London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – In his return from a muscle strain, John Terry scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to lift Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Everton in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
The win gave Chelsea a one-point edge over closest rival Arsenal and a three-point advantage over Manchester City for the top spot.
After dropping points against West Bromwich Albion in their last top-flight fixture, Jose Mourinho’s men looked set to be frustrated again by a tough Everton side.
However, a free-kick from Frank Lampard found its way into the net late in the match while Terry applied pressure to Tim Howard and poked the ball in off the Everton goalkeeper.
“This is the reality in this competition. Every victory keeps us there at the top of the table. Every defeat or draw, we lose a position,” said Mourinho.
Everton, whose last league win at Chelsea came in 1994, stayed in sixth but now has suffered three successive away defeats to teams ahead of them.
“The scoreline is what matters in the short-term and we are hurt, we’re not going to hide it, but the performance is exactly what we needed. We showed that we can play eye-to-eye with the league leaders,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Manchester City remained close with Chelsea after securing home wins against Sunderland and Stoke City, respectively.
The Gunners bounced back from their midweek defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League with a 4-1 win over Sunderland, thanks to two goals from Olivier Giroud.
Giroud ended a run of six Premier League appearances at home without a goal by scoring two first-half goals as Arsene Wenger’s side dominated from the start.
Manchester City recovered from a loss to Barcelona as it defeated Stoke City, 1-0, at the Etihad Stadium.
The hosts looked in danger of dropping points against Stoke for a second time this season until Yaya Toure’s 70th-minute winner maintained City’s Barclays Premier League title push.
In other matches, West Ham United beat Southampton, 1-0; Hull City blanked Cardiff City, 4-0; Manchester United down Crystal Palace, 2-0; while Fulham settled for a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.