London: Chelsea remained on top of the Premier League as Juan Mata inspired them to a 2-1 win over London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

Roberto di Matteo's side are three points clear of second-place Everton, who maintained their promising form with a 3-1 home win over Southampton, but Manchester United can cut the lead to one point if they beat Tottenham in Saturday's late game.

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea captain John Terry endured taunts from Arsenal fans after this week's Football Association verdict that he was guilty of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match last October.

But Terry had the last laugh as visitors Chelsea, unbeaten in the league this season, handed the Gunners their first league defeat of the campaign.

Chelsea took the lead in the 20th minute at the Emirates Stadium when Spain striker Fernando Torres volleyed in Mata's free-kick.

Arsenal equalised in the 42nd minute when Ivory Coast forward Gervinho turned in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross.

But Mata put the European champions back in front as the Spanish midfielder's 53rd-minute curling free-kick glanced in off Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.

"It was a big challenge to play against a quality side like Arsenal," Chelsea manager di Matteo told the BBC. "It was right to pick John Terry, he showed his leadership again today."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger slammed a poor defensive display that will raise fresh questions about whether the Gunners, without a major trophy in seven years, are genuine title contenders.

"I am deeply disappointed," the Frenchman said. "We gave two cheap goals away. It is unacceptable to give goals like that away in the big games."

Brendan Rodgers enjoyed his first Premier League win as Liverpool manager, with Luis Suarez scoring his second hat-trick in as many seasons at Carrow Road during a 5-2 win at Norwich that took the Reds out of the bottom three.

Turkey international midfielder Nuri Sahin and captain Steven Gerrard were also on target for Liverpool, while Steve Morison and Grant Holt replied for the Canaries.

"The team was outstanding," said Rodgers. "I'm not surprised because in a lot of our games we have played very well and created a host of chances."

Everton remained the top team on Merseyside after Nikica Jelavic scored twice in a 3-1 home win over Southampton.

Saints' £12 million (USD 19.4 million) record signing Gaston Ramirez gave the visitors the lead, the Uruguayan forward scoring his first goal for the club with a header before Leon Osman equalised for Everton.

Croatia striker Jelavic then made it 11 goals in 13 matches before half-time with a shot and a header.

"If I had paid to watch that then I would have been pleased," said Everton manager David Moyes.

"Hopefully if we get up there then we'll stay up there, but I don't think Manchester United or Manchester City will be too worried about Everton right now."

Reigning champions Manchester City came from behind to win 2-1 at Fulham, with substitute Edin Dzeko scoring the winner three minutes from time, moments after being brought on by Roberto Mancini.

Mladen Petric gave Fulham a 10th-minute lead from the penalty spot after Pablo Zabaleta fouled John Arne Riise before Sergio Aguero drew City level in the 43rd minute.

"The guys played a really good game," said City coach Mancini.

"I was worried because we continued to play well and continued to create chances, but didn't score (the second goal) for 87 minutes. I was pleased for Edin to score such an important goal."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew's first match in charge since being given a new eight-year contract ended in a 2-2 draw at his former club Reading.

Demba Ba was the Magpies' saviour, cancelling out goals from Jimmy Kebe and then Noel Hunt, although replays suggested the ball came off his hand as he claimed his second equaliser in the 83rd minute.

Elsewhere, Stoke and Sunderland both recorded their first wins of the season.

Peter Crouch's first-half brace saw Stoke beat Swansea 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium, while Steven Fletcher's fifth goal of the campaign gave Sunderland a 1-0 success at home to Wigan, who had Jordi Gomez sent off.


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