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Chelsea Ends Premier League Winless Run; City Extends Lead

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Chelsea defeated Bolton 3-0 to end its four-match winless run in English soccer’s Premier League, as first-place Manchester City extended its lead with a 3-0 win over Blackburn.

David Luiz, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard all scored after halftime as Chelsea jumped above Arsenal into fourth place. Manchester City’s victory moved it five points ahead of defending champion Manchester United.

Wolverhampton Wanderers rallied to tie Newcastle 2-2 and move out of the three relegation places at the bottom of the standings. West Bromwich routed Sunderland 4-0, Fulham defeated 10-man QPR 1-0 and Wigan and Aston Villa tied 0-0.

Chelsea’s home victory may take pressure off coach Andre Villas-Boas, who’s been criticized by fans and media for his team’s run of poor results. The Blues failed to seriously threaten in the first half with owner Roman Abramovich in attendance.

Chelsea took the lead three minutes into the second half as Luiz curled a shot past goalkeeper Adam Bogdan. Luiz then put a header off the post and Drogba hit the crossbar.

Drogba made it 2-0 in the 61st minute when he headed in Lampard’s corner. Lampard then put in a cross from Juan Mata in the 79th to close the scoring.

Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko scored as Manchester City continued its home dominance. City, which has 63 points, has won all 13 of its league matches at the Etihad Stadium this season by a 40-6 combined score.

Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle scored in the second half to give Wolves a draw at Newcastle, which got goals from Pappa Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez in the opening 18 minutes.

Relegation Zone

Wolves was playing its first match under Terry Connor, who was yesterday named manager for the rest of the season in place of Mick McCarthy, who was fired Feb. 13. Wolves jumps up two places to 16th in the standings, two points ahead of Blackburn, which dropped into the relegation zone.

Peter Odemwingie scored twice and James Morrison and Keith Andrews had one each as West Brom won its third home game of the season and handed Sunderland a second straight league loss.

Pavel Pogrebnyak’s goal in the seventh minute gave Fulham its second win in 13 away league matches. QPR’s Samba Diakite was sent off in the 33rd minute for a second yellow card.

Wigan made it 11 straight home games without a win after its draw with Aston Villa. The Latics match Bolton with 20 points but still remain in last place on goal difference.

Arsenal hosts Tottenham, Manchester United visits Norwich and Swansea is at Stoke in tomorrow’s games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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