John Terry headed Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United to extend the team’s Premier League lead to five points, despite rarely threatening the defending champion.
Chelsea had been frustrated by United for 76 minutes, but then profited from a contentiously awarded free kick when United midfielder Darren Fletcher was judged to have fouled defender Ashley Cole.
Frank Lampard whipped the ball into the penalty area and captain Terry connected with a glancing header to clinch Chelsea’s 11th consecutive win in all competitions at Stamford Bridge.
Despite United having most of the possession, lone striker Wayne Rooney struggled to test Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and Alex Ferguson’s team, along with Arsenal, now find themselves five points adrift of the pacesetters going into the two-week international break.
Also on Sunday, Everton won 2-1 at West Ham, Hull defeated Stoke 2-1 and Fulham drew 1-1 with Wigan.
Louis Saha and Dan Gosling scored Everton’s goals to leave West Ham in the relegation zone.
Hull’s victory eased the pressure on manager Phil Brown. Matthew Etherington had put Stoke in front, but Seyi Olofinjana levelled after the break and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink struck in the final minute after Stoke’s Abdoulaye Faye was sent off.
Fulham earned a point at Wigan after Clint Dempsey was brought down by Titus Bramble and then scored from the resulting penalty kick.