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November 2, 2009

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Rampant Chelsea stays top

CHELSEA retained top position in the English Premier League by outplaying Bolton Wanderers 4-0 on Saturday, and Manchester United remained two points behind with a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

On a day with a record eight red cards in the league, Liverpool ended with nine men in a 1-3 loss at Fulham - its fifth loss of the season - to slip further out of contention for a league title it has not won since 1990. But third-place Arsenal stayed just behind the pacesetters with a game in hand by beating north London rival Tottenham Hotspur 3-0.

Frank Lampard, Deco and Didier Drogba scored a goal each for Chelsea, while Bolton defender Zat Knight put in an own-goal. Bolton played the second half with 10 men after J Lloyd Samuel was sent off for giving away a penalty.

Dimitar Berbatov put United ahead in the 55th minute, collecting the ball with his back to goal and spinning around to score. Wayne Rooney, who has been mired in a spell of poor form, skillfully turned home a cross from Anderson in the 87th.

United now has 25 points, two fewer than Chelsea.

Robin van Persie scored twice and Cesc Fabregas added the other in Arsenal's win at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners scored two quick goals just before halftime and now have 22 points, five fewer than Chelsea.

After Bobby Zamora had given Fulham a 24th-minute lead against Liverpool, Fernando Torres equalized from 25 meters with his 10th goal of the season. Erik Nevland then made it 2-1 in the 73rd, Torres was soon taken off and Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher were sent off before Clint Dempsey added a third for Fulham.

Goals of the season

Aruna Dindane scored his first three goals of the season as last-place Portsmouth beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 for its first home victory. Portsmouth stayed last but was level on points with West Ham United, which drew 2-2 at Sunderland in a game where a player from each side was red-carded.

Two players were sent off as Everton and Aston Villa drew 1-1 and Burnley beat 10-man Hull City 2-0. Also, Stoke City surrendered a two-goal lead and was held 2-2 at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In France, a Marc Planus goal gave Girondins Bordeaux a 1-0 home win over Monaco on Saturday as the Ligue 1 champion went two points clear at the top.

Defender Planus poked the ball home in the 62nd after keeper Stephane Ruffier had parried a Marouane Chamakh header.

Monaco, which dropped to third place, hardly created a chance as Bordeaux controlled the game.

Bordeaux has 25 points from 11 matches, with Olympique Lyon two points adrift after Bafetimbi Gomis sank former team Saint Etienne with the only goal of the game.


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