Queens Park Rangers beat their nine-man west London rivals at Loftus Road, Blackburn suffer a home defeat to Tottenham and Robin van Persie rescues Arsenal against Stoke.
Villas-Boas furious at referee as Drogba and Bosingwa see red
Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea
Andre Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, criticised Chris Foy, the referee, after seeing two players sent off in a 1-0 defeat to QPR which saw his side miss the chance to overtake Manchester United and move second in the table.
Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba were both dismissed as Chelsea pressed in the first half. David Luiz also conceded a needless penalty to gift the home side a first victory over their London rivals for more than 16 years, and their first Premier League home win of the season.
“I have to praise the players because they were amazing,” Villas-Boas told Sky Sports.
“For 45 minutes we played with nine men and that takes courage, it shows the strength and commitment of squad. It’s the third time in row where a referee has directly influenced the result for us and we’re not happy with this. In three games there have been blatant refereeing mistakes.”
Heidar Helguson had scored from the penalty spot before Foy controversially dismissed Bosingwa, who was judged to be last man when he hauled down Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Drogba then gave Foy no choice but to brandish the red card for a second time with a two-footed challenge on Adel Taarabt.
“I’m very disappointed with Chris’s performance,” said Villas-Boas. “With nine players we kept our emotions very well. Chris and his team managed to play an emotional game and they conceded to the crowd and committed tremendous mistakes.”
Chelsea also received seven yellow cards at Loftus Road.
It looked a lost cause for the nine men of Chelsea in the second half, but they went close to levelling straight away when Frank Lampard was just beaten to Raul Meireles’s brilliant cross.
QPR could not find a second goal and Chelsea should have capitalised with just over 10 minutes left when Nicolas Anelka headed the ball straight at Paddy Kenny, the goalkeeper, from four yards.
Chelsea then wasted another great chance to level when Lampard deflected Luiz’s overhead kick over the crossbar.
Shaun Derry, the QPR midfielder, said: “I think we’ve put a few smiles on people’s faces today, it means everything to us.
There were times in the second half when it looked like they had 11 men and we had nine.
“But we don’t care. We’re 1-0 winners over our rivals and that means everything to the club.
Neil Warnock disagreed with his Chelsea counterpart Villas-Boas over the performance of Foy.
“I don’t think the referee’s done much wrong today,” he said.
Blackburn 1-2 Tottenham
Another protest was staged outside Ewood Park by disgruntled Blackburn fans prior to kick-off, and the heat was turned up further on Kean when Van der Vaart put Spurs in front inside the opening quarter of an hour.
The hosts equalised through Mauro Formica's fierce strike in the 28th minute, but Van der Vaart produced a brilliant winner from outside the box eight minutes after the restart.
The result leaves Rovers bottom of the Barclays Premier League with just five points from nine games, and the calls for owners Venky's to dismiss Kean are only getting louder.
The club's supporters again made their unhappiness known after the final whistle, with a section in the Ronnie Clayton End remaining in their seats, unfurling 'Kean Out' banners and chanting for the Scot to be dismissed.
Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City
City were leading 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Mario Balotelli but ran the Red Devils ragged after Jonny Evans' red card two minutes after the restart.
Balotelli scored a second, substitute Edin Dzeko scored twice and David Silva and Sergio Aguero also netted, with Darren Fletcher with the home side's consolation.
Richards, who put in a tireless performance at right-back, was quick to remember Sir Alex Ferguson's famous quip about City after the match.
"People call us the noisy neighbours but here we are. We have a good set of lads and we want to show people what we can do.
"I think we did that today. It's what dreams are made of. We all know how good United are and how good they are at home. But they know about our attacking force - Balotelli, Dzeko, Aguero, Silva.
"To come to Old Trafford and win gives confidence, especially the way we won. We'll only go forward now."
Arsenal 3-1 Stoke
The Gunners had been pegged back by Peter Crouch's goal, which cancelled out an opener from Gervinho.
But Van Persie, rested from the starting line-up by manager Arsene Wenger, bailed his team-mates out with his eighth and ninth goals of the season in the second half.
Fulham 1-3 Everton
The 33-year-old netted from an acute angle for the Toffees before Jack Rodwell scored in stoppage time to ensure they ended their three-match losing steak.
Saha's strike came seconds after Bobby Zamora somehow managed to hit the bar despite rounding Tim Howard.
Everton took a third-minute lead after Royston Drenthe hit an audacious shot from long distance that snuck in the far corner.
It looked liked Fulham had earned a share of the spoils, though, thanks to substitute Bryan Ruiz's exquisite chip three minutes after coming on.
However, Zamora's extraordinary miss allowed Saha and Rodwell to score and secure victory for the Merseysiders.