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Man United, Chelsea keep winning in Premiership

Manchester United and Chelsea kept winning on Saturday in the English Premier League.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 09:02 IST

Manchester United and Chelsea kept winning on Saturday in the English Premier League.

Louis Saha scored in the 64th minute to help league leader Man United beat Blackburn 1-0 at Ewood Park.

The victory gave United 31 points and atoned for an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Southend on Tuesday in the fourth round of the League Cup.

Chelsea improved to 28 points with Didier Drogba scoring three goals and Andriy Shevchenko adding another in the Blues' 4-0 victory over Watford.

Drogba scored his first two goals in the first half at Stamford Bridge, and Shevchenko added his early in the second half. Drogba capped the scoring in the 69th.

Also, it was: Everton 0, Aston Villa 1; Manchester City 0, Newcastle 0; Middlesbrough 1, West Ham 0; Portsmouth 1, Fulham 1; Sheffield United 2, Bolton 2; and Wigan 3, Charlton 2. On Sunday, Arsenal hosts Liverpool and Reading hosts Tottenham. Wayne Rooney missed two clear chances in the first half for Man United, then was handed a yellow card for protesting a call before Saha broke through.

Edwin Van der Sar came up with key save late in the game to preserve the victory.

United, which was winless in its last four league games at Blackburn, remained unbeaten this season away from home. "It's a hard place to come for any team," Man United manager Alex Ferguson said. "They (Blackburn) had a few players out today _ Steven Reid, Ryan Nelsen and Robbie Savage _ but they were still very difficult to play against.

"A 1-0 victory is a very good one."

Chelsea has scored eight goals in the last two games, including a 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday in the League Cup. "We had the ball, we used the ball and created chances to score goals," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. "Our crowd goes home with two consecutive matches in which we scored eight goals. I think everybody is happy with the situation."

Chelsea is doing less counterattacking, but it hasn't mattered. "With the addition of (Michael) Ballack in midfield our team controls the game much better using the ball," Mourinho said. "There are more chances for strikers in scoring positions." The other big winner was probably Aston Villa, which moved into third place with a 1-0 victory at Everton. Chris Sutton's goal in the 42nd was the difference.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill saluted the 33-year-old Sutton, who struggled last season at Birmingham City.

"He was fantastic," O'Neill said. "He is a really astute center forward and he can only get better."

Villa has 21 points, the same as Bolton, but leads Wanderers on goal difference.

Bolton lost ground with a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United. Wanderers led 2-0 but slipped on late second-half goals by Rob Hulse and Colin Kazim-Richards.

El Hadji Diouf and Kevin Davies scored early for Bolton. Portsmouth, which controlled much of the game, needed a 74th-minute goal by Andrew Cole to get the 1-1 draw with Fulham. Zat Knight put Fulham ahead in the 57th.

Wigan beat last-place Charlton 3-2 on goals by Lee McCullough, Henri Camara and Matt Johnson. Darren Bent scored for Charlton, with the other coming from an own-goal by Arjan de Zeeuw. Charlton has only eight points from 12 games. Middlesbrough picked up a valuable three points, beating West Ham 1-0 on Massimo Maccarone's 74th-minute strike.

Newcastle struggled to a 0-0 draw at Manchester City, endangering Glenn Roeder's future as Magpies manager. The draw left Newcastle winless in eight straight league games, lodging the high-profile club firmly in the relegation zone.

The result may put more pressure on Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, who has denied reports he wants to fire Roeder and hire former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

In the League Championship, Cardiff defeated Burnley 1-0 to stay on top with 36 points. Burnley stayed in fourth place with 31 points.

Second-place Preston, with 33 points, drew 0-0 at Southend. Birmingham City moved into third with 33 points, beating Barnsley 2-0. The Blues trail Preston on goal difference.

First Published: Nov 12, 2006 09:02 IST