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Chelsea move four points clear, City sink Sunderland

October 07, 2012

LONDON, Oct 6: Chelsea brushed Norwich City aside 4-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to open up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League after Everton, who were second, drew 2-2 at Wigan Athletic and slipped to third.

Chelsea fell behind to an early Grant Holt goal, but replied with four from Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and a superb volley from Branislav Ivanovic.

Holt surprised Chelsea with an 11th minute-opener but Torres equalised inside three minutes to repel the initial threat from the winless visitors.

Lampard volleyed Chelsea in front in the 22nd, Hazard extended the advantage before the break, and Ivanovic fired in another in the second-half.

Chelsea moved to 19 points as champions Manchester City climbed to second on 15 points after beating Sunderland 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium where Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner were on target.

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

Argentine substitute 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 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.”

West Bromwich Albion moved up to fourth place on 14 points with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers, who remain winless and bottom.

Everton trailed twice at Wigan Athletic before saving a point in a 2-2 draw when Leighton Baines scored a penalty against his former club in the 87th minute.

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.

The Royals opened the scoring through Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak's 31st minute goal and Noel Hunt doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

But Michu's 71st minute goal gave Swansea a lifeline and winger Wayne Routledge levelled seven minutes later.

Results: Chelsea 4    Norwich City 1 Manchester City 3    Sunderland 0 Swansea City 2    Reading 2 West Bromwich Albion 3    Queens Park Rangers 2 Wigan Athletic 2    Everton 2 —Agencies