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Chelsea extend title lead as Manchester derby ends goalless

Michael Essien celebrates his goal but he was sent off in the second half.
Michael Essien celebrates his goal but he was sent off in the second half.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chelsea beat Fulham 1-0 in London derby to extend lead at top in England to four points
  • Michael Essien scores only goal of the game for the Blues
  • Second-placed Manchester United draw 0-0 with Manchester City
  • Third-placed Arsenal win 2-0 at Wolves to boost their title challenge

(CNN) -- Chelsea won their west London derby against Fulham to extend their lead at the top of the English Premier League on Wednesday.

They are now four points clear of Manchester United who drew 0-0 at Manchester City in a derby stalemate.

Arsenal took closer order in third, a point behind United after a 2-0 win at Wolves.

Marouane Chamakh scored Arsenal's fastest-ever Premier League goal after 37 seconds and added a late second for Arsene Wenger's men.

But the match ended on a sour note with Cesc Fabregas lucky to avoid a red card for a nasty lunge on Stephen Ward, who was stretchered off.

Some of our football was very good - we were very confident, had good composure on the ball
--Alex Ferguson
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There was little goalmouth action at Eastlands with the game failing to live up to its pre-match hype.

Carloz Tevez had the best chance for Roberto Mancini's City, but saw his curling first half free kick tipped away by Edwin van der Sar.

United had the better of possession, but lacked a cutting edge with Dimitar Berbatov's second half volley saved by Joe Hart after their best attack.

Alex Ferguson's men had snatched last-minute goals in three of their wins over City last season, but there was to be no repeat with Tevez performing sterling defensive duties to break up a dangerous late move.

But the legendary manager was satisfied with their performance.

"Some of our football was very good -- we were very confident, had good composure on the ball," he told Sky Sports.

It was a night of mixed fortune's for Chelsea's Ghana midfielder Michael Essien.

He headed home Salomon Kalou's cross on the half hour for the only goal of the match, but was sent off late in the game for a stamp on Fulham striker Clint Dempsey.