking save from Kitson, Reading finally hit the target when Shorey's free kick went in off the post.
Although Villa stayed in sixth place in the Premier League standings, the team moved level on points with fourth-place Liverpool and fifth-place Everton. The top four finishers enter the Champions League next season, although that will be cut to three in 2009.
The loss meant Reading stayed in the relegation zone in 18th place. Its goal in the third minute of injury time was its first in more than nine hours of soccer.
Benni McCarthy gave Blackburn the lead in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot after Gretar Steinsson was ruled to have tripped Dunn. McCarthy fired a low spot kick past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Kevin Davies equalized in the 50th minute when Matthew Taylor's long free kick found him only six meters from goal.
McCarthy restored the lead in the 67th minute with a second penalty after Gary Cahill fouled David Dunn.
Dunn created the third with a cross for David Bentley to head home in the 71st.
Morten Gamst Pedersen added a fourth in injury time from Jason Roberts' cross.
On Saturday, Premier League leader Arsenal conceded an injury-time penalty in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham. Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva broke his left leg and ankle in the third minute, ruling the Brazilian-born Croatian out of this year's European Championship.
Eduardo has had an operation to repair the compound fractures, which were so bad that some of the players were visibly distressed by the incident at St. Andrews. Martin Taylor, the Birmingham player whose tackle caused the break, was ejected.
Helped by two goals each from Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United won at Newcastle 5-1 to cut Arsenal's lead to three points, and Fernando Torres scored three goals in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Middlesbrough.