LONDON – England midfielder Frank Lampard struck four goals on Wednesday as Chelsea rebounded from its FA Cup reverse at Barnsley at the weekend to defeat Derby 6-1 in the Premier League.
Lampard’s fellow England international Joe Cole and Ivory Coast’s Salomon Kalou scored the other goals while David Jones notched a late consolation for struggling Derby.
Chelsea moved to within five points of league leader Arsenal, who top the standings with 66 points from 29 games two ahead of defending champion Manchester United, who has a game in hand. Aston Villa, chasing fourth place and a Champions League spot, was held 1-1 by Middlesbrough at Villa Park.
Stewart Downing scored midway through the first half for Middlesbrough with Gareth Barry equalizing for the home side after the interval.
Portsmouth striker Jermaine Defoe continued his recent run of prolific form with two early goals for the FA Cup semifinalists at home to Birmingham.
Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson scored for Birmingham to bring the sides level before Hermann Hreidarsson and Nwankwo Kanu sealed a 4-2 win.2009 Confederations Cup
FIFA approved the schedule and prize money for the Nov. 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa on Thursday, saying eight nations will compete for $17.6 million in the tournament.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the event will be “an ideal test run” for the 2010 World Cup organizers and South Africa’s infrastructure.
With concerns that a new stadium being built in Port Elizabeth will not be ready for the June 14, 2009 kickoff, the Confederations Cup organizing committee approved two different match schedules - one for four stadiums and one for five.
The tournament will bring together the host South Africa, World Cup holder Italy and the champion from the six regional confederations which make up FIFA, world soccer’s governing body. Those include Iraq, Egypt, the United States and Brazil.
If Italy wins this year’s European Championship, the runner-up will compete in S. Africa.