Chelsea move five points clear of United

LONDON: Chelsea cemented their position on top of the Premier League and delivered a hammer blow to Arsenal’s title hopes with an emphatic 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side moved five points clear of second-placed Manchester United thanks to a decisive spell of two goals in four minutes before half-time.

Didier Drogba put Chelsea ahead with a fine finish from former Arsenal star Ashley Cole’s cross, then Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen turned another Cole delivery into his own net moments later. Drogba rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds with a brilliant free-kick in the closing stages to take his goal tally to eight in nine games.

The Blues, now unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions, have defeated ‘big four’ rivals United, Liverpool and Arsenal this season and are increasingly carrying the look of champions elect. In stark contrast, Arsenal are now 11 points behind the leaders after their second successive league defeat.

Arsene Wenger’s side once again failed to

produce on the big

occasion as they suffered their first home loss since Chelsea won in north London in May.

Spanish La Liga

MADRID: Swedish supersub Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the hero as 10-man Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in an enthralling ‘El Clasico’ at Camp Nou to move top of the Spanish League table by two points on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who was exceptional, both started but it was Ibrahimovic, back from injury, who stole the limelight volleying in a 56th minute winner just five minutes after coming on.

Barca were reduced to 10 men when Sergi Busquets handled the ball just after the hour mark and needed some heroics from captain Carles Puyol. Real missed some clear-cut chances with Ronaldo spurning a glorious chance to put Real ahead after just 19 minutes.

It was a third successive Clasico win for Barca who are still unbeaten this season and nudge Real off the summit holding a two-point lead over their rivals. Madrid’s Lass Diarra was sent off in the closing stages for hacking down Xavi after Barca pinged the ball about like they were in training.

Neighbours Atletico Madrid climbed out of the bottom three with a 4-0 win over Espanyol at the Vicente Calderon. Sergio “Kun” Aguero scored two and creating the final goal for Maxi Rodriguez.