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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chelsea return to top after sinking Rovers

Chelsea return to top after sinking Rovers

Last updated on: November 10, 2008 08:36 IST

Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League Sunday with a convincing 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at a rain-drenched Ewood Park.

A torrential downpour made conditions almost unplayable in the first half but Chelsea adapted far better and took the points with a double from Nicolas Anelka to continue their 100 percent away record in the league.

Chelsea move above Liverpool, 3-0 winners at home to West Bromwich Albion Saturday, on goal difference. Both clubs have 29 points from 12 games. Arsenal are third with 23 points after their 2-1 defeat of champions Manchester United Saturday.

Aston Villa could have gone above Manchester United into the top four but lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough for whom Tuncay Sanli scored an 88th-minute winner.

Tottenham Hotspur's resurgence under new manager Harry Redknapp continued as they came from a goal behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Manchester City, who had Gelson Fernandes and Richard Dunne sent off.

Robinho gave City the lead but in-form Darren Bent scored both Tottenham goals as they moved out of the relegation zone having collected 10 points from a possible 12 since Redknapp took charge last month.

Spurs ended with 10 men after Benoit Assou-Ekotto was also red-carded for a bad tackle.

Newcastle United are back in the bottom three after losing 2-1 at Fulham. Danny Murphy slotted the winner from the penalty spot to take Fulham up nine places to 10th.

UNSTOPPABLE CHELSEA

Chelsea have been unstoppable on the road in the Premier League and have now won all six of their away matches.

Needing a victory at Blackburn to edge above Liverpool, it looked as though heavy rain would frustrate them as the game appeared in danger of being abandoned.

"The pitch was dangerous in the first half because it was raining and it was very difficult for us," manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose side were beaten 3-1 by AS Roma in midweek in the Champions League, told the BBC.

"But we finished the half 1-0 and we knew if we made a second goal we would kill this team."

Once Anelka had deflected Jose Bosingwa's speculative shot beyond Rovers keeper Paul Robinson six minutes before halftime, Chelsea coasted to a routine victory.

Anelka took his tally to six goals in his last three Premier League games after 68 minutes when he cleverly lifted a shot over Robinson after being set up by Frank Lampard.

Lampard later rattled the crossbar with a fierce free kick while Anelka missed a hat-trick opportunity.

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