Chelsea thrash Blackburn to go back to top

October 25th, 2009 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Chelsea London, Oct 25 (DPA) Chelsea returned to the top of the English Premier League football after hammering Blackburn Rovers 5-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Two goals from Frank Lampard, one each for Michael Essien and Didier Drogba and an own goal by Gael Givet Saturday lifted Carlo Ancelotti’s side two points clear of Manchester United on 24 points.

The champions, who play Liverpool Sunday, slipped to second place, but Tottenham Hotspur missed the chance to join them on 22 points after a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Stoke.

Chelsea asserted their superiority over a hapless Blackburn side early in the match, taking the lead after 20 minutes as Rovers defender Gael Givet diverted Nicolas Anelka’s cross into his own net.

Any disappointment the home side might have felt about the 1-0 half-time scoreline quickly evaporated after the break as four goals in the space of 15 minutes blew Blackburn away.

Frank Lampard ended his league goal drought with a low shot from 12 yards just two minutes into the second half before Michael Essien fired in a curling shot from 35 yards to make it 3-0.

Two further goals followed in the next 10 minutes as Lampard converted a penalty after Blackburn captain Ryan Nelson had brought down Drogba. The Chelsea striker then headed in himself to make it 5-0 as Blackburn crumbled under relentless pressure from the home side.

Tottenham had earlier in the day missed the chance to go level on points with Manchester United as Glenn Whelan’s late strike gave Stoke a surprise 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane.

Aston Villa were also denied the chance to climb the table as a late penalty from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake gave Wolves a 1-1 draw and denied Villa third place.

Spurs enjoyed most of the possession and most of the chances against Stoke, but the visitors pinched the points four minutes from time.

Ricardo Fuller beat Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the right and his pull-back found second-half substitute Whelan, who finished superbly to snatch a dramatic victory.

At Wolves, Gabriel Agbonlahor looked to have pinched the win for Villa when he netted 11 minutes from time. But Steve Sidwell fouled Michael Kightly four minutes later and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scored from the penalty spot.

Villa remained in sixth place while Wolves rose one place to 15th.

“Had we taken all three points today, it would have been debatable if we’d have deserved it,” Villa manager Martin O’Neill said.

“But then again I don’t think Brad Friedel was tested that much.”

Birmingham City moved out of the bottom three with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Sunderland.

Liam Ridgewell put the home side ahead eight minutes before half-time and James McFadden doubled their lead two minutes after the break. A Scott Dann own goal on 82 minutes gave the home side a few nervous moments, but they hung on for victory.

Burnley lost their 100-per-cent home record in the league as they were beaten 3-1 by Wigan Athletic. Steven Fletcher gave Burnley a fourth-minute lead, but two goals from Hugo Rodallega and one from Emerson Boyce sealed victory for Roberto Martinez’s side.

Bottom side Portsmouth earned a point in the other afternoon game thanks to a 0-0 draw at fellow strugglers Hull City.

In the pick of the weekend’s matches, champions United travel to under-pressure Liverpool on Sunday, while Arsenal take on West Ham United at Upton Park.

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