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Man United level with Chelsea after win

Nemanja Vidic celebrates scoring Manchester United's second goal in their 3-0 victory over Wolves.
Nemanja Vidic celebrates scoring Manchester United's second goal in their 3-0 victory over Wolves.
  • Manchester United go level at the top of the Premier League after a 3-0 home win over Wolves
  • Aston Villa continue their good form as as 2-0 victory at Sunderland lifts them up to third place
  • Birmingham complete a record fifth consecutive win with a 2-0 success at home to Blackburn

(CNN) -- Manchester United are level with Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League after a comfortable 3-0 home victory over an under-strength Wolves side.

The defending champions took the lead on the half-hour when Wayne Rooney drilled home his 13th goal of the season from the penalty spot after defender Ronald Zubar handled in the area.

United added a second two minutes before the break when Nemanja Vidic rose highest to head home a Darron Gibson corner.

Antonio Valencia added a decisive third mid-way through the second half after Dimitar Berbatov produced a superb piece of skill to deliver a brilliant overhead kick into his path.

The result means the top two are locked together on 37 points but Chelsea, who have a better goal difference, can move three points clear again on Wednesday when they host bottom club Portsmouth.

Meanwhile, in-form Aston Villa are up to third place in the table after a superb 2-0 victory at Sunderland.

Just three days after their 1-0 victory at champions Manchester United, Villa showed they are a force to be reckoned with this season by claiming another three points on their travels.

Martin O'Neill's side took the lead in the 24th minute when James Milner slid a perfect pass across to fellow-Egland international Emile Heskey, who smashed the ball home.

Milner appears a certainty to feature in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad -- and the midfielder made certain of the victory in the 61st minute when he fired home a blistering drive from 30 yards out.

Sunderland's dwindling hopes effectively died with 12 minutes remaining when captain Lorik Cana was sent off after picking up a second booking for a late tackle on man-of-the-match Milner.

Villa's city rivals Birmingham are now up to sixth place after Cameron Jerome scored both goals in a 2-1 home victory over Blackburn -- securing a club record fifth successive Premier League win in the process.

The home side took a 12th minute lead when Sebastian Larsson's cross was headed goalwards by Christian Benitez -- and Jerome poked it over the line from close range.

They doubled their advantage early in the second half when full-back Stephen Carr cut inside before squaring the ball back for Jerome to fire home the 50th league goal of his career.

Blackburn pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining when Ryan Nelsen netted from close-range after Morten Gamst Pedersen's inswinging free-kick had been parried out by Joe Hart.

At the foot of the table, West Ham remain second bottom after a mistake from England goalkeeper Robert Green handed Bolton a 3-1 victory, a result that lifts the home side out of the bottom three at Wolves' expense.

Bolton went ahead in the 64th minute when Ivan Klasnic split the West Ham defence with a perfect through-ball and Korean international Chung-Yong Lee provided the finish.

But the lead lasted just five minutes as Jack Collison teed up Alessandro Diamanti to lash the ball home inside the area.

Green's error came with 13 minutes remaining after Lee pulled the ball back to the edge of the box for Gary Cahill, whose bouncing effort seemed harmless enough.

Green looked set for an easy catch, but he blundered and Klasnic snaffled up the chance.

Cahill completed the scoring with two minutes left on the clock when he rose to head home a corner at the far post.