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Lampard scores twice in Chelsea’s big win

LONDON: Frank Lampard scored twice on Saturday to lead Chelsea to a record 5-0 win over Blackburn and first place in the Premier League.

Chelsea dominated throughout and led at halftime through an own-goal by Gael Givet, before four second-half goals at Stamford Bridge sealed its biggest ever win in 102 years of games against Rovers.

Lampard scored with a firm shot, Michael Essien scored from about 35 metres, Lampard hit a penalty and Didier Drogba headed in — all by the 64th minute.

Leads by two points

Chelsea now leads by two points from defending champion Manchester United.

Tottenham and Sunderland missed good chances to close in on the leaders on Saturday.

Tottenham could have gone level on points with leader Man United with a victory but stayed in third place after a 1-0 loss to visiting Stoke.

Sunderland was hoping to move into the top four but lost 2-1 at Birmingham.

Givet put Chelsea ahead in the 20th minute when he redirected Nicolas Anelka’s pass into his own net.

Fierce shot

Lampard rushed into the area to smash in a rebound in the 48th minute, and a few minutes later Essien scored with a similarly fierce shot from about twice as far out.

Lampard scored a 59th-minute penalty following a foul by Ryan Nelsen on Drogba, and the Ivory Coast striker rounded off the scoring with a close-range header from a corner.

Chelsea twice beat Blackburn 5-1, most recently in 1964.

The Blues moved up to 24 points from 10 games, two more than United and five more than Tottenham, which dominated visiting Stoke but played the last 13 minutes with 10 men after an injury to winger Aaron Lennon and conceded a goal with four minutes left.

Ricardo Fuller burst down the right at White Hart Lane and cut a pass back to substitute Glenn Whelan, who smashed a shot past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

“We had so many chances, the keeper’s made great saves, they’ve kicked shots off the line and they’ve only had one shot worth talking about,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said.

Liam Ridgewell and James McFadden gave Birmingham victory over Sunderland, which scored only in the 82nd through an own goal.

Hugo Rodallega scored twice to lead Wigan to a 3-1 win at Burnley, while Portsmouth and Hull stayed in the bottom three after a 0-0 draw at KC Stadium.

The results: On Saturday: Birmingham 2 (Ridgewell 37, McFadden 48) bt Sunderland 1 (Dann 82-og); Burnley 1 (Fletcher 4) lost to Wigan 3 (Rodallega 11, 51, Boyce 76); Chelsea 5 (Givet 20-og, Lampard 48, 59-pen, Essien 52, Drogba 64) bt Blackburn 0; Hull 0 drew with Portsmouth 0; Tottenham 0 lost to Stoke 1 (Whelan 86). — Agencies

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