Chelsea, Man City earn commanding wins to keep Premier League title race well poised


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MANCHESTER, England — Chelsea and Manchester City kicked off the Premier League's hectic festive period with commanding victories Friday to keep the title race finely poised, while Manchester United and Liverpool also won on a successful day for the country's top teams.

John Terry and Diego Costa scored as Chelsea beat West Ham 2-0 to retain a three-point lead over City, which scored all of its goals in the first half in a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion in blizzard-like conditions.

United stayed on the edge of the title race as two goals from Wayne Rooney helped set up a 3-1 win over Newcastle, tightening the 20-time champions' grip on third place.

Liverpool built on its recent encouraging performances by winning 1-0 at Burnley to keep in sight of the top four.

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