Seven up for all-conquering Chelsea

Group G: Chelsea FC recorded their seventh straight win, while Liverpool FC and RSC Anderlecht were both held and Real Betis Balompié conceded four.

Chelsea FC 2-1 Aston Villa FC

Frank Lampard scored twice as Chelsea kept up their 100 per cent start to the season with a seventh successive Premiership victory. The England midfielder struck with a free-kick on the cusp of half-time, then sealed the points from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining, but only after Luke Moore had given the visitors a shock lead - the first goal Petr Čech had conceded in 594 Premiership minutes.

"It's a difficult game to celebrate," manager José Mourinho said. "It was a very difficult game. We deserved the victory but they [Villa] deserve a lot of respect. I was reading about the Premiership being boring but nobody's scored more goals than us. Frank Lampard was fantastic - his first goal came at a very important time - but Michael Essien was also outstanding."

Essien finished the match at left-back after Ricardo Carvalho was replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips before the half-hour, but it was a tactical decision as Mourinho sought to open the game up. Didier Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen also started on the bench as Hernán Crespo was preferred in attack. Mourinho has just two injuries to worry about, to left-backs Wayne Bridge (ankle) and Asier Del Horno (thigh), although the latter has not been ruled out.

Birmingham City FC 2-2 Liverpool FC

Despite maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign, Liverpool are now three games without a win in the Premiership after a 2-2 draw at St Andrews, though they did end a barren sequence in front of goal which had seen them score just once in their opening four league matches.

The UEFA Champions League holders were without Mali international Mohamed Sissoko for the trip to Birmingham after he suffered a slight muscle injury, while the game came too soon for Fernando Morientes, who has been out with a thigh strain sustained on international duty with Spain.

Liverpool made the breakthrough midway through the second half through substitute Luis García, but were soon level again after Stephen Warnock headed into his own net - the first league goal Liverpool have conceded this term. Walter Pandiani made it 2-1 before another substitute, Djibril Cissé, rescued a point from the penalty spot late on.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez was nevertheless disappointed with the result: "We have lost two points here because we controlled the game," the Spaniard said. "After we scored the penalty to make it 2-2 we had three clear chances to win. To draw away from home is not the best but it's also not the worst and we are improving. The most important thing is to make the team more consistent."

K. Lierse SK 0-0 RSC Anderlecht

With Club Brugge KV losing and leaders R. Standard de Liège being held to a draw, Anderlecht missed an opportunity to go top of the Belgian First Division against Lierse. The best chances fell to the visitors, with Mbo Mpenza and Walter Baseggio spurning openings. But there was good news for coach Frank Vercauteren, with Pär Zetterberg returning to action as a late substitute after a long lay-off with a back injury.

Defender Vincent Kompany, who this week announced he is preparing to take a university course, was sidelined with a similar injury yet should be fit to face Betis, as should Marius Mitu after a hamstring problem. Roland Juhász will not, however, as he is recovering from a broken foot. Australian striker Clayton Zane, meanwhile, has had to retire at the age of 28 due to a persistent knee complaint.

Anderlecht midfielder Yves Vanderhaeghe said: "The result says it all, we really have to improve. We didn't deserve to win, we were simply not good enough, especially in the first half. Hesitant in the tackle, slow at moving the ball around, capped off by three attackers who didn't want to pass to each other. In the second half there were a few small adjustments on the pitch, and we had some good passages of play. But we are a different side away from home, and that is something we need to work on. We need more concentration and determination."

Real Betis Balompié 1-4 FC Barcelona

Betis suffered a demoralising 4-1 defeat at the hands of Barça as they struggled to hold the Primera División champions after striker Ricardo Oliveira's dismissal midway through the first half. Coach Llorenç Serra Ferrer made no changes to the side that drew 1-1 at high-flying RC Deportivo La Coruña on Wednesday, but the team failed to settle and soon found themselves behind when Mark van Bommel headed in on ten minutes.

By that time, the visitors had already missed a penalty, and the prognosis did not look good when Oliveira was sent off on 22 minutes. Betis showed good spirit though, and surprisingly equalised through Juanito Gutiérrez before half-time. But it was all Barça after the interval as Samuel Eto'o scored twice before Santiago Ezquerro completed the victory.

Serra Ferrer refused to dwell on the defeat that leaves Betis languishing in 17th. "I didn't agree with the decision to send Oliveira off but we have to respect the referee's decision and forget about it because we have an important game on Tuesday," said the coach. "We tried to change our situation with substitutions, but in the end it wasn't possible."

Top