Chelsea have extended their lead at the top of the English football Premier League with a 1-nil victory over local rivals Fulham as the Manchester derby failed to live up to expectations.
Chelsea opened up a four-point lead after Manchester United were held nil-all by Manchester City in a dour stalemate at Eastlands.
Chelsea's delight at victory was tempered however by a red card for goalscorer Essien deep in injury time for a second bookable offence.
Arsenal recovered from the shock of their home defeat to Newcastle at the weekend by easing past struggling Wolves 2-nil at Molineux.
Arsenal are in third place, five points adrift of leaders Chelsea, and one behind Manchester United in second.
Liverpool's revival suffered a blip as they were held to a 1-all draw at Wigan.
Blackburn beat Newcastle 2-1, Aston Villa beat Blackpool 3-2, West Ham and West Bromwich Albion drew 2-all and Everton and Bolton drew 1-all.