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Updated: December 13, 2009 12:31 IST

Everton deny Chelsea, Villa shock United

PTI
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Didier Drogba was the star man for Chelsea scoring two goals. File Photo: AP
AP Didier Drogba was the star man for Chelsea scoring two goals. File Photo: AP

Chelsea stretched its lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League to three points despite a 3-3 draw with Everton after the defending champion lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa.

Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea recovered from an early own-goal by goalkeeper Petr Cech, but Everton fought back to equalize twice and secure a valuable point in its efforts to move away from the bottom of the standings.

Chelsea had not conceded a goal at Stamford Bridge since the opening day of the season in August.

It has now lost its perfect home record and has not won for four matches, but was helped by United’s fourth loss of the season.

Gabriel Agbonlahor scored for Villa in the 21st minute with a header from Ashley Young’s curling left-wing cross.

Chelsea was undone by poor defending at set pieces.

Yakubu Ayegbeni had only just come on as a substitute when he made it 2-2 in first-half injury time following John Terry’s failure to clear a throw and, although Drogba restored Chelsea’s lead in the 59th minute, Louis Saha scored for 3-3 four minutes later.

Drogba was helping out in defence but headed a free kick by Johnny Heitinga into Saha’s back and the ball bounced over Cech and into the empty net.

Everton had led in the 12th when Saha’s header from a free kick hit the post and rebounded into the net off Cech’s back. Ricardo Carvalho and Frank Lampard set up Drogba for an equalizer five minutes later, and Nicolas Anelka made it 2-1 in the 23rd with a close-range shot into the roof of the net.

Drogba has now scored 18 goals this season and Anelka has seven but Chelsea have conceded 10 goals in four games.

Villa rarely threatened apart from when Agbonlahor hit his eighth league goal of the season. United striker Wayne Rooney had plenty of possession but was below the form that has brought him 11 Premier League goals so far this season.

United brought on Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and Darron Gibson in search of a goal and continued to dominate without reward. Berbatov was unmarked in front of goal but completely missed Michael Carrick’s cross and Nemanja Vidic had a header blocked on the line.

United have 34 points to Chelsea’s 37. Villa’s first win at Old Trafford since 1983 lifted it two places to third, although Arsenal could retake third if it beats Liverpool in Sunday’s only game

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