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Ancelotti admits he expected a big win

Carlo Ancelotti was not surprised by his Chelsea side's 7-2 thrashing of Sunderland -- despite being without several players because of the African Nations Cup in Angola.

Two goals apiece from Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka, plus others from Michael Ballack, Florent Malouda and Ashley Cole, set the seal on a fabulous afternoon for Chelsea.

The Blues remain top of the Premier League by a single point from Manchester United, but have a game in hand on their rivals.

Chelsea's win came without African quartet Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi -- all away on international duty.

But Ancelotti said: "Without the African players, we maybe could have some problems. I always said I have a fantastic squad and other players played very well, especially Juliano Belletti in a new position for him, so it is a good moment for us.

"We played a lot of times without Drogba, and Nicolas Anelka did very well in the past."

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce admitted his side, missing eight first-team players through injury and suspension, were thoroughly outplayed.

Bruce said: "We simply could not cope, they were too good for us all over the pitch.

"Defensively we were inept, and it's very difficult to come here when you have all your players fit and raring to go."

Hull CITY manager Phil Brown compared goalkeeper Boaz Myhill's performance at White Hart Lane to that of Sunderland hero Jim Montgomery during the 1973 FA Cup final.

Montgomery famously pulled off a double save to deny Leeds -- and there were hallmarks of that performance as Myhill earned the Tigers a point against tottenham to lift the Tigers out of the relegation zone.

"There were 18 matches left and we asked the players to bring the best to the table, that is what Boaz Myhill did," said Brown, a childhood Sunderland fan.

"He responded Jimmy Montgomery-style. He didn't just do it on one occasion but two or three."

wigan athletic recorded an important 2-0 win away to wolves thanks to goals from James McCarthy and Charles N'Zogbia.

Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha were on target as everton inflicted a first defeat on manchester city since Roberto Mancini became manager at Eastlands.

portsmouth's game against birmingham City was postponed because of a waterlogged Fratton Park pitch.