Drogba dazzles in Chelsea victory

Ivory Coast striker nets two goals as Arsenal go down in London derby

Drogba dazzles in Chelsea victory

 
Chelsea's Didier Drogba (right) celebrates with    Ashley Cole after scoring against Arsenal on Sunday. ReutersArsenal had won each of their 11 home matches in all competitions this season but were undone in the last four minutes of the first half as low crosses by Ashley Cole were turned in by Didier Drogba and Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen for an own goal.

Arsenal pressed and probed in their usual decorative fashion but, against a defence who had conceded only eight goals in their previous 13 league games, they were too often outmuscled and Drogba completed the win with a free kick four minutes from time.

Chelsea top the standings on 36 points, five clear of United, who won 4-1 at Portsmouth on Saturday with a Wayne Rooney hat-trick. Tottenham Hotspur are third on 26 with Arsenal, who last won the title in 2004, fourth on 25.

Liverpool, who won 2-0 at Everton earlier on Sunday, are fifth on 23.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at Villa Park in the late game to leapfrog Arsenal and go third in the standings, while Manchester City remain sixth on 22 after they were held 1-1 at home by struggling Hull City to record a Premier League record seventh successive draw.

West Ham United beat Burnley 5-3 while Wigan Athletic bounced back from last week's 9-1 hammering at Spurs by beating Sunderland 1-0.

Rooney earned the headlines with his treble but in truth the England striker, along with several of his United team-mates, otherwise had a quiet game.

Portsmouth, who have beaten United and drawn with them at Fratton Park in the last two seasons as well as knocking them out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford last year, were the better team for much of the first half in their first game under manager Avram Grant following the midweek sacking of Paul Hart.

However, they paid for missing several good chances when United went ahead with a Rooney penalty in the 25th minute after he had been brought down by Michael Brown.
The referee evened things up seven minutes later with another hotly debated penalty award when he decided Frederic Piquionne had had his shirt pulled and Kevin Prince Boateng scored from the spot.

The third penalty of the match was awarded for a foul on Giggs in the 54th and Rooney duly converted for his hat-trick before Giggs rounded things off with a late free kick to register his 100th Premier League goal.

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