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FOOTBALL / Chamakh shines for Arsenal

SIZZLING START: Marouane Chamakh heads in one of the fastest goals of the season in Arsenal's win over Wolves on Wednesday. — PHOTO: AFP
SIZZLING START: Marouane Chamakh heads in one of the fastest goals of the season in Arsenal's win over Wolves on Wednesday. — PHOTO: AFP

Chelsea extended its lead at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over local-rival Fulham as the Manchester derby failed to live up to expectations.

A Michael Essien goal after half an hour saw Chelsea bounce back from Sunday's defeat to Liverpool to open a four-point lead after Manchester United was held 0-0 by Manchester City in a dour stalemate.

Chelsea's delight at victory was tempered, however, by a red card for goal-scorer Essien deep in injury time for a second bookable offence. Meanwhile, a disappointing Manchester derby saw City and United cancel each other out in a cagey encounter at Eastlands where goal-scoring opportunities were thin on the ground.

Arsenal recovered from the shock defeat to Newcastle on Sunday by easing past struggling Wolves 2-0 at Molineux.

The Gunners took the lead with one of the fastest goals of the season, Marouane Chamakh netting his seventh goal of the campaign in less than a minute to set the Gunners on the way to victory.

Chamakh added a second in injury time to leave Arsenal in third place, five points adrift of leader Chelsea, and one behind Manchester United in second.

The results:

Aston Villa 3 (Downing 28, Delfouneso 60, Collins 89) bt Blackpool 2 (Harewood 45, Campbell 87); Chelsea 1 (Essien 30) bt Fulham 0; Everton 1 (Beckford 90) drew with Bolton 1 (Klasnic 79); Manchester City 0 drew with Manchester United 0; Newcastle 1 (Carroll 47) lost to Blackburn 2 (Pedersen 3, Roberts 82); West Ham 2 (Parker 43, Piquionne 50-pen) drew with West Brom 2 (Odemwingie 38-pen, Ibanez 71); Wigan 1 (Rodallega 52) drew with Liverpool 1 (Torres 7); Wolves 0 lost to Arsenal 2 (Chamakh 1, 90).

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