No stopping Chelsea at 64

Updated on Aug 13, 2007 05:25 AM IST

Chelsea have now gone 64 home league matches without defeat, eclipsing Liverpool's previous top-flight record of 63.

Agencies | By, London

Michael Essien ensured Chelsea's bid to regain the Premiership title got off to a record-breaking start as he sealed a thrilling 3-2 win against Birmingham City on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho's side have now gone 64 home league matches without defeat, eclipsing Liverpool's previous top-flight record of 63, which Bob Paisley's team set between 1978 and 1980.

Mikael Forssell gave Birmingham team a shock lead before Claudio Pizarro and Florent Malouda put Chelsea in front. Olivier Kapo drew the visitors level but Colin Doyle, the goalkeeper who had already been at fault for Pizarro's goal, handed Chelsea the points when he made a hash of Essien's second half strike.

Last-minute winner

Arsenal scored two goals in the last seven minutes to beat Fulham 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday and make up for an embarrassing blunder by goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. After Lehmann's mistake had allowed David Healy to score, Robin van Persie equalized from the penalty spot in the 84th and Alexander Hleb netted the winner in the 90th.

The match at the Emirates Stadium was only 52 seconds old when Lehmann gave Fulham a goal.

The Germany goalkeeper collected a back pass from Gael Clichy and failed to control the ball as he tried to pass it to the left back. The ball rolled to Healy who stabbed the ball into the net. Fulham continued to stifle Arsenal's talented midfield, but the Gunners finally equalized when Carlos Bocanegra blocked Kolo Toure and conceded a penalty. Van Persie hit the spot kick into the roof of the net. Arsenal chased the winner and it came from Hleb's 12-metre shot in the final minute.

United held by 10-man Reading

Champions Manchester United had to settle for a 0-0 draw with 10-man Reading at home. United had all the possession at Old Trafford but failed to make it count against a Reading side who had substitute striker Dave Kitson red-carded in the 72nd minute, less than a minute after coming on, for a reckless tackle on Patrice Evra.

Results (Sunday): Arsenal beat Fulham 2-1, Chelsea beat Birmingham City 3-2, Man United drew with Reading 0-0

Saturday: Liverpool beat Aston Villa 2-1.

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