Lampard propels Chelsea

Lampard propels Chelsea

Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea as they beat West Ham United 2-0 to move into third place in the Premier League above Tottenham Hotspur who suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Fulham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

FA Cup semifinalists Wigan Athletic remained in the relegation zone despite a last-gasp 2-1 win over Newcastle United and Sunderland continued to flirt with danger at the wrong end of the table after drawing 1-1 with Norwich City.

Lampard scored after 19 minutes to put Chelsea ahead against his old club before Eden Hazard wrapped up the points with a superb second goal.  Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov scored after 52 minutes to give Fulham a rare victory at White Hart Lane and consolidate their place in mid-table.  Earlier on Saturday, Manchester United registered a 1-0 win over Reading to go 15 points clear atop the table.

United needed no second invitation to open further the lead although only Wayne Rooney’s deflected early shot separated them and second-bottom Reading at Old Trafford.

Alex Ferguson’s side never required top gear as they rolled on towards a 20th English title with their 24th victory in 29 league games this season, although the Scot refused to accept that the race was won. "We have got Sunderland away in our next game, which is always a tough place to go, and then we face Manchester City at home," he told ESPN. "You don't get points and medals for being complacent," added Ferguson whose side have 74 points ahead of City on 59.

United were uninspired against struggling Reading, who sacked manager Brian McDermott this week and put academy manager Eamonn Dolan in caretaker charge.

It needed some dazzling play from Rio Ferdinand, recalled by England this week after a long absence from international duty, to help break the deadlock, the veteran defender's elegant run setting up Rooney to score via a deflection in the 21st minute.
In Sunday’s Newcastle-Wigan game, Arouna Kone scored with virtually the last kick of the game to give Wigan victory and lift them to 27 points, three behind Aston Villa who are just above the bottom three.

Sunderland failed to win for the seventh league match in a row and are struggling on 31 points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich City who had goalkeeper Mark Bunn sent off in the first half for handling outside the area.  Queens Park Rangers are bottom on 23, level on points with Reading and four behind Wigan in 18th.