Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti warned his side against complacency after they continued to set the pace in the English Premier League with a thumping 4-0 win away at Bolton on Saturday.
Having put five past Blackburn Rovers last weekend, goals from Frank Lampard, Deco, Didier Drogba and an own goal from Zat Knight sealed the victory at the Reebok Stadium, taking Chelsea to 27 points.
Manchester United secured a 2-0 win at home over Blackburn to stay in second place on 25 points, three points ahead of Arsenal, who defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the first match of the day.
Chelsea were able to dominate the home side from the start of the match but the breakthrough did not arrive until the first half was almost complete as Bolton were reduced to 10 men when Jay Lloyd Samuel was sent off for a professional foul on Drogba. In typical style, Frank Lampard coolly despatched the ensuing penalty.
The second goal came fifteen minutes into the second half as Deco was set up by Nicolas Anelka to finish off a fast counter attack. Zat Knight could then only put the ball into his own net and Drogba sealed the win by firing a fourth in injury time.
Despite another convincing performance, Ancelotti was keen to keep the win in perspective and stressed that it is still early in the season.
“Our results have been good, but we know it’s not possible to win every game 4-0. It’s dangerous to think like that. We must keep our concentration and try to play well for 90 minutes, that’s all that matters.
“Right now we’re doing very well, we’re top and we want to win every game,” he added.
Berbatov strikes again
A goal from Dimitar Berbatov 10 minutes into the second half calmed the nerves of Manchester United in their win over Blackburn at Old Trafford.
With patchy form going into the match, the champions were unconvincing until the goal. But a touch of class from the Bulgarian striker, who controlled Patrice Evra’s cross before turning and volleying in superbly, lifted the confidence and mood of the Old Trafford crowd.
As Blackburn pushed on in search of an equaliser, Wayne Rooney swept in Anderson’s cross with his left foot to finish superbly from 12 yards and confirm the points for the home side.
Arsenal sweep aside Spurs
Earlier in the day, Arsenal won the north London derby over their local rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Two goals from Robin van Persie and one for Cesc Fabregas gave the home side a comfortable victory, though their opponents played a large part in each of the goals through very poor defending.
Van Persie converted Bakari Sagna’s low cross three minutes ahead of half-time before Spurs gifted Fabregas the second, straight from the ensuing kick-off. Van Persie added a simple third to seal the victory on the hour mark.
Liverpool’s title challenge hangs by a thread after they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Fulham, picking up red cards for Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher in the process.
Bobby Zamora opened the scoring before Fernando Torres’s ninth goal of the season levelled the scores before half-time. But substitute Erik Nevland restored the home side’s lead after 73 minutes.
Reduced to nine men and chasing an equaliser, Liverpool were quickly picked off by Fulham as Clint Dempsey scored the third to hand the away side their fifth league defeat of the season.
Sunderland came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to West Ham through goals from Andy Reid and Kieron Richardson, while Stoke were held at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers by the same score-line.
Elsewhere, Everton could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa, Burnley beat Hull 2-0 and bottom club Portsmouth claimed their first home win of the season with an emphatic 4-0 over Wigan Athletic.