Blues boss bridge and dominate title fight

LONDON - Michael Essien scored twice as Chelsea romped to a 4-0 victory over Wolves to stay well clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, while Arsenal tumbled 1-0 at Sunderland.

LONDON - Michael Essien scored twice as Chelsea romped to a 4-0 victory over Wolves to stay well clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday, while Arsenal tumbled 1-0 at Sunderland.

Liverpool and Manchester City fell further out of contention with a 2-2 draw.

Goals by Florent Malouda and Essien put injury-hit Chelsea 3-0 up inside 22 minutes before Joe Cole scored his first goal in 13 months in the second half.

The result meant that Chelsea have won all seven home games and haven't conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge since the opening game of the season against Hull. Chelsea have 33 points from 13 points and also have a club record 12 home wins in a row in all competitions.

Darren Bent scored Sunderland's 71st-minute winner in a surprise victory over Arsenal, which had won six of its previous seven league games but was left on 25 points from 12 games.

While Liverpool and Manchester shared a point each at Anfield, the result did not help either team's chances of catching Chelsea in the title race. Man City has 21 points and Liverpool 20.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, who had a header acrobatically saved by goalkeeper Shay Given in the first half, turned home a free kick by Steven Gerrard in the 50th minute for his first goal at the club.

Beaten to the ball by Skrtel for the Liverpool goal, Adebayor was left unmarked by the Slovakia defender and was allowed a free header to turn home the 69th-minute equaliser from a corner.

Stephen Ireland was also left unmarked to prod home Shaun Wright-Phillips' pass to put City ahead in the 76th. But Yossi Benayoun made it 2-2 seconds later after good work by David Ngog.

Aston Villa came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Burnley, where it has not won in 24 visits dating back to 1936.

Steven Caldwell gave Burnley a ninth-minute lead at Turf Moor, only for Emile Heskey to equalise in the 86th minute.

Lee Bowyer scored Birmingham's 16th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Fulham at St Andrews, and there was a six-goal thriller between Hull and West Ham.

Visitor West Ham went two goals up in 11 minutes through Guillermo Franco and Jack Collison, only for Hull to hit back three times to lead at halftime.

Jimmy Bullard's free kick was deflected in, Kamil Zayatte made it 2-2 and Bullard scored his first goal for Hull from the penalty spot after Julien Faubert had fouled Craig Fagan.

Hull's Brendan Mendy was sent off in the 54th minute for a professional foul and Manuel Da Costa scored West Ham's equaliser in the 69th.

West Bromwich Albion regained top spot in the League Championship with a 4-1 victory over Bristol City. Albion are a point clear of Newcastle which does not play until Monday at Preston. - Sapa-AP

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