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Man Utd beat Chelsea and go two points clear

Man Utd 3 Chelsea 1

Manchester United claimed a record-equalling 18th successive home win to march two points clear at the Premier League summit with victory at Old Trafford. And that does not even scratch the surface of a day of drama against Chelsea.

First-half goals from Chris Smalling, Nani and Wayne Rooney - his ninth of the season - proved enough for the hosts.

However, Rooney also had a 'Moscow moment' missing a second-half penalty, slipping as he went to strike it, Fernando Torres scored only his second Chelsea goal, then unbelievably fired wide of a completely empty net after rounding David de Gea.

De Gea had already repelled a marginally less glaring chance for Ramires and in stoppage time, Dimitar Berbatov was denied by Cole, whose earlier poor challenge on Javier Hernandez had led the Mexican to hobble off in considerable pain.

It all ended with United matching an achievement from the 1904-05 season, when they were a Second Division club.

Correctly, Ferguson observed this was United's toughest test to date.

The same could also be said of Villas-Boas' Chelsea though. And they came up short.

Tottenham 4 Liverpool 0

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice on his home debut as Tottenham hammered four past nine-man Liverpool to earn a morale-boosting first home win of the season.

Luka Modric opened the scoring with a blistering 20-yard strike before Charlie Adam picked up a second yellow card for a late foul on Scott Parker.

Martin Skrtel, who had a torrid afternoon at right-back thanks to Gareth Bale, was sent off for two bookings in the second half before Jermain Defoe calmly slotted home to make it 2-0 in the 66th minute.

Adebayor, who scored on his debut against Wolves last week, scored a tap-in soon after before he volleyed past Jose Reina to seal the win in stoppage time.

Fresh off the back of last week's first win of the season, Tottenham looked a class apart against their Champions League rivals, but their cause was helped by the two dismissals.

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish, who met referees' chief Mike Riley this week after venting his anger at Mark Clattenburg's decisions against his team last weekend, was furious with Lee Probert's decision-making at times today, stopping the official as he went down the tunnel at half-time.

Right from the kick-off it looked like there was only ever going to be one winner in this match.

Sunderland 4 Stoke 0

Steve Bruce heaved a huge sigh of relief as Sunderland demolished Stoke to claim their first victory of the season.

The Black Cats roared into a 3-0 lead within 28 first-half minutes to lay the foundation for just their third Barclays Premier League win of 2011 at the Stadium of Light.

Titus Bramble's first strike for the club gave them a fifth-minute advantage and an own goal from former Newcastle team-mate Jonathan Woodgate six minutes later left Stoke, who were unbeaten in nine games in all competitions before today, in deep trouble.

Craig Gardner made it 3-0 with a deflected shot and Sebastian Larsson curled home a fine 58th-minute free-kick to leave those who had stayed away - the match was watched by a crowd of just 32,296 - regretting their decision.

Sunderland, who had scored only twice in their previous five games, were simply irresistible, significantly with seven of Bruce's 11 summer signings in the starting line-up.

Fulham 2 Manchester City 2

Manchester City surrendered their 100% record in this season's Barclays Premier League as Fulham stunned them with a second-half comeback at Craven Cottage.

City looked set to equal their best ever opening to a top-flight campaign when Sergio Aguero's jaw-dropping adaptation to life in England continued with the seventh and eighth goals of his five-game City league career.

He made it 2-0 just seconds after the break today but Fulham refused to buckle, with Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy earning them a deserved draw.

The result was the first blow to City's title challenge and, coming four days after their first ever Champions League game, it cast doubt on the ability of Roberto Mancini's men to combine the rigours of domestic football with that of Europe's top club competition.

Today's game was the fourth time in the last four rounds of Premier League fixtures that City had kicked off before Manchester United.

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