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Chelsea back on top as Blades blunted

Reigning champions Chelsea returned to the top of the English Premiership table with a win away to Sheffield United.
None | By Agence France-Presse, London
PUBLISHED ON OCT 28, 2006 07:33 PM IST

Reigning champions Chelsea returned to the top of the English Premiership table, for a few hours at least, with a 2-0 win away to struggling Sheffield United in Saturday's early match.

Victory left Jose Mourinho's men on 25 points, three clear of rivals Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who started the weekend level on points with Chelsea but with a superior goal difference of plus 14 to the Blues' plus 10, will regain first place if they win away to Bolton later on Saturday.

Goals from Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack secured Chelsea's eighth win in 10 league matches this season.

But before they went ahead Chelsea saw third-choice goalkeeper Hilario, only in the side because of the head injuries sustained by Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini at Reading earlier this month, save Danny Webber's weakly struck penalty after Didier Drogba fouled Claude Davis.

The Londoners went ahead two minutes before half-time when England midfielder Lampard's free-kick deceived United keeper Paddy Kenny.

Lampard then turned provider four minutes after the break when his cross was headed in by German midfield colleague Ballack.

Defeat, their sixth in 10 league games, capped another dismal day for the hosts who on Friday denied reports that Davis had pulled a razor blade on Sheffield United team-mate Ade Akinbiyi during a training ground bust-up although the club admitted the pair had been involved in a row.

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