London: Frank Lampard provided yet another reminder to Chelsea of his value to the team as the veteran midfielder helped to clinch a 4-1 victory over Wigan in the Premier League on Saturday.
Lampard, who scored England's match-winner against Brazil on Wednesday, got his 12th Chelsea goal of the season during an influential display that provided further justification for owner Roman Abramovich to give him a new contract beyond this season.
The win halted a four-game winless run - including a draw and loss in the league - that created uncertainty about manager Rafa Benitez's future after less than three months.
But Ramires and Eden Hazard, back from suspension after kicking a ball boy, put Chelsea in control.
Lampard and substitute Marko Marin scored after Wigan's Shaun Maloney pulled one back.
Also on Saturday, Michu scored two goals as Swansea's Spanish contingent secured a 4-1 win over Queens Park Rangers to leave the visitors firmly rooted to the bottom of the league. Michu slotted in the opener in the eighth minute after QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar failed to hold on to a shot from Nathan Dyer, and fellow Spaniard Angel Rangel doubled the lead in the 18th.
Substitute Bobby Zamora gave Harry Redknapp's team hope by pulling one back just after the break, but Pablo Hernandez made it 3-1 just two minutes later with a shot from a tight angle. Michu then capped the win with his second in the 67th, leaving QPR six points from safety and still four points behind closest teams Wigan and Aston Villa.
Fulham extended Norwich's winless run to nine games by holding out for a 0-0 draw in a dire match. The result inches both teams eight points clear of the relegation zone but the paucity of quality on show at Carrow Road will surely worry both managers ahead of the final 12 games of the season.
New signing Luciano Becchio headed a couple of half-chances wide for Norwich while Steve Sidwell had Fulham's best opportunity, shooting just wide from outside the area. The return from injury of top scorer Dimitar Berbatov could not inspire Fulham, with the Bulgarian striker needing more treatment in this game after he was caught in the face by a high boot from Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson. Berbatov required stitches in a blooded nose.
At Stoke, Reading's resurgence in the Premier League came to halt with a 2-1 loss. Robert Huth's first goal of the season ended Reading's stubborn resistance in the 67th minute and substitute Cameron Jerome added what proved to be the decisive second in the 81st by smashing home a finish on the turn.
Reading pulled a goal back through Adrian Mariappa two minutes later but it couldn't stop the visitors falling to a first loss since Jan. 1, leaving them fourth from bottom in the standings. They had won three of their last four games. Stoke stayed 10th but moved 12 points clear of the relegation zone.