Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Chelsea defeat Pompey, go top

AFP, LONDON

Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, left, and Tal Ben Haim, right, challenge with Portsmouth's John Utaka during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, on Saturday.

PHOTO: EPA

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he was pleased to be sitting on top of the English Premier League but insisted it meant nothing unless the Blues can keep ahead of their title rivals.

The Unbeaten Blues, looking to get the trophy back from champions Manchester United, are top of the division after four matches, leaving the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and United playing catch-up.

Chelsea went top thanks to their 1-0 win at home to Portsmouth on Saturday, with England midfielder Frank Lampard scoring the crucial goal.

Arsenal beat previous leaders Manchester City 1-0 at home, while Liverpool grabbed a 2-0 win at Sunderland.

"Every big club in the Premier League is playing to be top of the Premier League and we are no different," Mourinho told reporters. "We want to be first on the last day of the season. It is good to be there, but it means nothing at the moment."

Elsewhere Saturday, Bolton escaped the foot of the table with a 3-0 win over visitors Reading, Birmingham won 2-1 at Derby and West Ham drew 1-1 at home against Wigan.

Everton drew 1-1 with Blackburn and Aston Villa beat Fulham 2-1.

Arsenal ended Manchester City's 100 percent record under former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Spain midfielder Francesc Fabregas scored the goal in the 80th minute at the Emirates stadium, after City's stand-in goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saved Robin van Persie's penalty.

Schmeichel has conceded once in four games and has been one of the stars of the season so far.

"The way he is playing at the moment, we could ask no more from him. He has a presence you can feel from the bench. He is very brave as well," Eriksson said.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised his side's determination.

"That is a recognition of what is going on in this team and how we are progressing," he said. "I was worried a bit but the side is ready to fight until the last second."

Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season continued at Sunderland with Mali midfielder Mohamed Sissoko and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin scoring the goals.

Bolton Wanderers lost their opening three games, but they produced a response inspired by two strikers desperate to leave.

The Trotters beat visitors Reading 3-0 at the Reebok, with France's Nicolas Anelka setting up Daniel Braatan and scoring another while Senegal's El-Hadji Diouf laid on Gary Speed's opener.

West Ham United and Wigan Athletic drew 1-1 at Upton Park.

Wigan's Austria midfielder Paul Scharner scored a spectacular overhead kick 12 minutes from time but Lee Bowyer rescued a point for the hosts three minutes later with a cool finish.

Birmingham City hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at fellow newly-promoted side Derby County, who sunk to bottom of the table courtesy of two goals from Cameron Jerome either side of Matt Oakley's strike for the Rams.

At Goodison Park, Blackburn Rovers' Roque Santa Cruz scored in the 15th minute but hosts Everton equalized through James McFadden 12 minutes from time.

"We are missing something up front at the moment and everyone knows we are trying to do something about that," Everton boss David Moyes said.

Aston Villa beat visitors Fulham 2-1 at Villa Park with a last-minute strike from Scotland forward Shaun Maloney.

"It would have been an injustice if we had not have won," Villa manager Martin O'Neill said.

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