Chelsea moves into second in the EPL

December 1, 2007

LONDON -- Chelsea's Joe Cole scored against his former club Saturday to give the Blues a 1-0 win over visiting West Ham and second place in the Premier League.

West Ham matched its more illustrious London rival for 76 minutes before Cole collected the ball in what looked like an offside position, moved around goalkeeper Robert Green and scored on a rising shot.

With Manchester United idle until it plays Fulham on Monday, Chelsea moved a point above the defending champions to 31. First-place Arsenal stretched its advantage to five points with a 2-1 lead at Aston Villa, while Manchester City dropped a spot to fourth with a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

"We are behind them," Chelsea striker Didier Drogba said, referring to Arsenal. "There's no luck in this league. You are where you deserve to be."

The Blues stretched their unbeaten run under new coach Avram Grant to 14 matches in all competitions.

Reading and Middlesbrough played to a 1-1 tie. Marcus Hahnemann, Reading's American goalkeeper, held out until the 83rd minute against visiting Middlesbrough, when Tuncay Sanli equalized for the visiting team.

Italy
MILAN, Italy -- Claudio Bellucci scored twice to help Sampdoria beat 10-man Reggina 3-0 in Italy's Serie A.

Bellucci scored in the fifth minute off an assist by Antonio Cassano and again in the 76th. that goal came two minutes after Reggina defender Maurizio Lanzaro was sent off for his second yellow card.

Sampdoria's Paolo Sammarco got the second goal in the 55th. Reggina coach Renzo Ulivieri was removed from the sideline in the 64th for heckling Cassano.

Sampdoria improved to sixth place in the standings with 20 points, eight fewer than leader Inter Milan, which plays at Fiorentina on Sunday. Reggina has 10 points.

France
PARIS -- Gervinho scored in the 79th minute to give Le Mans a 2-1 win over visiting Nancy in the French league.

Benjamin Gavanon gave Nancy the lead in the ninth minute with a penalty kick after Marko Basa handled Issar Dia's cross from the right. Hassan Yebda evened for Le Mans in the 59th with a header from a corner, before Gervinho scored on a cross from Daisuke Matsui.

Nancy is in second place with 31 points, while Le Mans has 26.

Germany
BERLIN -- Werder Bremen overcame injuries to beat Hamburger SV 2-1 in the Bundesliga and cap a great week.

Three days after upsetting Real Madrid in the Champions League with eight regulars missing, Bremen was missing six as it took a two-point lead atop the standings by beating a title rival. Bayern Munich could regain the lead with by defeating Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.

Bremen has won seven straight at home and extended its unbeaten run to 10 games.

"It was a tough week, tough teams, but we pushed our way through," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said. "The team, that's the best. It's not just that we win, it's the way we play."

Bayer Leverkusen beat Hertha Berlin 3-0 to move up to fourth place, and Schalke took sixth place by edging VfL Bochum 1-0. VfB Stuttgart's three-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press