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November 23, 2009

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Chelsea, United march on but Gunners stumble

CHELSEA trounced Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 to stay five points clear of champion Manchester United at the top of the English Premier League on Saturday.

United kept pace with the leader by beating Everton 3-0 at home in the late match to move up to second after Arsenal's superb 14-match unbeaten run ended with a surprise 0-1 defeat at Sunderland.

Chelsea, which set a club record of 12 straight home wins, has 33 points from 13 matches to United's 28. Arsenal is on 25 with a game in hand.

Carlo Ancelotti's sparkling Chelsea side was dominant from the start at Stamford Bridge, strolling into a 3-0 lead after 22 minutes with Florent Malouda opening the scoring with a left-foot shot in the fifth.

Michael Essien made it 2-0 with a 12th-minute header and grabbed another 10 minutes later. Joe Cole made it 4-0 in the 56th, unleashing a low, right-foot shot off a pass from Salomon Kalou for his first league goal in more than a year.

Wolves stayed second from bottom with manager Mick McCarthy saying: "We are in a relegation dogfight from now on."

United went ahead in the 34th at Old Trafford when Darren Fletcher smacked a swerving half-volley into the top left corner and doubled its tally in the 67th through Michael Carrick.

Antonio Valencia made it 3-0 with a deflected shot in the 76th after the ball was laid on by Paul Scholes.

Sunderland had Darren Bent to thank after his 71st-minute goal stunned Arsene Wenger's high-scoring Arsenal, which was without injured striker Robin van Persie.

Injury-hit Liverpool and big-spending Manchester City squandered their chance to move up to fourth place after battling to a 2-2 draw at Anfield in the lunchtime kickoff.


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