Chelsea was sent spinning to a shock 1-0 defeat at Wolves as the English Premier League football champion fell further behind in the title race and left manager Carlo Ancelotti clinging to his job.

An own goal by defender Jose Bosingwa after five minutes handed victory to Wolves, which climbed out of the relegation zone as Chelsea's miserable run of form — just one win in nine matches — continued.

Ancelotti, who had admitted before the match that he was lucky not to have been sacked, will now face fresh scrutiny after a result on Wednesday night which left Chelsea nine points adrift of leader Manchester United, which also has a game in hand.

“At this moment it's very difficult to explain what's happening to us,” a stunned Ancelotti told Sky Sports. “We have to keep going... we have to stay focused more on the little details. Because the little details lose the game.”

In the battle for second place, Arsenal and Manchester City fought out a 0-0 stalemate at the Emirates. Arsenal dominated throughout, but was unable to find its way through a blanket City defence. Meanwhile, Blackburn piled the pressure on Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson with a 3-1 victory over the troubled Merseysiders.

Elsewhere, Tottenham was unable to capitalise on Chelsea's defeat as it crashed 2-1 at Everton.

Dream start

Everton got off to a dream start when Louis Saha rifled in his first league goal for 11 months after only three minutes. Spurs' response was almost immediate, Rafael van der Vaart levelling on 11 minutes.

But Everton snaffled a second-half winner from Seamus Coleman which means Spurs remain just one point clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.

Aston Villa's abysmal run of recent form continued as it slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland at Villa Park.

An 80th-minute goal from Phillip Bardsley secured the points for the Black Cats as Villa's seventh defeat in 10 matches sent Gerard Houllier's men, who had Emile Heskey sent-off, into the relegation zone.

West Ham's hopes of following up its New Year's Day victory over Wolves with another three points was given a brutal mauling at St. James Park as Newcastle recorded a crushing 5-0 victory.

Wigan remains second from bottom after a 1-1 draw with Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

The results:

Arsenal 0 drew with Manchester City 0; Aston Villa 0 lost to Sunderland 1 (Bardsley 80); Blackburn 3 (Olsson 32, Mwaruwari 38 & 57) bt Liverpool 1 (Gerrard 81).

Bolton 1 (Moreno 54) drew with Wigan 1 (Stam 80); Everton 2 (Saha 3, Coleman 75) bt Tottenham 1 (Van der Vaart 11); Newcastle 5 (Best 18, 39, 60, Nolan 45, Lovenkrands 63) bt West Ham 0; Wolverhampton 1 (Bosingwa 5-og) bt Chelsea 0. — Agencies

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