Big wins for City, Chelsea in EPL

Sunday, October 07, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — Chelsea extended their Premier League lead with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Norwich, and defending champions Manchester City climbed to second place by comprehensively beating Sunderland, 3-0, yesterday.

Chelsea fought back quickly after Grant Holt's opener for Norwich in the 11th minute, with Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard scoring before the break.

Branislav Ivanovic fired in a late fourth as Chelsea went four points ahead at the top of the league in their best start since the 2005-06 season.

City rose to second after goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner.

Everton slipped to third after being held to a 2-2 draw by Wigan, while West Bromwich Albion maintained their strong start with a 3-2 victory over bottom-place Queens Park Rangers.

Swansea recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Reading, while Arsenal bounced back from Chelsea ending their unbeaten start last weekend to beat West Ham, 2-1, despite falling behind to Mohamed Diame's opener.

Chelsea's victory was overshadowed by the lingering fallout from John Terry's racism case, a year after he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Defender Ashley Cole inflamed the situation on Friday when he responded to criticism of his evidence in Terry's judgment by blasting the Football Association with an obscene Twitter posting. Chelsea are now set to fine Cole after launching disciplinary action over the tweet.

On the pitch, as Chelsea fans chanted support for Terry and Cole, the team fell behind when Grant Holt beat goalkeeper Petr Cech after 11 minutes.

Fernando Torres ensured the lead only lasted three minutes by heading in the equaliser before Chelsea steamrollered the winless visitors with Frank Lampard volleying the leaders in front.

Juan Mata then ripped through the Norwich defence and slipped the ball through for Hazard to put Chelsea further ahead before half-time, while Branislav Ivanvoic volleyed in a late fourth.

Earlier in the day, City were also rampant against Sunderland, but had only three goals to show for the dominance. Aleksandar Kolarov scored from a free kick after five minutes at Etihad Stadium, substitute Sergio Aguero added a second on the hour, and James Milner blasted another dead ball into the net.

Everton dropped to third after relying on Leighton Baines' late penalty to earn a point.

West Brom are level on points with Everton, behind only on goal difference in fourth. Goals from James Morrison, Zoltan Gera and Youssouf Mulumbu secured the win that will add to the pressure on QPR manager Mark Hughes with his team bottom despite an off-season spending spree.



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