August 31, 2009

Premier League: Utd beat Arsenal, Reds hit back

Manchester United battled back after a wonder-goal from Andrei Arshavin to grab all three points against Arsenal at Old Trafford with a 2-1 win. The Russian gave the Gunners the lead, but a Wayne Rooney penalty and Abou Diaby's own goal gave United the points.

Arshavin smashed home an incredible strike in the first-half, but Manuel Almunia brought down Wayne Rooney in the second, and the England man converted his spot-kick. Diaby then headed a free-kick into his own net to give United the lead and Arsenal never looked like coming back.

Robin van Persie had the ball in the net late on, but William Gallas was ruled offside and there was even time for a piece of comedy as Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands, only to go and take his place above the Arsenal bench, in front of the United faithful.

Chelsea deposed Spurs at the Premier League summit by maintaining their perfect start to the campaign with victory over newly promoted Burnley in the lunchtime game at Stamford Bridge. The Clarets were brought down to earth with a bump following their recent victories over Manchester United and Everton as the Blues cruised to a 3-0 win.

A first-half strike from Nicolas Anelka set Chelsea on their way before Owen Coyle's hopes of springing an unlikely Burnley comeback were abruptly rubbed out with a quick-fire brace just after the break. Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole supplied the finishing touches for the home side who top the table on goal difference.

Liverpool's stuttering start to the season was given a late boost in their game against Bolton with Steven Gerrard riding to the rescue once more to bag the winner in a 2-3 win against a Trotters side who had yet to score in the Premier League prior to Saturday afternoon.

A 33rd minute strike from Kevin Davies opened his side's account and put further pressure on Rafael Benitez's currently shaky Liverpool side, but Glen Johnson bagged his second goal in Liverpool colours to settle the visitors' nerves.

Benitez handed new signing Sotirios Kyrgiakos his debut in the Liverpool defence and favoured Albert Riera over Yossi Benayoun on the left but his side were unable to prevent Tamir Cohen netting a 47th-minute strike for the Trotters who had Sean Davis dismissed shortly afterwards. Fernando Torres responded swiftly with a second Liverpool equaliser but Gerrard had the final word with an 83rd minute goal that puts Liverpool's title bid back on track.

Tottenham's flawless start to their Premier League campaign continued with a last minute Aaron Lennon strike securing a 2-1 win against Birmingham City at White Hart Lane. Aaron Lennon drew an early save from on-loan Birmingham keeper Joe Hart and Sebastian Larsson went close when he tested Carlo Cudicini at the other end but Peter Crouch's first Premier League goal for Spurs put Harry Redknapp's side ahead.

A groin injury had forced Spurs captain Ledley King off and Lee Bowyer was able to capitalise with an equalising goal in the 75th minute but Lennon broke Alex McLeish's mens' hearts with his goal at the death.

Goals at the start of each half saw honours even as it finished 1-1 between Hull and Wolves at Molineux. A third minute goal from Geovanni shocked Mick McCarthy's side but Richard Stearman's goal just after the break pulled Wolves level. Neither side were able to find a decisive strike in a game that leaves both teams with four points from their opening fixtures.

Stoke City secured a 1-0 win at home to Sunderland courtesy of Dave Kitson's first Premier League goal for the Potters. Kitson added to his midweek strike in the Carling Cup with the ex-Reading striker netting just before the break against Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium.

With Stoke's new £5m signings, Roberth Huth and Tuncay Sanli, having to make do with places on the bench, Tony Pulis' side celebrated their second home win of the campaign so far.

Blackburn secured their first point of the new season with a 0-0 draw at home to West Ham and hauled themselves out of the bottom three after Bolton were beaten by Liverpool. David Hoilet went closest to winning the points for Blackburn who had Pascal Chimbonda making his debut in a game which carried few attacking moments.

On Sunday, Manchester City kept up their 100% start to the season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Portsmouth. Emmanuel Adebayor scored his third goal in as many Premier League games to give his side the win against Portsmouth, who were being watched in the stands by new owner Sulamain Al Fahim.

Everton hauled themselves off the foot of the table with their first win of the season, over Wigan, thanks to an injury-time penalty from Leighton Baines that sealed a 2-1 victory.

The visitors, who picked up six bookings, took the lead after 56 minutes with a Paul Scharner header, but Everton equalised soon after through Louis Saha. Still, they had to wait until the third minute of added time for their winner.

Aston Villa ended the weekend's games with a 2-0 win over Fulham. The Cottagers looked tired after their trip to Russia in the Europa League and were always facing an uphill battle after John Pantsil put through his own net in the 3rd minute.

Gabriel Agbonlahor raced through in the second half to seal the win, but it looked as if Fulham boss Roy Hodgson couldn't get away quick enough.

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