Chelsea up to third after win over rivals Aston Villa

Chelsea up to third after win over rivals Aston VillaLondon  - Chelsea edged ahead of Aston Villa into third place after they won the battle of the Champions League contenders 1-0 at Villa Park on Saturday.

In Guus Hiddink's first match as Chelsea manager, Nicolas Anelka's 18th-minute goal proved to be enough to give the visitors all three points.

The result lifted Chelsea one point above Villa into third, albeit still seven points behind leaders Manchester United, who play Blackburn Rovers later on Saturday.

Anelka put Chelsea ahead after 18 minutes, lifting the ball over Brad Friedel in the Villa goal after a good run by Frank Lampard.

Ashley Young hit the bar with a free-kick for Villa, while Gabriel Agbonlahor forced a smart save from Petr Cech and at the other end, Freidel saved well late on from Julian Belletti.

In the end, though, Chelsea hung on to keep alive their outside hopes of the title.

Fifth-placed Arsenal take on Sunderland later on Saturday, while second-placed Liverpool are not in action until Sunday, when they play Manchester City. (dpa)