Chelsea go top, Red Devils stutter

England midfielder Frank Lampard rediscovered his scoring touch as he scored a double to send Chelsea back to the top of the English Premiership.

One in, one to come: Lampard celebrates his first
One in, one to come: Lampard celebrates his first

The former West Ham player has been under fire for his lack goals this season, but answered his critics with two goals in the final seventeen minutes to seal the points against neighbours Fulham in the 2-0 win.

After being relieved of his penalty taking duties by German international Michael Ballack, Lampard used the summer arrival’s absence to break the deadlock on 73 minutes after Liam Rosenior’s handball.

His 80th minute strike seven minutes later ensured the champions would enjoy top spot at least until Monday when second placed Portsmouth host Bolton.

Frank Lampard back on target

Frank Lampard back on target

“I took responsibility and was pleased when it went in,” the 28 year old said in reflecting on converted spot kick.
“There’s always pressure and I suppose there’s more pressure when you’ve missed the last one.
“It felt good to score two important goals because the game was very tight, a difficult one.”

Red Devils Stutter

Manchester United missed a great chance to join the Londoners at the top of the table when they were held 1-1 by Premiership new boys Reading.  
Reading striker Kevin Doyle stunned the visitors when he converted from the penalty spot after United defender Gary Neville was ruled to have handled the ball.
Despite numerous chances earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men could only find the equalizer after 73 minutes when Portguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo slammed the ball into the back.

And despite a frantic finish, the Red Devils would have to settle for a lone point, much to the joy of the home fans.
“Last Sunday against Arsenal was a disappointing performance but not today,” Ferguson said.
“We had enough possession and chances to have won it but you have to give credit to Reading because they worked their tails off and made it hard for us.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would have been more relieved than anything else as his side won their first home game at Emirates Stadium with a 3-0 hammering of bottom placed Sheffield United.

The Frenchman was celebrating his 10 year anniversary at the club and the three points on their third attempt breathed new life into their campaign as climbed to eighth.

Riise’s rocket: Liverpool hit three

Riise’s rocket: Liverpool hit three

Another manager feeling relieved was Manchester City’s Stuart Pearce as a brace from striker Georgios Samaras broke a run of 13 defeats in the past 16 matches, including an embarrassing defeat in the League Cup to League One side Chesterfield midweek.

The pressure will now be on West Ham manager Alan Pardew after the defeat sent his side to 15th as he struggles to settle Argentinean stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.   
Also struggling in the new campaign is Tottenham after three late goals to Liverpool condemned them to their fourth loss in the opening six matches.

Both sides wasted golden opportunities early, before Mark Gonzalez, Dirk Kuyt and John Arne Riise all found the target.

Elsewhere, Watford earned their third point since promotion as drew 1-1 with Wigan, while Congolese striker Shabani Nonda’s first half strike was enough to earn Blackburn all three points against a hapless Middlesbrough.

Finally, Aston Villa’s unbeaten start under Martin O’Neill continued as they defeated Charlton 2-0.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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