Frank Lampard capped his week to remember by sending Chelsea to the top of the Premier League as former leaders Manchester City were beaten at Arsenal on Saturday. Elsewhere, Birmingham won 2-1 at Derby, West Ham drew 1-1 with visitors Wigan, Everton drew 1-1 with Blackburn and Aston Villa beat Fulham 2-1.
Frank Lampard capped his week to remember by sending Chelsea to the top of the Premier League as former leaders Manchester City were beaten at Arsenal on Saturday.
In-form Lampard, who scored in England’s midweek defeat against Germany, hit the only goal of the game at Stamford Bridge to beat visitors Portsmouth, while City were edged out 1-0.
Liverpool grabbed a 2-0 win at Sunderland to keep up their momentum, while Bolton moved off the foot of the table with a 3-0 win over visitors Reading.
Elsewhere, Birmingham won 2-1 at Derby, West Ham drew 1-1 with visitors Wigan, Everton drew 1-1 with Blackburn and Aston Villa beat Fulham 2-1.
In Sunday’s action, champions Manchester United host Tottenham, while Middlesbrough host Newcastle in a north-east derby.
United—second bottom in the table—are yet to win this season, while Spurs boss Martin Jol could badly do with three points to ward off speculation he is about to be sacked.
At Stamford Bridge, Lampard scored his fourth goal in 10 days for club and country, but Portsmouth were unlucky not to get a point.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech’s long ball found striker Didier Drogba and Lampard hit a low, hard strike from 20 yards out that just beat goalkeeper David James after 31 minutes.
Across London at Emirates Stadium, Manchester City’s 100% record under former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson ended at the hands of Arsenal.
City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saved a Robin van Persie penalty, but he could do nothing to stop Cesc Fabregas’s 80th-minute goal.
Aleksandr Hleb played in the Spain midfielder, who smashed a right-footed shot into the roof of the net.
City drop to second in the table while the Gunners go fifth.
Liverpool kept up their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Mali midfielder Mohamed Sissoko scored from the edge of the penalty box in the 37th minute and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin finished off Roy Keane’s newly promoted side with a neat finish three minutes from time.
“In this time and this period when everybody was talking about our performance away last season, I think it was really important to win,” Reds boss Rafael Benitez said. “It was important to see different players doing the job; it showed how strong our squad is now.”
Bolton lost their opening three games, but they produced a response inspired by two strikers who cannot wait to leave.
The Trotters beat visitors Reading 3-0 at the Reebok, with Senegal’s El-Hadji Diouf and France’s Nicolas Anelka heavily involved.
Former Wales midfielder Gary Speed (37) scored with a powerful header from Diouf’s 32nd-minute corner.
Anelka scored a 55th-minute tap-in and whipped a cross in for Norway striker Daniel Braaten to wrap up victory in injury time and ease the pressure on manager Sammy Lee.
It was honours even in the grudge match at Upton Park as West Ham and Wigan Athletic drew 1-1.
Outspoken Wigan chairperson Dave Whelan jetted off to St Tropez rather than face a potential backlash in east London. He supported Sheffield United’s attempt to get the Hammers relegated over the Carlos Tevez affair.
Wigan’s Austria midfielder Paul Scharner scored a spectacular overhead kick 12 minutes from time, but Lee Bowyer rescued a point for the hosts three minutes later with a cool finish. The result left Wigan third in the table.
Birmingham hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at fellow newly promoted side Derby, courtesy of Cameron Jerome. The striker wasted no time in claiming his first goal of the season, scoring after just 32 seconds at Pride Park.
Rams midfielder Matt Oakley equalised in the 51st minute, but Jerome struck again 12 minutes later to leave Derby propping up the table.
At Goodison Park, Blackburn’s Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz scored in the 15th minute, but hosts Everton equalised 12 minutes from time in a keenly-fought contest. Scotland striker James McFadden rescued a point with a well-taken right-foot volley from Mikel Arteta.
Everton are fifth in the table, while Blackburn are eighth.
Aston Villa beat visitors Fulham 2-1 at Villa Park with a last-minute strike from Scotland forward Shaun Maloney. The Cottagers scored in the sixth minute through United States midfielder Clint Dempsey.
Villa striker Ashley Young forced the equaliser in the 51st minute, which went in off Cottagers centre-half Zat Knight for an unfortunate own goal.—Sapa-AFP