Premier League round-up
Steve Bruce's return to Birmingham ended in disappointment for the Sunderland manager, while Hull City's basement battle with Portsmouth was one to forget. Chelsea moved back to the top of the Premier League, albeit potentially for just 24 hours, after hammering Blackburn Rovers. Tottenham were stunned by Stoke, Wigan upset Burnley's 100 per cent home record and, earlier on Saturday, honours were shared between Midlands rivals Wolves and Aston Villa. Carlo Ancelotti oversaw a sumptuous performance as Chelsea crushed Blackburn 5-0 at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard scoring twice. Lampard struck the Blues' second of the game just minutes after the half-time interval after Gael Givet's own goal had given the hosts the lead. Michael Essien's long-range drive deceived Paul Robinson for the third, Lampard scored the fourth from the penalty spot after Ryan Nelsen had brought down Didier Drogba, who headed home the fifth on 64 minutes. Birmingham earned a 2-1 win over Sunderland to boost their own Premier League survival hopes while, at the same time, ruining Bruce's return to St Andrew's. In the build-up to the weekend, Bruce had not held back in voicing his opinion on the acrimonious manner in which his tenure with the Blues came to an end in 2007. But the 48-year-old was not to enjoy his comeback afternoon in the Second City as Liam Ridgewell opened the scoring with a cross-shot free-kick after 37 minutes. James McFadden then took advantage of poor defending from Sunderland's Phil Bardsley on 48 minutes to cut inside and finish. A Scott Dann own goal set up a nervy finish with eight minutes remaining as he haplessly volleyed in a Michael Turner header at the wrong end, but Birmingham held on for the points. Relegation rivals Hull City and Portsmouth played out a dire 0-0 draw at the KC Stadium. Following a grim first half, Pompey turned the screw slightly after the interval, with Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill denying Aruna Dindane and Hassan Yebda. But Paul Hart's troops could not find a winner as both struggling sides shared the spoils in East Yorkshire. Tottenham were shocked 1-0 by a smash-and-grab performance from Stoke at White Hart Lane following an inspired display from the Potters' stand-in goalkeeper Steve Simonsen. With Thomas Sorensen suffering from illness during the warm-up in North London, Simonsen was called upon and the former England Under 21 international did not disappoint with a host of impressive saves. Glenn Whelan then astonished Spurs as the Republic of Ireland ace produced a delightful, curling finish with four minutes left on the clock after excellent work out wide from Ricardo Fuller. In contrast to Simonsen's heroics, a horrible moment for Burnley shot-stopper Brian Jensen helped Wigan to a 3-1 win at Turf Moor, as the hosts were condemned to a first home defeat of the season. Steven Fletcher had given the Clarets a fourth-minute lead when sliding to meet Robbie Blake's cross, but the Latics were level seven minutes later. Under limited pressure, Jensen suffered a nightmare experience as he stumbled, lost his footing and allowed Hugo Rodallega a simple finish into an unguarded net. To make matters worse for Burnley's giant goalkeeper, he was then substituted having sustained a self-inflicted injury during his fall. Rodallega grabbed his second of the match in the 51st minute as Jensen's replacement, Diego Penny, was helpless to prevent a fine finish from 18 yards. Emmerson Boyce added a third in the 76th minute after Paul Scharner had flicked on at the near post. Wolves came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with foes Aston Villa at Molineux in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off. Gabriel Agbonlahor appeared to have won a poor derby for the visitors when he turned to finish in the 79th minute, but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake equalised from the penalty spot four minutes later.
Related Blackburn Rovers News