Man U continue to be on top of the chart

Man U continue to be on top of the chart

Joy unlimited: United’s Dimitar Berbatov celebrates after scoring against West Ham on Saturday. Reuters

Frank Lampard hit four goals for Chelsea in a 7-1 demolition of Aston Villa to put the Londoners briefly on top with 71 points before United responded with a 4-0 win in an evening game at Bolton Wanderers -- Dimitar Berbatov scoring twice for the champions.

United, chasing a record 19th top-flight title, have 72 points while Arsenal are third on 68 after Birmingham City netted in stoppage time to rescue a 1-1 home draw against the Gunners.

Tottenham Hotspur stren-gthened their grip on fourth spot with a 2-0 home win against relegation-bound Portsmouth while West Ham United lost 1-0 at home to Stoke City, their sixth league defeat in succession.  West Ham are out of the bottom three only on goal difference after Hull City matched them on 27 points with a 2-0 victory over Fulham. Wolverhampton Wanderers maintained their improved form with a 0-0 draw against Everton.

United and Chelsea, who meet next week at Old Trafford, both rested players on Saturday but even with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand having a day off, they produced performances worthy of champions.

As the season enters the stage where dropped points at either end of the table are magnified, the leading two were impeccable, although Chelsea did suffer a first-half setback against Villa before putting their opponents to the sword.  Lampard reached 151 goals for Chelsea to become the club's third-highest scorer of all time.

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