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A-League season preview: MV favourites

By ESPN Staff

Prem review: United, Chelsea win, Liverpool woe

Leaders Manchester United and champions Chelsea maintained their blistering form as the Red Devils' six-point Premiership advantage remained intact.

While United beat struggling Charlton 2-0 at Old Trafford, Chelsea won 3-0 at home to Middlesbrough.

United full-back Patrice Evra worked his way down the left before squeezing a looping centre across which Park Ji-Sung headed home after 24 minutes. Darren Fletcher made it 2-0 with a second-half header.

In west London Didier Drogba curled home an excellent low free-kick in first-half injury-time to give his side the lead.

Andrew Taylor's left-wing cross had Petr Cech beaten but hit the woodwork and was cleared.

And Boro's hopes were effectively ended when substitute Arjen Robben's shot was deflected in by Abel Xavier before Drogba grabbed his second.

A controversial penalty gave Newcastle a 2-1 win over Liverpool at a soaked St James' Park.

Liverpool scored the opener when goalkeeper Steve Harper's terrible clearance fell to Jermaine Pennant, who fed Craig Bellamy, and the controversial forward slammed home.

But another goalkeeping error gifted Newcastle an equaliser. Jose Reina rushed out to clear the ball but only succeeded in hitting defender Daniel Agger, allowing Obafemi Martins to slot home.

After the away side wasted several chances the Magpies turned the game on its head when Nolberto Solano scored from the spot, after John Arne Riise fouled Steven Taylor and the defender was happy to go to ground.

Watford ground out their biggest win of the season with a 1-0 triumph in an eventful battle at West Ham.

A bubbling Upton Park was soon quietened when Darius Henderson's 12th-minute penalty found the net after he was fouled by Anton Ferdinand.

Nigel Reo-Coker broke through and earned a penalty when Gavin Mahon felled him in the box, only for Harewood to place his kick wide of Ben Foster's left-hand post.

Chances came and went but it was Adrian Boothroyd's side who stole three precious points.

Andrew Johnson recovered immediately from his midweek England disappointment with an early winner against Blackburn at Goodison Park.

After Rovers failed to clear their lines, the ball was pumped into the area and Mikel Arteta flicked on with his head for Johnson to fire home after 10 minutes.

Sheffield United came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Bramall Lane in an ill-tempered clash.

A brilliant combination between Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas gave Spurs a second-minute lead. Keane's excellent control and flick played Jenas through and the England squad player produced a magnificent lob over a stranded Paddy Kenny.

Spurs were pegged back when Rob Hulse's header somehow squeezed home from Colin Kazim-Richards' corner.

And the Blades took the lead for the first time when Teemu Tainio fouled Stephen Quinn on the hour mark and Phil Jagielka fired home the resulting penalty.

Steve Sidwell's brace earned European hopefuls Reading a 2-0 win over Aston Villa at the Madejski Stadium in the Premiership's early kick-off.