United move to the top after Chelsea surrender at Villa

United move to the top after Chelsea surrender at Villa

Arsenal continued to bang in the goals with a 3-1 home victory over Birmingham City, while Tottenham Hotspur survived a 60th-minute red card for Jermain Defoe to secure a 2-1 win at Portsmouth.

Champions United lead the way with 22 points from nine games. Chelsea are second on 21, Spurs have 19 and Arsenal have a game in hand on 18 points.
Manchester City, who visit Wigan Athletic on Sunday, have 16 points, the same as Villa and Sunderland.

United needed a last-minute own goal to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Sunderland in their last league game and it was another own goal that put them ahead on Saturday as Zat Knight's attempted clearance flew in after five minutes.
The home team looked too good for their Lancashire rivals in the first half and the second goal came after 33 minutes when Antonio Valencia fired his first for the club since his close-season move from Wigan.

Loose defending

Some loose defending allowed Matt Taylor to pull one back for Bolton after 75 minutes and set up a nervous finale for the United fans. "They are the sort of team who can take points off anyone, they are difficult opponents so we are quite happy to get the result."
Liverpool's hopes of a first title in 20 years already look slim after a fourth defeat in nine league games, though they were furious Sunderland's controversial goal stood.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Blackburn Rovers beat fierce Lancashire rivals Burnley 3-2 in a lively Sunday lunchtime derby in the Premier League.

In the first top flight clash between the sides for 43 years, it was Burnley who made a dream start when Robbie Blake sent an unstoppable long-range shot past Rovers keeper Paul Robinson in the fifth minute.

David Dunn silenced the visiting fans when he equalised four minutes later before Franco Di Santo, on loan from Chelsea, headed Rovers in front and Pascal Chimbonda made it 3-1 just before the interval.

Burnley created several opportunities to get back into the game in the second half and Chris Eagles gave them hope late on but Rovers survived to take the points.