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Chelsea beats Wolves 4-0 while Arsenal loses

MICHAEL Essien scored twice yesterday as Chelsea romped to a 4-0 win over Wolves to lead the Premier League by five points, while Arsenal tumbled 1-0 at Sunderland and Manchester United rose to second with a 3-0 victory over Everton.

Liverpool and Manchester City fell further out of contention with a 2-2 draw.

Goals by Florent Malouda and Essien put injury-hit Chelsea 3-0 up inside the first 22 minutes before Joe Cole scored his first goal in 13 months in the second half.

The result meant that Chelsea has won all seven home games and hasn't conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge since the opening game of the season against Hull. Chelsea has 33 points from 13 points and also has a club record 12 home wins in a row in all competitions.

"It was an easy game because we played very well," Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "After 20 minutes it was 3-0 and afterwards we maintained control of the game."

Darren Bent scored Sunderland's 71st-minute winner in a surprise victory over Arsenal, which had won six of its previous seven league games but was left on 25 points from 12 games.

"It's a big setback because you do not prepare yourself to drop points in a situation like that," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "It's not especially worrying but it's frustrating."

Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia scored Man United's goals in a routine triumph over Everton at Old Trafford as the defending champions moved up to second with 28 points from 13 games.

Fletcher scored in the 35th minute with a powerful first-time shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area. Carrick steered home a low left-footed strike from Ryan Giggs' pass and Valencia added the third in the 76th.

While Liverpool and Manchester shared a point each at Anfield, the result did not help either team's chances of catching Chelsea in the title race. Man City has 21 points and Liverpool 20.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, who had a header acrobatically saved by goalkeeper Shay Given in the first half, turned home a free kick by Steven Gerrard in the 50th minute for his first goal at the club.

Beaten to the ball by Skrtel for the Liverpool goal, Adebayor was left unmarked by the Slovakia defender and was allowed a free header to turn home the 69th-minute equalizer from a corner.

Stephen Ireland was also left unmarked to prod home Shaun Wright-Phillips' pass to put City ahead in the 76th. But Yossi Benayoun made it 2-2 seconds later from close range after good work by David Ngog.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who has come under fire for his team's poor form, said his team was still good enough to finish in the top four.

"You cannot be happy with a home draw, but to lose three (injured) players from your game plan is very difficult," Benitez said. "City have quality. But if we can improve and play at our top level, we will be in the top four."

Aston Villa came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Burnley where it has not won in 24 visits dating back to 1936.

Steven Caldwell gave Burnley a ninth-minute lead at Turf Moor only for Emile Heskey to equalize in the 86th.

Lee Bowyer scored Birmingham's 16th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Fulham at St. Andrews, and there was a six-goal thriller between Hull and West Ham.

Visitor West Ham went two goals up in the first 11 minutes through Guillermo Franco and Jack Collison, only for Hull to hit back three times to lead at halftime.

Jimmy Bullard's free kick was deflected in, Kamil Zayatte made it 2-2 and Bullard scored his first goal for Hull from the penalty spot after Julien Faubert had fouled Craig Fagan.

Hull's Brendan Mendy was sent off in the 54th minute for a professional foul and Manuel Da Costa scored West Ham's equalizer in the 69th.

West Bromwich Albion, which has five players going to the World Cup for five different nations, regained top spot in the League Championship with a 4-1 victory over Bristol City. The Baggies, who are one point clear, replaced Newcastle which does not play until tomorrow at Preston.


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