London:Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea maintained their five-point Premier League lead with a 3-0 victory at Arsenal on Sunday, while Liverpool's monthlong search for a league win ended with a 2-0 victory at Everton.
Drogba scored toward the end of each half to total 10 goals in nine games against Arsenal, whose defender Thomas Vermaelen also turned the ball into his own net at a rain-soaked Emirates Stadium.
"We are playing really well with great team spirit and we need to continue this," Chelsea captain John Terry said. "We soaked up the pressure, and going forward the midfielders and attackers were exceptional."
On Saturday, second-place Manchester United maintained the pressure on Chelsea by beating Portsmouth to go four points ahead of third-place Tottenham.
After a second straight loss, Arsenal are a point further adrift in the fourth Champions League spot, with Liverpool two points behind after Joseph Yobo's own-goal and Dirk Kuyt's late strike settled the 212th Merseyside derby at Everton.
Catching Chelsea is proving a tough task for the chasing pack, with a fifth straight league win strengthening their title bid.
While Arsenal dominated the first half of the London derby, Arsene Wenger's injury-hit side failed to take their chances.
"We lacked a little bit of the power in the final third," said Arsenal manager Arsenal Wenger, whose side also lost at Sunderland last weekend. "We have nothing to be ashamed of our performance today ... they have in Drogba an exceptional player."
With the break approaching, Ashley Cole crossed for Drogba to flick in his ninth goal in as many games off the far post in the 41st minute.
Arsenal barely had time to recover before John Terry combined with Ashley Cole, whose cross ricocheted off Vermaelen's knee past his own goalkeeper and went in off the post again.
Arsenal playmaker Andrei Arshavin put the ball in the net from close range in the second half, but it was ruled out because Eduardo da Silva was adjudged to have kicked the ball out of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech's hands.
And Chelsea's emphatic win was rounded off in the 86th when Drogba side-footed a free kick past goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
Liverpool's victory at Goodison Park owed much to Yobo's errors. The Everton center back inadvertently diverted Javier Mascherano's 30-meter (yard) strike past goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 12th minute, and another late mistake from Nigeria international led to Kuyt's goal.
Yobo's error on an attempted clearance in the 80th allowed Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to seize the loose ball and tee up Albert Riera for a shot that was parried by Howard but then kicked into the net by Kuyt.
Liverpool's first league victory since Oct. 25 against Man. United was secured without injured striker Fernando Torres, and it helped lift some of the gloom surrounding the club in the wake of their elimination from the Champions League.
"It was an important game to move up the league," Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said. "We've not performed as well as we'd have liked this season. But we're the ones who can change that, with a couple of wins hopefully we can do that, but we still have a long way to go."
Everton's third straight loss leaves them two points above the relegation zone.
"I thought the players did a good job," Everton manager David Moyes said. "I've got encouragement from today but it doesn't change our position."
Everton striker Jo did find the back of the net twice but he was correctly judged to be offside both times.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina almost handed Everton a soft goal when he fumbled Steven Pienaar's long-range shot and the ball dropped behind him before he quickly recovered it.
Reina made two crucial saves from Tim Cahill's header and Marouane Fellaini's follow-up.
Also on Sunday, Lee Bowyer scored in the third minute to give Birmingham a 1-0 victory over Midlands rival Wolverhampton, which is in the relegation zone.