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Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Chelsea beats Stoke; United keeps pace

LONDON (AP) Premier League leader Chelsea maintained its perfect start to the season with a 2-0 home win over Stoke thanks to goals by Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba, while Arsenal and Manchester United remained on its shoulder with victories on Saturday.

News photo
Still on top: Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka, left, competes against Stoke City's Dean Whitehead during their match on Saturday at Stamford Bridge in London. Chelsea won 2-0. AP PHOTO

Malouda opened the scoring for the defending champions in the 31st minute, before Drogba joined the winger on four goals for the season by sealing Chelsea's third successive win with a 77th-minute penalty.

Russia forward Andrey Arshavin scored a 51st-minute winner as Arsenal beat Blackburn 2-1. United also stayed unbeaten and two points behind Chelsea after thrashing West Ham 3-0.

Elsewhere, Tottenham surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to previously bottom Wigan, Blackpool and Fulham drew 2-2 and Wolverhampton was held 1-1 by Newcastle.

Free-scoring Chelsea won its opening two league games 6-0 but found goals harder to come by against a team that lost 7-0 at Stamford Bridge last season.

Arsenal had produced a resilient display at Ewood Park a few hours earlier to climb to seven points and stay second.

Buoyed by his hat trick in last weekend's 6-0 thrashing of Blackpool, Theo Walcott opened the scoring for Arsene Wenger's side in the fourth minute after running onto a through ball by Robin van Persie to slam a low finish into the corner.

Blackburn equalized through on-loan striker Mame Diouf in the 27th but Arsenal otherwise defended well at a ground where the team has often struggled against the host's direct style.

Arshavin stroked home the winning goal six minutes after the interval when a shot by Cesc Fabregas hit Walcott and rebounded into the Russia midfielder's path.

Fujimoto fires S-Pulse

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Jungo Fujimoto celebrated his return to the national team with a match-winning penalty as Shimizu S-Pulse beat Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 on Sunday.

"We created a lot of chances from the start and we managed to score twice," Shimizu coach Kenta Hasegawa said. "Things got a little hectic toward the end, but we came away with a clean sheet and I'm happy with that."

Fujimoto, who now has nine goals this season, converted from the spot in the 16th minute to fire the hosts into the lead before Shinji Okazaki struck from close range two minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere, Gamba Osaka beat Jubilo Iwata 2-0, while Koji Yamase, Shunsuke Nakamura and Ariajasuru Hasegawa struck once each as Yokohama F. Marinos smashed Albirex Niigata 3-0.

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