Chelsea stretch lead at top, Spurs held

London: Champions Chelsea opened a five-point gap at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday with goals from Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou.

Malouda struck his seventh league goal of the season and Kalou came off the bench to seal victory after the break for Carlo Ancelotti`s side whose early-season torrent of goals has slowed to a trickle in recent weeks.

Tottenham Hotspur rose to third, seven points behind Chelsea, after Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart made it five goals in seven since joining the north London club, notching his side`s equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to improving Everton.

West Bromwich Albion maintained their dream start to life back in the top flight, moving into fourth place with a 2-1 home defeat of Fulham while Birmingham City beat Blackpool 2-0.

Sunderland beat Aston Villa 1-0 and Wigan Athletic`s home match against Bolton Wanderers ended 1-1. Bottom club West Ham United host Newcastle United later on Saturday.

Manchester City can reduce Chelsea`s lead on Sunday when they host Arsenal while Manchester United, down in sixth place, end their turbulent week away to Stoke City. Liverpool are at home against Blackburn Rovers.

Bureau Report