Chelsea triumph in local derby to go top of league

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Arsenal were the only other London Premiership side to claim three points on Saturday following their win over Sheffield United


Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 19

Champions Chelsea moved to the top of the English Premiership for the first time this season as they won 2-0 at West London rivals Fulham on Saturday.

Frank Lampard scored both goals for Chelsea in the second half to take them above Portsmouth at the top of the table.

At Craven Cottage, Fulham managed to hold out for 73 minutes before Chelsea took the lead through a penalty from Lampard after Liam Rosenoir had handled the ball in the penalty area.

And with 10 minutes remaining, Lampard made it 2-0 with a drive from the edge of the box.

Martin O'Neill, Aston Villa's new boss, had something to smile about as his side beat Charlton Athletic 2-0 to go fourth thanks to goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Luke Moore.

Liverpool continued their recent revival with a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur to move up to sixth.

After a goalless first half, Liverpool turned on the style in the second and goals from Chilean,Mark Gonzalez (63), Dutchman,Dirk Kuyt (73) and Dane, John Arne Riise (90) secured the three points for Rafael Benitez's side.

Jermaine Jenas should have put Spurs ahead but somehow skewed a shot wide from 4m out and Gonzalez made them pay, slotting home after Craig Bellamy had hit the post from point blank range.

Kuyt collected a ball from Luis Garcia in his stride and slammed a shot past Paul Robinson to double their lead and Riise fired an unstoppable long-range shot to complete the victory.

"In the second period we were better," Benitez said.

"We got the ball wide earlier and the quality of players we now have meant we were able to make better opportunities. Tottenham had one good chance in the first half and one in the second but apart from that I thought we were the better side," he said.

"I'm happy with the team and happy with the confidence we have after winning again," he said.

Arsenal earned their first triumph at their new Emirates Stadium with a 3-0 victory over bottom side Sheffield United.

Manchester City ended their poor run with a 2-0 win over West Ham, while Blackburn Rovers made it two wins in two matches with a 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough. Watford drew 1-1 at Wigan Athletic.