Mon, Nov 29, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Chelsea increases its lead


Chelsea's Damien Duff, left, drives past Charlton's Paul Konchesky during their league match at The Valley in London, Saturday.


Defender John Terry scored twice in three minutes Saturday to help Chelsea beat Charlton 4-0 and open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Damien Duff opening the scoring in the fourth minute, then set up Terry through corner kicks to add two more in the 47th and 50th minutes. Eidur Gudjohnsen added Chelsea's fourth goal in the 59th as Chelsea pulled away from idle Arsenal and Everton.

"We showed people we could cope with being the leaders and this is now the third or fourth week we have been top of the league and I hope we can be there for a long time," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.

"For me the pressure is not being top. If you are second you have to win your matches but when you are top you just have to think about yourself."

Manchester United moved up two places to fourth but is still nine points behind the Blues despite a 3-0 win over a West Bromwich Albion side coached by former Red Devils star Bryan Robson. Paul Scholes scored in the 53rd and 80th minutes and Ruud van Nistelrooy headed the other in between. It was the first time United had won three straight games this season.

"I think it was our best 90 minutes of the season, the consistency of every player on the pitch," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said.

In other results, Norwich followed up its first win of the season with a 1-1 draw at Birmingham and Southampton rallied to a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. Also, Portsmouth won 1-0 at Bolton for its first away win of the season just three days after manager Harry Redknapp quit.

Manchester City beat Aston Villa 2-0 off goals from Jon Macken and Shaun Wright-Phillips to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2003.

Villa was uninspiring throughout. Late in the second half, Juan Pablo Angel had a penalty pushed away by Manchester City goalkeeper David James, then headed the rebound over an open goal. Lee Hendrie was sent off in the final minute for aiming a headbutt at Danny Mills which made no contact.

Chelsea has 36 points, followed by Arsenal with 31, Everton with 29 and Manchester United with 27. West Brom dropped to the bottom of the table after Blackburn beat 10-man Fulham 2-0 in the early match for only its second win of the season.

Steve Tosh scored the winner as Aberdeen beat Dundee United 1-0 Saturday to get within six points of Scottish Premier League leader Celtic. Tosh played after spending most of the night at hospital where his wife was in labor with their second child.

"The wife woke me up at three this morning to go to the hospital and the baby came at 10 o'clock this morning," Tosh said. "I've not had much sleep so the manager left it up to me whether I wanted to play and I was running on adrenalin for the whole game."

Celtic has 37 points, Rangers 36 and Aberdeen 31. Hibernian has 27 points in fourth after a 2-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Derek Riordan scored the winner to deny Craig Brewster a point in his first game as Inverness manager. Juanjo gave Caley the lead in the 34th minute, but Guillaume Beuzelin equalized five minutes later before Riordan sealed the win in the 47th.

FC Barcelona increased its lead in the Spanish league to 10 points Saturday after Deco scored the match-winning goal in a 2-1 win over newcomer Getafe.

Rafael Marquez scored the first goal for Barcelona in the 20th minute from a free kick, and Deco added the second three minutes later. Gheorghe ``Gica'' Craioveanu pulled one back for Getafe in the 59th, pouncing on a poor clearance.

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