Chelsea cruise, Man City lose
Chelsea held their nerve to bag under-pressure manager Rafa Benitez a crucial 4-1 win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League Saturday night.
- Published: 9/02/2013 at 09:59 PM
- Newspaper section: news
Having built themselves into a good position after Ramires rounded off a slick move midway through the first half, and Eden Hazard added a second, panic once again threatened to set in.
Shaun Maloney immediately hit back after rounding Petr Cech and finishing from out wide, and Wigan went out in pursuit of an equaliser.
They had their moments, but an 87th-minute strike from Frank Lampard, drilled low beyond Ali Al-Habsi, finally settled the contest, and substitute Marko Marin nodded in a rebound in injury time to add further gloss to the scoreline.
Manchester City's title defence suffered a huge blow as they gifted Southampton a 3-1 victory with a series of glaring defensive errors.
The disastrous defeat for Man City means leaders Manchester United can extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 12 points with 12 games to go if they beat Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Gareth Bale continued his impressive run of form with two goals in a 2-1 victory for Tottenham Hotspur at home over Newcastle United in Saturday's opening Premier League match.
The Wales international scored a lovely free-kick after just five minutes and then exploited some poor defending in the second half as he made it four goals in his past three games for club and country to cement his status as arguably the Premier League's most in-form player.
Yoan Gouffran responded with a deflected effort after 24 minutes but was later taken off on a stretcher as what appeared to be a nasty shin injury compounded a disappointing afternoon for Newcastle, who were unable to secure a third consecutive victory.
Tottenham, meanwhile, extended their lead over Everton and Arsenal with the win and even skipped ahead of Chelsea into third ahead of their London rivals' kick-off against Wigan.
In other matches, Norwich and Fulham played to a scoreless draw, Stoke beat Reading 2-1, Arsenal held Sunderland 1-0 and Swansea made QPR a victim by 4-1.
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- Writer: Agencies