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Man United moves clear


LONDON — Rafael Benitez’s testing start to life at Chelsea became even tougher on Wednesday as the Blues failed to score for a second successive game, this time against Fulham on a night when both Manchester clubs won.

Report by Soccernet

Tottenham defeated Liverpool 2-1 to boost their Champions League qualification hopes as Arsenal and Everton drew, and elsewhere there were wins for Swansea and Stoke.

Benitez said the only way he would overcome his icy welcome at Stamford Bridge would be to start delivering results, and a second consecutive goalless draw was not what he had in mind as Chelsea were held 0-0 by west London rivals Fulham.
Manchester United maintained their status as league leaders with a comfortable 1-0 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford, courtesy of a rapid strike from Robin van Persie.

Prior to the game, Ruud van Nistelrooy tipped Van Persie to become a United great and the former Arsenal man took 33 seconds to show why. Spinning past his marker, Van Persie gave United an instant lead, albeit with a huge deflection off James Collins.

Manchester City remain one point adrift of United after they came away from a tricky trip to Wigan Athletic with a 2-0 win at the DW Stadium. Mario Balotelli and James Milner were on the scoresheet for Roberto Mancini’s side.

Arsenal drew for the second match running as their bid for a Champions League qualifying spot limped along with a 1-1 draw at Everton. The Gunners failed to build on Theo Walcott’s first-minute strike, with Marouane Fellaini equalising to leave Arsenal seventh, five points off fourth place with Everton a point better off.

Tottenham Hotspur leapfrogged their north London rivals into fifth after a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at White Hart Lane, which ended the Reds’ eight-match unbeaten streak in the league. Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale found the net as Andre Villas-Boas got the better of Brendan Rodgers.

Newcastle United may feel a Champions League spot is beyond them after they were beaten 2-1 by a late Stoke City rally at the Britannia. The Magpies missed out on their first away win of the campaign as Papiss Cisse’s strike was cancelled out by Jonathan Walters, with Cameron Jerome netting the winner.

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