Premier League round-up: Chelsea beat resilient Fulham

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The Independent Football

A freak winner gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory over local rivals Fulham to send the hosts five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

The Cottagers made a dream start by surging ahead through Zoltan Gera with just three minutes on the clock when Bobby Zamora picked out the Hungarian international, who turned and planted his shot beyond Petr Cech at point-blank range.

However, Didier Drogba headed his side level in the 73rd minute before Chelsea took the lead in somewhat bizarre circumstances two minutes later.

Daniel Sturridge's tight-angled shot was well saved by Mark Schwarzer but his parry bounced off Fulham defender Chris Smalling and into the back of the net.

Click here for all the scores from every division, plus full match details on every game.

Birmingham leapfrogged above Liverpool into seventh place in the standings thanks to a 1-0 win at Stoke.

Cameron Jerome grabbed the only goal of the game five minutes after the break, bundling the ball home from three yards out.

Everton also triumphed 2-0, with James Vaughan scoring seven minutes from time against 10-man Burnley to send the hosts to their first win in two months.

Steven Pienaar then grabbed a late second.

Stephen Jordan was sent off shortly after the hour mark when he picked up a second yellow card for pulling back Pienaar.

Elsewhere, Blackburn and Sunderland played out a 2-2 draw at Ewood Park.

The game erupted into life in the 52nd minute when Darren Bent stubbed home the opener, but Rovers responded by drawing level inside a minute, Morten Gamst Pedersen cutting in and drilling a low shot in off the post past Marton Fulop.

The visitors regained the lead against the run of play in the 65th minute when Jordan Henderson's punt forward sent Bent clear to slide a cool finish across Paul Robinson and into the net for his 13th goal of the season.

However, El-Hadji Diouf salvaged a point for Blackburn with a header 13 minutes from time, just three minutes after coming off the bench.

Earlier in the day, Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric scored on his return to the starting XI to help defeat West Ham 2-0 at White Hart Lane.

Modric, with only two substitute appearances under his belt since fracturing a fibula in August, struck in the 11th minute as he turned home Aaron Lennon's cross.

To make matters worse, former Hammers striker Jermain Defoe added a second before the end to see Spurs move into fourth place in the standings.

Premier League scores:

Blackburn 2-2 Sunderland

Chelsea 2-1 Fulham

Everton 2-0 Burnley

Stoke 0-1 Birmingham

Tottenham 2-0 West Ham

Click here for all the scores from every division plus full match details on every game.