English Premiership Roundup, Feb 20

Didier Drogba’s double enabled Chelsea to move four points clear at

the top of the Barclays Premier League as they overcame Wolves 2-0

at Molineux.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side took full advantage of nearest title

rivals Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat at Everton earlier in the day

to move a step closer to the championship crown.

Chelsea had to wait, though, until the 40th minute before

breaking the deadlock against relegation-threatened Wolves at

Molineux, with Drogba capping a brilliant move involving Yuri

Zhirkov and Michael Ballack.

Drogba then wrapped up the victory in the 67th minute with

his 25th goal of the season, and his sixth in five matches since he

returned from African Nations Cup duty.

Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell came off the bench to give the

Toffees a stunning victory over the defending champions.

Gosling replaced Diniyar Bilyaletdinov – who had earlier

cancelled out a Dimitar Berbatov strike – and fired the

Merseysiders ahead with 15 minutes remaining at Goodison Park.

Rodwell then entered the fray three minutes from time and

capped a fine comeback with a superb breakaway goal.

Arsenal continue to hang on in the title race after a 2-0 win

at the Emirates Stadium over Sunderland, who remain without a

victory since the end of November.

Nicklas Bendtner’s first goal for almost four months gave

Arsenal the half-time lead, although Kenwyne Jones missed a

glorious one-on-one chance shortly before the break to send the

sides in level.

Cesc Fabregas added a second late on from the spot to ensure

the Gunners remain six points behind Chelsea and two adrift of

United with a game in hand on the latter.

In the relegation battle at Upton Park, West Ham are four

points clear of the drop zone following a 3-0 victory over 10-man

Hull.

The Hammers dominated throughout, taking the lead after just

130 seconds when Valon Behrami scored his first goal for the club

for just under 13 months.

After the interval Hull then had a player sent off for the

second successive away match when Craig Fagan was dismissed in the

53rd minute for a second bookable offence.

Six minutes later Gianfranco Zola’s side took full advantage

with Carlton Cole strengthening his claims for a place in England’s

World Cup squad with his ninth goal of the season before Julian

Faubert wrapped up the scoring in the third minute of injury time.

In Saturday’s evening kick-off Stoke substitute Salif Diao

snatched a last-gasp 2-1 triumph for the 10-man Potters as

Portsmouth were plunged deeper into the relegation mire.

Frederic Piquionne gave the home side the advantage after 35

minutes, but Robert Huth’s header levelled matters five minutes

after the break.

Andy Wilkinson was sent off for the visitors after 73

minutes, but Diao netted at the death to maintain his side’s

unbeaten record in all competitions this year.