Chelsea's marauding start to the Premier League season continued as they came from behind to thrash Bolton Wanderers 5-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Manchester United moved up to third with a 3-1 victory at Sunderland but Arsenal's problems increased with a 2-1 reverse at West Bromwich Albion that leaves them 14 points off the pace.
Tottenham Hotspur maintained their best ever start to a Premier League season with a 2-0 win over bottom club Everton at White Hart Lane to go second.
Promoted Wigan Athletic also have plenty to celebrate after a 1-0 victory at home to Newcastle United that elevated them to the giddy heights of fourth.
Chelsea's last league defeat came exactly a year ago at Manchester City and, for 45 minutes, Bolton Wanderers looked capable of snapping their 37-game unbeaten league run.
Greek striker Stelios Giannakopoulos silenced Stamford Bridge with a fourth-minute opener and the visitors threatened to add to their tally before the break.
The match turned completely in nine devastating second-half minutes when Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard both scored twice for the champions and Bolton's Ricardo Gardner was red-carded for a deliberate handball on the edge of the area.
Lampard's double took his tally for the week to four after his winning goals against Austria and Poland sealed England's place in next year's World Cup finals.
Eidur Gudjohnsen completed the rout to make it nine wins out of nine for Chelsea in the Premier League this season and keep them nine points in front of London rivals Tottenham.
"I went in early for halftime to prepare what I was going to say to them," Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who is yet to lose any match at Stamford Bridge, told Sky Sports.
"They did what I wanted in the second half, they were fantastic."
Second-half goals from Egypt striker Mido and Jermaine Jenas, his first for Tottenham, clinched the points for Martin Jol's high-flying side after a dour opening period.
Everton have now lost six league games in a row without scoring a goal, equalling their worst ever sequence in the Premier League, and are rooted to the bottom with three points.
Wayne Rooney's classy finish gave United the lead at Sunderland just before halftime and Ruud van Nistelrooy made it 2-0 after the break only for Stephen Elliot to pull one back.
Italian teenage substitute Giuseppe Rossi sealed the points to keep United 10 behind Chelsea with a game in hand.
"We were lucky to be winning at halftime. We never got going in the first half and Rooney's goal was our only decent move," said United boss Alex Ferguson. "But in the second half we could have scored four or five."
Arsenal looked on course for victory at West Bromwich Albion when Swiss defender Philippe Senderos volleyed in after 17 minutes to score his first goal for the club.
But former Arsenal striker Kanu came back to haunt the Gunners with an equaliser before the break and substitute Darren Carter got the winner from 20 metres in the 76th minute.
"We should have won easily," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after his side's third loss of the season. "We were punished for a little bit of bad luck and lack of maturity."
Wigan ended their match with 10 men after a late red card for Lee McCulloch but hung on grimly to Jason Roberts's 40th minute opener against Newcastle.
Liverpool struggled to break down 10-man Blackburn Rovers after Georgia defender Zurab Khizanishvili was sent off for a professional foul at Anfield.
But France striker Djibril Cisse drove home a free kick 15 minutes from time to earn Liverpool their first win in five games.
Aiyegbeni Yakubu headed an equaliser against his old club to earn Middlesbrough a 1-1 draw at home to Portsmouth in the day's late kickoff.