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LONDON: Chelsea cemented their position on top of the Premier League as a superb double from Juan Mata clinched a 4-2 win over Andre Villas-Boas’s Tottenham yesterday.
However, Wayne Rooney ensured Manchester United remain hot on the leaders’ heels with a 4-2 victory against Stoke in a game where the England star scored at both ends.
Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea side were in danger of suffering their first league defeat of the season at the hands of former boss Villas-Boas, who was sacked after just nine months in charge last season, as Tottenham took a 2-1 lead in the second half at White Hart Lane.
But Spanish midfielder Mata struck twice in the space of three minutes to secure Chelsea’s seventh win from eight league matches.
Gary Cahill, deputising for the suspended John Terry, fired Chelsea ahead in the 17th minute with a powerful volley.
William Gallas equalised against his former club two minutes into the second half and Spurs went in front seven minutes later thanks to Jermain Defoe’s predatory finish.
However, Chelsea staged a stunning fightback as Mata slotted home in the 66th minute.
Mata then produced a fine finish from Eden Hazard’s defence-splitting pass three minutes later and the Spaniard set up the fourth goal for Daniel Sturridge in stoppage-time.
At Old Trafford, Rooney went from zero to hero with a double strike after the United striker initially gave Stoke a shock lead in the 10th minute when he headed into his own net as he tried to clear from Ryan Shawcross.
Rooney was quickly back in United’s good books with a headed equaliser -- his first club goal of the season -- from Robin van Persie’s cross in the 27th minute.
Van Persie put United ahead on the stroke of half-time as the former Arsenal forward turned in Antonio Valencia’s cross to claim his eighth goal in 10 matches for his new club.
Danny Welbeck got United’s third with a diving header from Rooney’s cross in the 46th minute.
Michael Kightly’s solo effort reduced the deficit 12 minutes later, but Rooney sealed the win with his second goal in the 65th minute.
Edin Dzeko gave 10-man Manchester City a dramatic 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion as the Bosnian striker came off the bench to score twice in the last 10 minutes.
England’s James Milner was sent off for chopping down Shane Long as the Albion striker burst clear in the 23rd minute, although City argued that referee Mark Clattenburg should only have booked the midfielder as he wasn’t the last man.
Albion looked set to make the champions pay when Long converted Peter Odemwingie’s pass in the 67th minute.
But Dzeko rescued the champions’ unbeaten record with an 80th-minute header moments after coming on and then netted the winner in stoppage-time as City stay third, four points behind Chelsea.
Arsenal crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat at Norwich as the Canaries claimed their first league win of the season, and their first victory against the Gunners for 20 years to leave the visitors 10 points adrift of Chelsea.
Grant Holt got the only goal in the 20th minute when the burly striker converted the rebound after Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone spilled Alexander Tettey’s drive.
Raheem Sterling bagged his first Liverpool goal to clinch a 1-0 win over Reading that ended the Reds’ wait for a first home league success under boss Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool, who won for the first time in seven attempts in all competitions at Anfield, got the only goal in the 29th minute when teenage winger Sterling finished off a Luis Suarez pass.
Mark Noble scored twice as West Ham cruised to a 4-1 victory over Southampton at Upton Park.
Noble and Kevin Nolan both scored to put West Ham in control immediately after half-time.
Adam Lallana got one back in the 63rd minute, but Noble’s 72nd minute penalty and a late Modibo Maiga goal condemned Saints to their sixth defeat of the season.
Swansea beat Wigan 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
Pablo Hernandez and Michu fired Swansea into a two-goal lead in the second half and Emmerson Boyce’s reply to salvage a point.
Fulham defender Chris Baird piled on the misery for struggling Aston Villa with a late winner in in the 84th minute to give his team a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage. AFP