United held at City, Chelsea extend lead
The spoils were shared in the Manchester derby as Manchester City ground out a 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Eastlands.
Carlos Tevez was named in the starting line-up against his old club, but the City skipper failed to find his way through as both sides had to settle for a point in a match of few chances. Tevez's first-half free-kick forced a save from Edwin van der Sar, and he was involved in a scrap with Rafael.
United enjoyed most of the possession, but neither side were able to carve out clear-cut scoring opportunities in a tactical stalemate.
Michael Essien scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea edged past Fulham 1-0. The champions got back to winning ways after their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, but it was a far from convincing display from Carlo Ancelotti's side, who had Essien sent off in the final minute for a two-footed challenge on Clint Dempsey.
Essien drifted into the penalty area to meet Salomon Kalou's cross from the near post as Chelsea took an early lead, but Fulham kept the Chelsea front line quiet for much of the match. Didier Drogba was named in the starting line-up by Ancelotti, but he looked far from his best as he continues his recovery from malaria.
Aston Villa claimed their first win in six games with a 3-2 win at home to a Blackpool. Blackpool twice came from behind to level, but a late goal from defender James Collins sealed all three points for Gerard Houllier's side. Stewart Downing's opener was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Marlon Harewood, but Villa youngster Nathan Delfouneso looked to have sealed the win with his first goal of the season.
Just moments after having a goal disallowed, Delfouneso had the ball in the back of the net, and this time it was legitimate, beating the offside trap to meet Ashley Young's throughball and poking the ball past Richard Kingson, making his first Premier League start of the season. DJ Campbell's late equaliser looked to have salvaged a point, but Collins' powerful header from a corner was enough as Villa took the spoils.
Fernando Torres scored his fourth goal in as many matches but it was not enough as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Wigan. Torres showed the sharpness that has been missing for much of the season, controlling Steven Gerrard's inch-perfect pass in behind the Wigan defence and rifling the ball home for an early lead. But his efforts were cancelled out by Hugo Rodallega, who scored his fourth goal of the season to rescue a point for Roberto Martinez's side.
Arsenal maintained the pressure on leaders Chelsea with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Wolves. Marouane Chamakh scored in the first and last minutes of the match to condemn Mick McCarthy's side to a fourth straight defeat.
Wolves have narrowly lost to Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City in their last three league matches, but were left to rue an early lapse. Chamakh got Arsenal off to a flying start in the opening minute, rising high to head home Tomas Rosicky's cross. He then doubled his goal tally on the final whistle but Arsenal had Lukasz Fabianski to thank for a series of crucial saves.
Newcastle were brought crashing back down to earth after they were beaten 2-1 at home to Blackburn. Flying high after their win at Arsenal on Sunday, they suffered an early reality check when Morten Gamst Pedersen caught the Magpies defence napping.
In-form striker Andy Carroll continued his impressive run with another goal, but Sam Allardyce left his old stomping ground with all three points after Jason Roberts' late winner.
Pablo Ibanez scored his first Premier League goal to rescue a point for West Brom against West Ham with a 2-2 draw. The Baggies went ahead through a Peter Odemwingie penalty after Luis Boa Morte tugged back Steven Reid during a corner, but their lead was shortlived when Scott Parker rocketed the ball into the top corner to mark his 100th Hammers appearance.
Frederic Piquionne put the Londoners ahead from the spot after Kieron Dyer was brought down by Gabriel Tamas, but Ibanez's powerful header from Chris Brunt's cross salvaged a draw for the Baggies.
Jermaine Beckford scored a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw for Everton at home to Bolton at Goodison Park. Ivan Klasnic looked to have snatched the win for the visitors, and when Marouane Fellaini was sent off for Everton, it looked to have sealed the Toffees' fate, but a stunning strike from Beckford snatched a point at the death.