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Frank Lampard (pictured) scored four goals in a thorough humiliation of Aston Villa against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The 7-1 score is one of the worst-ever defeats for Villa and moves Chelsea back to the top of the table in convincing fashion. Lampard scored in the 15th, 44th, 62nd and 90th minutes while Florent Malouda recorded a brace and Salomon Kalou also scored for the Blues. The drastic advantage over listless Villa also gives the Blues a six-goal advantage in differential over Manchester United, a difference that could be very important as the season winds down. As for Villa, surely their act is up as a potential fourth place finisher. They are still very much alive in the race for Europa League positions but their disastrous display today ends their run for fourth.

Birmingham City stunned Arsenal with a last-gasped goal by Kevin Phillips to earn a 1-1 draw with the Gunners at St. Andrews. Arsenal looked to have wrapped up three important away points when Samir Nasri scored on eighty-one minutes but the home side snatched those points back and earned one for themselves. This turn of events is not good for the Gunners as they slip back to three points behind leaders Chelsea. Meanwhile, Brum are making a late push to snag a Europa League position. Their chances are slim, but earning a point from Arsenal is certainly a step in the right direction.

Jimmy Bullard and Craig Fagan scored to give Hull City a massive victory, the first under the new Iain Dowie regime. The 2-0 defeat of Fulham at the KC Stadium lifts the Tigers to eighteenth place and even on points with West Ham United with a game in hand. Obviously all is not well for Hull, but they now have a realistic chance to survive this season and make their managerial change justified. The Cottagers absolutely cannot feel good about this result as it drops them back to eleventh place.

Goals from Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjčar were enough to give Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 victory against last place Portsmouth at White Hart Lane. The three points extend Spurs’ hold on fourth place, inching them closer to the Champions League. Pompey are of course struggling and simply cannot be expected to earn significant results in away matches.

The struggles at Upton Park continue for West Ham United as they fall 1-0 to Stoke City today. Ricardo Fuller scored the only goal of the game in the second half to send the Potters up to tenth place and leave the Hammers on the brink. Ahead of Hull City now only on goal differential (and having played a game more than the Tigers), Gianfranco Zola and company looked doomed to a return to the Championship.

And Wolverhampton Wanderers added a little more space between themselves and a trip back down to the Championship by holding red-hot Everton to a nil-nil draw at Molineux. The point for Wolves keeps them in fifteenth place and moves them five points clear of the drop zone. The Toffees will certainly feel disappointed that they could not earn more than one point at Wolves, though they do remain in eighth place. Aston Villa’s loss means Everton are now just two points behind Villa and Liverpool.

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