Chelsea got a late goal to beat Stoke 1-0 and extend its lead in English soccer’s Premier League, as Southampton defeated Aston Villa 4-1 for its first win of the season.
An Ashley Cole goal in the 85th minute gave Chelsea the home win today, putting the west London club on 13 points, three more than Everton and West Brom, which both won to climb above Manchester United in the standings.
Everton beat 10-man Swansea 3-0, West Brom defeated Reading 1-0 and Fulham won 2-0 at Wigan. West Ham rallied to tie Sunderland 1-1 in the day’s other fixture.
Stoke appeared headed for its fifth straight tie before Cole struck in the closing stages at Stamford Bridge. The defender was left alone at the back post and knocked a pass from Juan Mata past Asmir Begovic.
Stoke’s best chance came just before halftime as Jonathan Walters sent a header off the crossbar.
Rickie Lambert scored twice as promoted Southampton ended a four-game losing run to open the season. Nathaniel Clyne scored for the Saints, which also got an own goal from Ciaran Clark. Darren Bent scored in the first half for Villa.
Victory Anichebe, Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini scored in Everton’s away win. Swansea’s Nathan Dyer was sent off for receiving two yellow cards within 12 minutes after coming on as a halftime substitute.
Romelu Lokaku scored from the edge of the area with 14 minutes left to give West Brom the victory and drop Reading into last place on one point. Hugo Rodallega and Damien Duff scored as Fulham remained unbeaten at Wigan’s DW Stadium since 2005.
Kevin Nolan’s goal deep in injury time earned West Ham a home draw after canceling out Steven Fletcher’s goal for Sunderland, which has started the season with four draws.
Liverpool hosts Manchester United tomorrow, when Arsenal visits defending champion Manchester City, Norwich travels to Newcastle and Tottenham hosts Queens Park Rangers.