Chelsea extend lead, Spurs draw with Everton
Chelsea moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League, but were made to work hard for their 2-0 victory against Wolves at Stamford Bridge.
After a bright start from visitors, Yuri Zhirkov pulled the ball back from the near post to set up Florent Malouda, who slotted the ball past Marcus Hahnemann for his seventh goal of the season.
But if the home fans expected Malouda's goal to trigger a goalrush for the champions - who have scored 22 goals in eight games this season - they were to be frustrated by a well-organised Wolves side. The visitors pushed hard, but Salomon Kalou eventually sealed the three points with nine minutes left on the clock.
In the early kick-off, Rafael van der Vaart scored his fifth goal in as many games to rescue a point for Tottenham as they drew 1-1 at home to Everton. The Netherlands midfielder struck home from close range to cancel out Leighton Baines' brilliant free-kick.
Richard Dunne's own goal proved decisive as Sunderland hung on to beat Aston Villa 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. Dunne diverted a cross past Brad Friedel into his own net for a record eighth own goal in the Premier League.
Villa dominated the second half but squandered a host of chances. Emile Heskey had the best chance to level but failed to make contact with a simple chance in front of goal as Gerard Houllier's side suffered their fourth defeat of the season.
West Brom moved into the Champions League places after coming from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 at the Hawthorns. The Baggies went behind after nine minutes when Zoltan Gera's strike struck the post and bounced back off goalkeeper Scott Carson into the net. Fulham's lead was shortlived, though, and Youssuf Mulumbu slotted home from Chris Brunt's throughball, and Marc-Antoine Fortune sealed all three points to move above Arsenal into fourth.
Nikola Zigic scored his second goal in as many games to help Birmingham to a comfortable 2-0 win over Blackpool at St Andrews. Liam Ridgewell opened the scoring, heading in from close range after Zigic's header clattered the bar, and the Serbian doubled the lead in the second half after Charlie Adam failed to clear the ball in his own penalty area.
Johan Elmander scored his fifth goal of the season to earn Bolton a 1-1 draw at Wigan. Elmander struck home from close range to cancel out Hugo Rodallega's opener.
In the day's late kick-off, Carlton Cole gave struggling West Ham the lead at Upton Park only for Newcastle to battle back for a 2-1 victory courtesy of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll.