Chelsea and Arsenal leave it late as Man City slip up

Chelsea had to come from behind to defeat Blackburn, Arsenal also left it late to beat West Ham and Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur but Manchester City lost to Wolves.

Fulham returned to winning ways by overcoming Wigan, while Everton continued their fine form with a narrow victory over Stoke.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea looked in trouble early on at Ewood Park but hit back to prevail 2-1 and maintain their five-point advantage at the top of the table.

Blackburn were rewarded for an enterprising start with the opening goal of the game after 21 minutes, Benjani winning an aerial duel against John Terry to get on the end of an El-Hadji Diouf cross.

But Ancelotti had warned on the eve of the clash that there was still more to come from his Chelsea side and their equaliser before half-time was skilfully constructed, with Didier Drogba heading a Florent Malouda pass down for Nicolas Anelka to provide the finish.

It appeared as though the winning goal might never arrive but the Blues finally broke through six minutes from time when Branislav Ivanovic nodded home following good work by Yuri Zhirkov.

Pressure

Arsenal kept the pressure on Chelsea courtesy of a 1-0 triumph over bottom club West Ham, although again the outcome was in doubt right until final whistle.

It was a familiar tale for Arsenal supporters in the first half at Emirates Stadium as their team played with panache but lacked end product against a Hammers side showing resilience in defence and an occasional threat of their own in attack.

Samir Nasri then struck the crossbar with a ferocious free-kick after the break, while Theo Walcott was also denied by the foot of the post moments after coming on as a substitute and Andrey Arshavin’s appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears following a seemingly innocuous brush with Manuel Da Costa.

Robert Green also played his part with a series of saves before Alex Song popped up at the far post to bundle in a Gael Clichy cross with only two minutes remaining.

Manchester United maintained their pursuit of the leaders with a 2-0 victory overTottenham, but were aided by a controversial second goal at Old Trafford.

The hosts made the breakthrough just past the half-hour mark when Nani whipped in a free-kick from the right and Nemanja Vidic’s run was not tracked as the Red Devils captain guided a header inside the far post.

The second goal came five minutes from the end when Nani side-footed the ball into the net, but before Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes had restarted play from a free-kick.

Manchester City were unable to bounce back from their defeat at home to Arsenal last weekend as they slipped to a 2-1 loss against Wolves at Molineux.

Emmanuel Adebayor, starting up front alongside summer signing Mario Balotelli in the absence of Carlos Tevez, put City ahead from the penalty spot following a foul by Richard Stearman on David Silva.

Wolves drew level on the half-hour mark thanks to a fine strike by Nenad Milijas and then took the lead early in the second half when Dave Edwards scored on the rebound after Kevin Doyle’s initial effort had been blocked.

City battled in vain to find a way back into the match but Wolves held firm for their first win since the opening day of the campaign.

 

Inspired

A Clint Dempsey double inspired Fulham to only their second Premier League victory of the season as Wigan’s recent revival came to a halt with a 2-0 reverse at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey headed in Carlos Salcido’s left-wing delivery to give Fulham a well-earned advantage in the 30th minute, before finding the net with a neat shot from Chris Baird’s cross just prior to the interval.

Stoke slipped to their third straight defeat as Everton extended their unbeaten run to five games with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.

There was nothing to separate the sides until Yakubu Aiyegbeni smashed home from a tight angle midway through the second half after Tim Cahill had hit the post.

 

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