Stoke: Jonathan Walters scored two own goals Saturday as Chelsea beat Stoke 4-0 to emphatically end the host's unbeaten home record in the Premier League.
The unfortunate Walters planted two headers into his own net when trying to clear the ball to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead by the 63rd minute. Frank Lampard then added a penalty in the 66th to move into sole possession of second place on the club's all-time scoring list, before Eden Hazard finished off the rout with a swerving long-range strike in the 73rd.
Stoke had not lost at home in the Premier League since February last year, but their normally stodgy defense came undone as Chelsea climbed into third place in the standings.
Walters' miserable day was made even worse when he missed a penalty in the 90th minute, sending the ball off the crossbar.
In other matches, penalty specialist Rickie Lambert converted a first-half spot kick to earn Southampton a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa, dumping the struggling home side into the relegation zone. The striker scored his 31st straight penalty for Southampton, including shootouts, in the 34th minute after Villa defender Enda Stevens was adjudged to have fouled Jay Rodriguez. Villa finished strongly but couldn't find an equalizer, leaving manager Paul Lambert under serious pressure after a winless run of five matches.
Wigan's 1-1 draw at Fulham meant Villa dropped to third from bottom of the standings.
Newcastle ended a run of four straight losses with a 0-0 draw at Norwich, although their lack of presence up front highlighted the pressing need to replace the departed Demba Ba. Both teams struggled in one of the most uninspiring games of the season, with Norwich coming closest to scoring when Russell Martin's long-range shot struck the post in the second half. With Ba having moved to Chelsea, goals could be in short supply for Newcastle, and his Senegal teammate Papiss Demba Cisse struggled for service in attack. Newcastle's best chance fell to winger Gabriel Obertan early on, but his shot was saved.
Newcastle, which finished in sixth place last season, are 16th in the 20-team league and just two points from the relegation zone.
Michu failed to add to his impressive Premier League goal tally in front of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque as Swansea drew 0-0 at Everton at Goodison Park. Del Bosque traveled to Liverpool to run his eye over the uncapped Michu, who has scored 13 league goals in a superb first season in English football, ahead of Spain's friendly against Uruguay on Feb. 6. Michu saw a deft chip tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Tim Howard but was otherwise kept quiet in a game Everton dominated but lacked a cutting edge to match its build-up play. Victor Anichebe, Nikica Jelavic and Phil Neville were all denied by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm as fifth-place Everton dropped two points in the quest for a Champions league qualification spot.
Sunderland climbed further away from the relegation zone by dispatching West Ham 3-0. Sunderland dominated the visitors, who were saved from a heavier defeat only by some fine saves by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Sebastian Larsson smashed in a left-foot drive from 25 yards out in the 12th minute, and Adam Johnson secured the result moments after halftime in comical fashion. West Ham fullback Dan Potts attempted to chest a rebound back to Jaaskelainen, but Steven Fletcher poached the ball and fed Johnson to put it into an empty net.
The last goal, in the 74th, was set up by the frequently dangerous Stephane Sessegnon, who shot to the far post and James McClean scored from a tight angle.
And, Reading rose off the bottom by coming from 2-0 down to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 with barely any time to spare. Reading were booed off at halftime as West Brom cruised to a 2-0 lead with goals by Romelu Lukaku in the 19th and 69th minutes. Not until Jimmy Kebe's header goal at the back post with 10 minutes to go did Reading even appear to threaten, but suddenly the home side became inspired. Kebe was then fouled by Jonas Olsson and substitute Adam Le Fondre tucked the penalty away to equalize with two minutes to go. Two minutes after that Reading won when Ian Harte's free kick was knocked down by Alex Pearce and Pavel Pogrebnyak bundled it in to send the stadium into rapture.