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Football

Chelsea crush Stoke's unbeaten home run

Frank Lampard proves his worth once more as Chelsea put four past opponents and Reading turn the table on West Brom.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2013 18:13
Blues fans are not been happy about rumours Chelsea will sell inform midfielder Lampard [Reuters]

It was a great day for Chelsea in the English Premier League on Saturday, however, one that Jonathan Walters will quickly want to forget. 

Walters scored two own goals as Chelsea beat Stoke 4-0 emphatically to end the host's unbeaten home record in the Premier League. Walters' miserable day was made even worse when he missed a penalty in the 90th minute, sending the ball off the crossbar.

The unfortunate Walters planted two headers into his own net when trying to clear the ball to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead by the 63rd minute.

Frank Lampard - who is rumoured to be leaving the Bridge despite superb recent displays - then added a penalty in the 66th to move into sole possession of second place on the club's all-time scoring list. Eden Hazard finished off the rout with a swerving long-range strike in the 73rd.

Stoke had not lost at Britannia Stadium in the Premier League since February last year, but their normally stodgy defence came undone as the club fell to their heaviest home defeat since returning to the top flight in 2008.

English results & fixtures

Saturday January 12 

 QPR 0-0 Tottenham 
 A. Villa 0-1 Southampton
 Everton 0-0 Swansea
 Fulham 1-1 Wigan 
 Norwich 0-0 Newcastle
 Reading 3-2 West Brom 
 Stoke 0-4 Chelsea
 Sunderland 3-0 West Ham


Sunday January 13

 
Man United v Liverpool
 Arsenal v Man City

Chelsea, meanwhile, climbed into third place in the standings, leapfrogging Tottenham who were held to a draw. 

Spurs failed to find their killer instinct in a 0-0 draw at last-placed London rivals QPR in the early kick-off.

Jermain Defoe had a sixth-minute shot tipped onto the post by QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who also saved well from the striker early in the second half at Loftus Road.

Otherwise, Spurs lacked the guile to break down a resilient defensive effort by the hosts, satisfying QPR manager Harry Redknapp in a match against the club that fired him last summer.

QPR remain deep in relegation trouble with 16 matches left but two good results against top sides will be encouraging.

"We've got resolve now and it's all down to the changes the new management have made (to tighten up the team),'' QPR midfielder Shaun Derry said.

"Our season has been the best part of disastrous until a few weeks ago.''

Toffees stuck

Everton failed to close the gap on Tottenham in the fourth Champions League place with a 0-0 draw against Swansea at Goodison Park.

Michu was unable to add to his impressive Premier League goal tally in front of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

Del Bosque travelled to Liverpool to run his eye over the uncapped Michu, who has scored 13 league goals in a superb first season in English football, ahead of Spain's friendly against Uruguay on February 6.

"We've got resolve now and it's all down to the changes the new management have made (to tighten up the team)"

QPR midfielder Shaun Derry

Michu saw a deft chip tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Tim Howard but was otherwise kept quiet in a game Everton dominated but lacked a cutting edge to match their build-up play.

Reading were the comeback kings of the day scoring three late goals against West Brom to win 3-2. 

The Baggies fans were left speechless as Reading came from nowhere with an almighty effort which now gives them motivation to push themselves out of the relegation places.

Two goals from Romelu Lukaku each side of half-time gave West Brom a well-deserved lead. However, Jimmy Kebe started the comeback in the 82nd minute, before Adam le Fondre netted a penalty with two minutes to go to level the scoreline. 

The drama unravelled further when Pavel Pogrebnyak put Reading ahead on 90 minutes to record his club's third win of the season.  

Sunderland eased their relegation worries as Sebastian Larsson's stunning strike inspired a 3-0 win over West Ham at the Stadium of Light.

Martin O'Neill's side moved six points clear of the bottom three after Larsson's superb long-range effort in the first half was followed by further goals from Adam Johnson and James McClean after the interval.

A tale of two Lamberts

Penalty specialist Rickie Lambert converted a dubious first-half spot kick to earn Southampton a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa, dumping the struggling home side into the Premier League's relegation zone.

The striker scored his 31st straight penalty for Southampton, including shootouts, in the 34th minute after Villa defender Enda Stevens was adjudged to have fouled Jay Rodriguez.

Villa finished strongly but couldn't find an equaliser, leaving manager Paul Lambert under serious pressure after a winless run of five matches. The team also lost 3-1 to fourth-tier Bradford in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal on Tuesday.

Wigan's 1-1 draw at Fulham meant Villa dropped to third from bottom of the standings.

Franco Di Santo lifted the Latics out of dropzone with a second-half equaliser. The Argentina striker made Wigan's pressure count when he cut in from the left and unleashed a fierce drive into the corner in the 71st minute.

Giorgos Karagounis's stunning strike, which went in off the post, had given Fulham a 22nd-minute lead and made it two goals in two games for the Greece midfielder.

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