Chelsea loss lets United move level

Lee Bowyer’s first-half strike proved the difference at St Andrew’s

as the champions lost for the third time in four games. Patrice

Evra and Javier Hernandez grabbed the goals in Manchester United’s

2-0 win over nine-man Wigan at Old Trafford, as Wayne Rooney made

his comeback off the bench. Bolton thrashed 10-man Newcastle 5-1,

Blackpool beat Wolves 2-1 at Bloomfield Road, while Stoke triumphed

3-0 at West Brom. At Birmingham, Bowyer latched onto a header from

Cameron Jerome to slide the ball home from eight yards in the 17th

minute to hand Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues their second successive

loss. Bowyer’s goal came against the run of play and Chelsea were

denied an equaliser when Ben Foster produced a fine save to deny

Didier Drogba, who also hit the woodwork. Foster then pulled off a

string of fine saves in the second-half to keep Chelsea at bay. The

Blues now lead at the top only on goal difference over Manchester

United. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took advantage of Chelsea’s slip

by recording a 2-0 victory over Wigan. Patrice Evra’s first goal in

three-and-a-half years in first-half injury time and a 77th-minute

header from Javier Hernandez earned United all three points to move

them level on points at the top with Chelsea. Wigan’s task was made

worse by red cards for Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega in the

space of three minutes in the second-half. First Alcaraz went for a

second bookable offence and he was followed by Rodallega, who

received a straight for two-footed lunge at Rafael da Silva.

Bolton’s recent run of rich form continued at home to Newcastle as

goals from Kevin Davies (two penalties), Lee Chung-yong and a brace

from Johan Elmander gave them an emphatic 5-1 win over 10-man

Newcastle. The victory moved Bolton up to fourth in the table.

Davies tucked home an 18th-minute penalty after Kevin Nolan was

penalised for handball and Lee made it two in the 39th minute after

United failed to clear a Matt Taylor shot that had hit the

woodwork. Elmander scored his seventh of the season in the 50th

minute but newly-capped England international Andy Carroll reduced

the arrears two minutes later. However, Elmander grabbed his second

of the game in the 72nd minute before Fabricio Coloccini was

red-carded for elbowing Elmander. Davies completed the rout by

scoring his second penalty in added time. Blackpool beat Wolves 2-1

thanks to first-half goals from Luke Varney and Marlon Harewood at

Bloomfield Road. Varney slammed a volley into the top corner for a

stunning opening goal in the 3rd minute and then Wolves goalkeeper

Marcus Hahnemann flapped at a corner to allow Harewood to bundle

home a minute before the break. Kevin Doyle scored an 86th-minute

consolation goal for Wolves. Three second-half goals, two from the

penalty spot, saw Stoke earn their third win in a row with a 3-0

success over West Brom at The Hawthorns. West Brom goalkeeper Scott

Carson brought down Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones inside the box and

Matthew Etherington coolly converted the first spot-kick in the

55th minute. Albion’s Simon Cox then fouled Dean Whitehead and

substitute Jon Walters fired home the second penalty five minutes

from time. Walters then grabbed his second of the game to complete

the scoring in added time.