EPL Saturday: Round-up of all the matches

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points with a 4-1 win against Norwich, while Manchester City got back on track after their recent struggles as the champions crushed Sunderland 3-0 on Saturday.

Reported by: Agence France-Presse
Last updated on Sunday, 07 October, 2012 00:05 IST
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London: Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points with a 4-1 win against Norwich on Saturday, while champions Manchester City got back on track by crushing Sunderland 3-0.

Roberto Di Matteo's unbeaten Chelsea have made a flying start to their title challenge and this was the European champions' sixth win in seven league matches.

The Blues recovered from the shock of Norwich striker Grant Holt's 11th-minute opener at Stamford Bridge to take complete control before half-time.

Fernando Torres equalised with his fifth goal of the season, the Spaniard heading home from a Branislav Ivanovic cross in the 14th minute.

Frank Lampard put Chelsea in front in the 22nd minute with a drive from the edge of the area and Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard, netting a cool 31st-minute strike from Juan Mata's pass, shattered Norwich's resistance.

Ivanovic rubbed salt into Norwich's wounds when he bagged the fourth goal with 14 minutes left.

"Norwich scored a good goal and it was important to equalise quickly. From there on it was a lot of Chelsea pressure," Di Matteo said.

"The players just controlled the game. We can be happy about the performance. We are slowly evolving and don't concede too many goals."

Roberto Mancini's City spluttered through the start of their title defence and assault on the Champions League, but a convincing display at Eastlands secured a second victory in their last seven fixtures in all competitions and their first clean sheet of the season at the 10th attempt.

The hosts were ahead after five minutes when Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov curled a superb free-kick past Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Argentine substitute Sergio Aguero got the second goal on the hour when he steered in a Kolarov cross from close-range for his first goal at Eastlands since the dramatic strike that won the title on the final day of last season.

And England midfielder James Milner ensured City would move into second place with an 89th-minute free-kick that glanced in off Sunderland's Craig Gardner.

"In the first half we missed two or three chances, like in other games, but we had a good performance," Mancini said.

"Every game is difficult in this moment. I am happy because we got a clean sheet and scored three, but also because of our performance."

Theo Walcott came off the bench to inspire Arsenal as the Gunners won 3-1 at London rivals West Ham.

Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame gave West Ham the lead in the 21st minute with a superb individual effort.

But the Gunners drew level four minutes before half-time when France forward Olivier Giroud volleyed home Lukas Podolski's cross from close range for his first Premier League goal since his pre-season move from Montpellier.

Walcott got the crucial second in the 77th minute with a clinical low finish and Santi Cazorla completed the win with a long-range effort from Walcott's pass.

Third-placed Everton salvaged a 2-2 draw at Wigan thanks to a late penalty from former Latics man Leighton Baines.

Wigan went ahead in controversial circumstances when Arouna Kone finished off a fine run from Shaun Maloney, even though the Ivory Coast striker was clearly offside.

Everton hit back one minute later through Nikica Jelavic and, although Franco Di Santo put Wigan back in front in the 23rd minute, Baines fired home from the spot with three minutes to go.

West Bromwich Albion continued their surprising start to the season by climbing to fourth place with a 3-2 victory over bottom-of-the-table QPR at the Hawthorns.

Steve Clarke's team went 2-0 up thanks to first-half goals from James Morrison and Zoltan Gera.

Morocco midfielder Adel Taarabt gave QPR hope with a fine volley in the 35th minute, but Youssouf Mulumbu clinched the points five minutes from full-time and Esteban Granero's stoppage-time effort was no consolation for the winless visitors.

Reading blew a chance to secure their first league victory of the season as Swansea recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 at the Liberty Stadium.

Story first published on: Saturday, 06 October 2012 21:47 IST

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