Drogba boosts Blues, Sunderland triumph
Chelsea moved level with fourth-placed Arsenal as Didier Drogba hit his 100th in the Premier League in the second half against Stoke City to seal a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, playing their first league match since Andre Villas-Boas was relieved of his duties as head coach and Roberto Di Matteo was appointed as his interim replacement, hit the crossbar twice in the first half through John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic before Drogba made the breakthrough midway through the second half.
The Ivorian was played in by Juan Mata and strode past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic before tapping home against a Potters side who had been reduced to ten men following the first-half dismissal of Ricardo Fuller for a stamp on Ivanovic.
Bendtner seals Sunderland win
Sunderland moved up to eighth after a 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Stadium of Light. Nicklas Bendtner scored the only goal in the 56th minute, tapping home from close range after the ball twice hit the post, first from Fraizer Campbell's shot and then after it rebounded on to the woodwork off Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina. The result extended Liverpool's winless run in the Premier League to four games.
Bolton Wanderers boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers in the day's early kick-off at the Reebok Stadium. Ivan Klasnic scored the vital winner late on to end a run of four straight defeats for Owen Coyle's men.
Bolton had taken the lead through Darren Pratley, with Djibril Cisse's strike early in the second half looking as though it would earn QPR a point until Klasnic's late heroics, the Croatian scoring off a wonderful pass from Ryo Miyaichi. Mark Hughes' team have now won only one of their last 16 league games and knew they would slip into the bottom three by the end of the day's programme.
Blackburn stay clear of bottom
Blackburn Rovers kept themselves out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Junior Hoilett scored the first goal in the 43rd minute with an acrobatic strike after Wolves, who have now won only one of their last 14 league games, failed to clear a long throw-in. The Canadian added a second for Rovers in the 69th minute.
Aston Villa ended a five-match winless run as Andreas Weimann's injury-time goal was enough to beat an in-form Fulham side. Cottagers goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer failed to hold a shot by Gary Gardner from outside the box and Weimann reacted quickest to scramble the ball home and end Fulham's run of three straight wins.