Chelsea maintained their perfect start to the defence of their Premier League title as Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba struck in a 2-0 home win against Stoke City on Saturday.

Chelsea won their opening two league games 6-0 but found life more difficult against a spirited Stoke side who battled hard before Drogba's second-half penalty sealed a home win. Frank Lampard missed from the spot in the first half.

Arsenal had briefly topped the table after a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers in an early kickoff -- Theo Walcott striking his fourth goal of the season in an impressive away win for the Gunners.

Tottenham Hotspur suffered a surprise 1-0 home defeat by Wigan Athletic, who had conceded 10 goals without finding the net in their opening two fixtures.

Blackpool's first home match in the top flight since 1971 ended in a 2-2 draw with Fulham while Andy Carroll was on target again for Newcastle United who drew 1-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea have a maximum nine points with Arsenal on seven.

Manchester United can join Arsenal on seven if they beat West Ham United in an early evening kickoff (5:30 p.m. British time).

(Editing by Kevin Fylan)