Terry ends troubled day with winner

LONDON: Chelsea captain John Terry put the controversy over his private life to one side by scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory at Burnley as his side went four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Terry, whose position as England captain was called into question after newspapers published details of his alleged affair with the ex-girlfriend of former Blues teammate Wayne Bridge, scored eight minutes from time on Saturday when he headed in a corner for only his second goal this season.

Nicolas Anelka had given Chelsea a 27th-minute lead at Turf Moor when the France striker turned in Florent Malouda's cross while, seven minutes later, Terry was booked for a clumsy challenge on Robbie Blake. Relegation candidates Burnley levelled in the 50th minute when a ball over the top of Alex found Steven Fletcher who beat the defender before shooting past Petr Cech.

Earlier, Tottenham stayed fourth with a 1-1 draw at Birmingham. But Spurs' rivals for a place in next season's Champions League, Liverpool and Aston Villa, both won to keep up the pressure. Liverpool beat Bolton 2-0 to stay a point adrift of Spurs with Villa, who have a game in hand, two points behind after defeating Fulham by the same scoreline in a match where Gabriel Agbonlahor scored both goals.

At the other end of the table, second from bottom Hull failed to climb out of the relegation zone after a 2-2 draw with Wolves. Everton made it four league wins from five with a 1-0 victory away to Wigan while Blackburn Rovers and West Ham shared the points in a goalless draw. Spurs' Jermain Defoe broke the deadlock at St Andrews when he blasted the ball past Joe Hart with 21 minutes left. But Birmingham rescued a point through Liam Ridgewell's 90th minute equaliser.

At Anfield, Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool ahead eight minutes before half-time. Liverpool went 2-0 up when Emiliano Insua's 25-yard shot took a huge deflection off Bolton's Kevin Davies for a 70th minute own-goal.

Spanish La Liga

BARCELONA: A delightful back-heel from Jose Maria Gutierrez set up Karim Benzema for the first of a brace as Real Madrid, without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-1 on Saturday. The win kept Real five points behind Barcelona who had earlier defeated Sporting Gijon 1-0 to stay top of La Liga in a game which also saw the champions reach the 50-goal mark for the league season.

Esteban Granero headed Real ahead after 13 minutes with the game played out in the home side's half at the Riazor where the Madrid giants had not won for almost 20 years. Raul Gonzalez had the chance to add to the lead with a close-range volley before a moment of real quality from Guti. Through on goal instead of shooting on his weaker right foot, he back-heeled into the path of Benzema to slot home.

Deportivo had their chances in the second half as Real took their foot off the gas and in a late rally Ivan Riki scored a penalty. The last word though was from Benzema who wrapped up the scoring in injury time. Barcelona stayed top after Pedro Rodriguez scored the only goal in their 1-0 win. A Luis Garcia strike saw Espanyol overcome Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in a scrappy match to give them breathing space at the bottom of La Liga.