Chelsea have regained their dominant place in the English Premier football League title race with a 3-nil win at Arsenal which restored their five-point lead over Manchester United.
Arsenal had won each of their 11 home matches in all competitions this season but were undone in the last four minutes of the first half as low crosses by Ashley Cole were turned in by Didier Drogba and Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen for an own goal.
Arsenal pressed and probed in their usual decorative fashion but, against a defence who had conceded only eight goals in their previous 13 league games, they were too often outmuscled and Drogba completed the win with a free kick four minutes from time.
Chelsea top the standings on 36 points, five clear of United, who won 4-1 at Portsmouth yesterday with a Wayne Rooney hat-trick. Tottenham Hotspur are third on 26 with Arsenal, who last won the title in 2004, fourth on 25.
Liverpool, who won 2-nil at Everton this morning, are fifth on 23.
In today's other match Birmingham beat Wolves 1-nil.