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Updated: January 28, 2010 14:21 IST

Chelsea returns to top

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Frank Lampard
AP Frank Lampard

Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 win over Birmingham City to return to the top of the English Premier League. While Arsenal were held to a goalless draw at Aston Villa, two goals from Frank Lampard and one from Florent Malouda sealed a comfortable win for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Chelsea and Arsenal had begun on Wednesday level on points, but the evening’s results lifted Chelsea one point above Manchester United at the top, while Arsenal sit one point further back.

Malouda headed Chelsea in front after just five minutes on a nice cross from Joe Cole, and Lampard slotted in from 20 yards to double their lead just past the half-hour mark.

The England midfielder then banged in a third goal on 90 minutes to secure their return to the top.

Arsenal were frustrated by a stubborn Villa side and the home team’s woodwork, as they drew 0-0 at Villa Park.

Cesc Fabregas hit the post, and Tomas Rosicky struck the bar, while at the other end Stewart Downing headed a good chance for Villa just wide.

Villa remain seventh in the table, four points off a place in the top four.

In the other matches, Everton moved into the top half after a 2-0 win over Sunderland, while Blackburn Rovers edged out Wigan Athletic 2-1.

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