Robben inspires Chelsea

Agence France Presse

London, January 23:

The best is yet to come according to Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke despite seeing his side extend their lead at the top of the Premiership to 11 points after a 3-0 victory against Portsmouth.

Arjen Robben was the star of the show, scoring once and setting up a brace for Didier Drogba.

Manchester United conceded their first goal in nine matches and manager Sir Alex Ferguson all but conceded the title to Chelsea despite beating Aston Villa 3-1 at Old Trafford. The victory moved the Red Devils into second place.

First half goals from David Prutton and Peter Crouch gave the Saints a 2-0 win. Crystal Palace inflicted a second successive league defeat on Tottenham, winning 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Norwich boss Nigel Worthington claimed a “moral victory” after watching his side score three goals in the last 10 minutes in a grandstand finish to claim a 4-4 draw with Middlesbrough.

Everton slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Charlton, courtesy of Matt Holland’s first-half injury time winner, but remain the Merseysiders remain fourth.

Fulham came from behind to win 2-1 at Birmingham. West Brom blanked Manchester City 2-0 with goals from Kevin Campbell and Ronnie Wallwork.

Spanish La Liga:

MADRID: Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho and Deco scored a goal each to lead FC Barcelona over Racing Santander 3-0 and back into a 10-point lead in the Spanish league.

Barcelona now has 48 points, while second-place Real Madrid has 38. Valencia is next with 36 points, two more than Espanyol.

In Saturday’s other 20th-round game, Athletic Bilbao beat Osasuna 4-3 after rallying from a three-goal deficit. — AP

Italian Serie A:

ROME: Inter Milan stretched its unbeaten streak to 20 matches but failed to claim a share of third place after coming back to draw 1-1 with visiting Chievo Verona.

Obafemi Martins got Inter’s equaliser in the 83rd minute following a melee for his seventh goal of the season. Ten minutes earlier, defender Davide Mandelli volleyed in a corner kick to give Chievo a 1-0 lead at San Siro.

Inter is now in fourth place with 32 points, two behind third-place Udinese. Chievo, which is winless since early December, moved to 22 points but is still near the relegation zone.

In the other match, striker Claudio Bellucci scored a second-half game-winner, and lowly Bologna beat Cagliari 1-0 to move into a safer mid-table place. — AP