17 Apr 2011

Chelsea close on Arsenal after 3-1 away victory

8:41 am on 17 April 2011

Didier Drogba was on target for the second game in a row as Chelsea, the only top-six team in Premier League football action, cruised to a 3-1 win at mid-table West Bromwich Albion.

Peter Odemwingie chipped West Brom ahead after 17 minutes but Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Frank Lampard had Chelsea 3-1 up at half-time as they bounced back from their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United.

United are playing Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals and top the table with 69 points, seven ahead of Arsenal who host Liverpool on Sunday. Chelsea are third on 61 with Manchester City on 56 and Tottenham Hotspur fifth on 53.

Liverpool are sixth on 48 points, now only one ahead of Everton after their Merseyside rivals continued their hot streak with a 2-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers.

At the other end of the table Blackpool's dire run continued as a 3-1 home defeat by Wigan Athletic lifted the winners off the bottom and dragged the hosts into the relegation zone for the first time this season.

West Ham United are now second-last after conceding a late goal in a 2-1 home defeat by Aston Villa while Birmingham City beat Sunderland 2-0 in the day's other match.