Hammer blow

Chelsea surrendered a halftime lead to lose 3-1 at West Ham United on Saturday to leave interim manager Rafael Benitez still without a win and Arsene Wenger was also the target of jeers as his Arsenal side were humbled 2-0 at home by Swansea City.

Champions Manchester City moved top of the Premier League table for a few hours after a Carlos Tevez goal earned them a 1-1 draw at home to Everton, but leaders Manchester United managed to stave off a Reading scare at the Madejski Stadium, winning 4-3 after the lead changed hands right through the course of the match.

Juan Mata gave Chelsea a well-deserved lead but West Ham roared back to pile pressure on Benitez with former Chelsea striker Carlton Cole levelling just past the hour before substitutes Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga struck late on.

Benitez, whose appointment in the wake of Roberto Di Matteo's sacking has proved unpopular among fans, is the first Chelsea manager not to win any of his first three matches in charge since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought the club.

"In the second half we didn't start well, they got on top of us and we couldn't manage," former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose first two matches in charge ended in 0-0 draws against Manchester City and Fulham, said.

No sympathy

Banners protesting about Benitez's appointment were still in evidence at Upton Park, yet for 45 minutes Chelsea were in control and heading for victory. When Fernando Torres cut the ball back from the byline for Mata to shoot Chelsea in front after 13 minutes, it seemed that Benitez could silence his critics, at least for a day.

Mata could have increased Chelsea's lead but Jussi Jaaskelainen made a great save to keep West Ham within touching distance. West Ham's Kevin Nolan had a goal disallowed just before halftime and Chelsea keeper Petr Cech made a fingertip save to keep out Nolan's header from a corner.

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