Chelsea earn breathing space

LONDON - Captain John Terry headed Chelsea five points clear at the top of the Premier League yesterday as his 76th minute goal secured a 1-0 home victory over champion Manchester United.

The eagerly-awaited showdown had been meandering towards an error-strewn goalless draw short on action and atmosphere until Terry was left unmarked to glance in a Frank Lampard free kick in.

Chelsea then survived United's late pressure to move to 30 points, five clear of Arsenal, who won 4-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, and United.

l An injury-time goal by Jan Venegoor of Hesselink gave Hull City a 2-1 home Premier League win over Stoke City to ease the pressure on manager Phil Brown.

Brown's position was under threat after Hull's poor start to their second season in the top flight but yesterday's victory, their third in 12 games, bought him some time.

Matthew Etherington put Stoke ahead on 29 minutes with Seyi Olofinjana curling in an equaliser after 62 before Venegoor's winner. - Reuters/Sapa-AFP