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Chelsea clinch vital Premier League win; Ten-man Wigan deny Arsenal

Florent Malouda celebrates his winning goal at Stamford Bridge to end Chelsea's poor run.
Florent Malouda celebrates his winning goal at Stamford Bridge to end Chelsea's poor run.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chelsea go fourth after first EPL win in seven games, beating Bolton 1-0
  • Florent Malouda's goal on the hour mark secures three points for the champions
  • Arsenal miss the chance to go level on points at the top after 2-2 draw at 10-man Wigan
  • Liverpool's woes continue with 1-0 home defeat to Wolves, who move off the bottom

(CNN) -- Defending champions Chelsea secured their first win in seven league games to beat Bolton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, but title rivals Arsenal dropped vital points.

A goal on the hour mark by Florent Malouda ended Chelsea's dire run and lifted the London club back into fourth in the English Premier League, four points behind leaders Manchester United and having played a game more.

Arsenal, who beat Chelsea 3-1 on Monday night, missed the chance to go level on points with United after being held 2-2 at lowly Wigan, who came from behind despite having a man sent off.

Ben Watson put the home side ahead from the penalty spot after 18 minutes, but two goals in six minutes near the end of the first half from Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner saw the Gunners 2-1 up at the DW Stadium.

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Wigan looked headed for defeat when Charles N'Zogbia was sent off in the 78th minute for leaning his head into Arsenal substitute Jack Wilshere.

I think it was the most important thing to change the atmosphere, to change the trend, to come back to win
--Carlo Ancelotti
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But three minutes later Wigan leveled when Arsenal's French defender Sebastien Squillaci diverted a header across goal from Colombia striker Hugo Rodallega into his own net.

The draw left Arsenal third, two points behind United and second-placed Manchester City, but Wigan moved out of the relegation zone.

Chelsea's fans voiced their disapproval as sixth-placed Bolton comfortably held Carlo Ancelotti's team scoreless for the first hour.

But with the visitors appealing for offside, striker Didier Drogba crossed for France international Malouda to turn in the only goal of the match in the 61st minute.

Manager Ancelotti said the win was vitally important as his players look to reignite their title challenge.

"I think it was the most important thing to change the atmosphere, to change the trend, to come back to win," he told the UK Press Association.

"This was the most important thing."

In Wednesday night's other game, Liverpool's poor league form under Roy Hodgson continued with a 1-0 home defeat at Anfield to relegation battlers Wolverhampton.

Stephen Ward sealed a precious three points for Wolves, who had not won away all season, with a 56th-minute goal.

The Irishman was played onside by Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson and easily beat goalkeeper Pepe Reina for his first in the Premier League.

It was the Black Country club's first win over Liverpool for 26 years, and it moved Mick McCarthy's team off the bottom at the expense of West Ham.