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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea back on top, City win

Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League after beating Stoke City 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Mohamed Salah celebrates after giving Chelsea the lead against Stoke.
Mohamed Salah celebrates after netting the first goal in Chelsea’s victory against Stoke.

Delaney: Matic, Salah impress
Premier League gallery Photo Gallery

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring on his full debut for the Blues before winning a penalty, which Frank Lampard converted on the rebound after Asmir Begovic saved his initial effort.

Willian then provided an excellent strike from the edge of the area for his third goal of the season to put the result beyond doubt.

The victory sees Chelsea move a point clear of Liverpool, but the Reds -- who have a game in hand -- can return to the summit if they beat West Ham United on Sunday.

Manchester City are two points behind Chelsea with two games in hand after they beat Southampton 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Jolly: City keep title bid on track

Yaya Toure opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Jose Fonte stuck out a leg and brought down Edin Dzeko, and things got worse for Southampton minutes later when in-form striker Jay Rodriguez had to be stretchered off.

The visitors levelled from the spot when Rickie Lambert side-footed home after Pablo Zabaleta upended Jack Cork, but City took control ahead of the break through goals from Samir Nasri and Dzeko. Stevan Jovetic then wrapped up the rout in the 81st minute.

Manchester United followed their morale-boosting Champions League showing against Bayern Munich with a 4-0 win away to Newcastle United.

Okwonga: Mata and Kagawa thrive
Duffy: Time for Pardew to go

Juan Mata gave United the lead six minutes before half-time with their first attempt on goal, curling home a fine free-kick, and the Spaniard then doubled the visitors’ advantage from Javier Hernandez's ball across the box.

Hernandez made it three in the 64th minute from close range with Shinji Kagawa teeing up the Mexican, and Adnan Januzaj scored United's fourth following a neat one-two movement with Mata two minutes into injury time.

The victory for United follows on from their 4-1 win over Aston Villa last week, and they are now seven points off the top four having played a game more.

Fulham's slim hopes of Premier League survival were boosted by Hugo Rodallega's late goal to earn them a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa.

The visitors took the lead when Kieran Richardson hammered a shot into the roof of the net to silence Villa Park on the hour mark, but it did not last long as Grant Holt was allowed space at the back post to head in an equaliser for Paul Lambert's side.

Lewis Holtby was denied by goal-line technology as Matthew Lowton somehow slid to keep the ball out, but Rodallega's late glancing header claimed all three points for Felix Magath's side.

Cardiff City's chances of avoiding the drop took a major blow as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to relegation rivals Crystal Palace.

Jason Puncheon opened the scoring when he expertly found the bottom corner to claim his first away goal of the season, and former Bluebirds' midfielder Joe Ledley then stabbed home to double the lead.

Puncheon then rounded off the victory and inflicted further misery on Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a superb 25-yard strike in the dying minutes.

West Bromwich Albion's difficult week ended in joy as they claimed a 1-0 victory against Norwich City in the relegation six-pointer at Carrow Road.

Morgan Amalfitano, who scored a wonder goal in the 3-3 draw with Cardiff last week, took full advantage of Martin Olsson's untimely slip and hammered into the far corner to give Pepe Mel's side the three points.

Hull City's fears were eased as George Boyd scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Swansea City.

Following a quiet start at the KC Stadium, Swans' goalkeeper Michel Vorm was in fine fettle to push Shane Long's early volley wide of the post and keep the scores level.

Boyd out-jumped Angel Rangel to head in Liam Rosenior's cross for his first goal of 2014, and Hull held firm to earn all three points.


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