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Man United go top; Chelsea hit City for six
October 27, 2007 23:36 IST
Manchester United stormed to the top of the Premier League on Saturday with a 4-1 thumping of Middlesbrough as Chelsea stole the limelight with a 6-0 hammering of third-placed Manchester City.
Carlos Tevez scored twice for United as they notched an eighth successive league victory and four goals in a match for the fourth time in a row.
The champions could lose first place on Sunday when Arsenal travel to Liverpool looking for a 13th consecutive victory in all competitions.
Didier Drogba bagged two goals against hapless City as Chelsea more than doubled their home goals tally in 90 scintillating minutes at Stamford Bridge. Andriy Shevchenko also got in on the act after coming on as a substitute.
After a poor start to the season and the traumatic parting of the ways with coach Jose Mourinho, Chelsea are now back in the top four.
Fulham were denied a first away victory of the season when Kenwyne Jones scored late for 10-man Sunderland in a 1-1 draw.
Improving Reading beat Newcastle United 2-1 while Birmingham City twice came from behind to beat Wigan Athletic 3-2 at home.
Portsmouth were looking to continue their fine start later on Saturday against West Ham United.
United included midfielder Owen Hargreaves in their starting line-up for only the fourth time since he joined from Bayern Munich and they were in front after three minutes.
Nani took possession in the Boro half, moved forward and ripped a 30-metre shot past Mark Schwartzer.
Old Trafford was still buzzing when Jeremie Aliadiere headed Boro level minutes later but a mistake from England [Images] midfielder Stewart Downing gifted Wayne Rooney [Images] a goal to put United back in front before halftime.
A superb move between Rooney and Tevez resulted in the Argentine putting United 3-1 up after 55 minutes and Tevez struck again with a deflected shot.
"When you've got players like Ronaldo [Images], Rooney and Tevez you are going to get goals," United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. "The third goal epitomised the imagination they have...it was a wonderful goal."
United play Arsenal next week.
Manchester City fans have been pinching themselves after their best start in the top flight for more than 30 years, but Sven Goran Eriksson's side were given a hiding by Chelsea.
Michael Essien put Chelsea ahead after 16 minutes from a Frank Lampard [Images] pass and when Drogba made it 2-0 before halftime the match was effectively over.
Chelsea never won by a six-goal margin under Mourinho but they went on the rampage after the break with Drogba, Joe Cole, Salomon Kalou and Shevchenko punishing City's defence.
United have 26 points from 11 games, with Arsenal on 25 from nine. City remain in third spot on 22 with Chelsea on 21.
Sunday's other match is Tottenham Hotspur's first since the sacking of coach Martin Jol when they host high-flying Blackburn Rovers.