Man City beat Liverpool 3-0 as Abu Dhabi billionaire attends first match at Eastlands.
|Spurs contemplate a home defeat to a team that had conceded 10 goals in two matches [EPA]|
Chelsea maintained their perfect start to the season with a 2-0 home victory over Stoke City as the goal frenzy of the English Premier League champions’ first two matches subsided.
Frank Lampard missed a penalty with the score still at 0-0 but a battling Stoke side couldn’t stop the Blues from staying top with nine points out of nine, two ahead of Manchester United who beat West Ham 3-0.
England midfielder Lampard, who needs a hernia operation and will miss his country’s forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers, saw his spot kick saved by Thomas Sorensen but Florent Malouda fired Chelsea ahead just past the half hour.
Didier Drogba tucked away a second-half penalty to seal a win that was much harder work than their 6-0 thrashings of West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic.
Wigan recovered from that humiliation – which followed a 4-0 home defeat by promoted Blackpool – by beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 away with a late Hugo Rodallega goal on Saturday, three days after Spurs qualified for the European Champions League for the first time.
The result at White Hart Lane also banished to some extent the memory of the corresponding fixture last season, which Spurs won 9-1.
Wayne Rooney scored his first goal since March as Manchester United beat West Ham United 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Rooney, who had not found the net since the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich, converted a first-half penalty after Ryan Giggs was brought down by Jonathan Spector.
Nani doubled United’s lead five minutes into the second half with a superb finish from Rooney’s clever lay-off and Dimitar Berbatov completed an easy victory to leave West Ham without any points and bottom of the table.
United have seven points from three matches, level with Arsenal.
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 promoted Newcastle United who drew 1-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Arsenal secured an impressive 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers where Theo Walcott scored his fourth goal of the season in the day’s early kickoff.
Chelsea have been unstoppable so far this season but Stoke proved a much tougher proposition than they did at the back end of last season when they were hammered 7-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard wasted the chance to put the hosts in front when his poorly-struck penalty, awarded for a foul on Malouda by Ryan Shawcross, was saved by Sorensen.
Malouda spared Lampard’s blushes soon afterwards when he latched on to John Terry’s pass to score but Stoke never looked like capitulating.
The visitors almost levelled when Matthew Etherington’s shot was blocked on the line by Drogba and then Glenn Whelan’s powerful shot struck the crossbar.
After 77 minutes Nicolas Anelka was brought down by Sorensen, and with Lampard having been substituted, Drogba made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Walcott’s sparkling early-season form for Arsenal continued at Ewood Park and the England striker has already matched his goal tally for the whole of the last campaign which culminated with his exclusion from the World Cup squad.
He fired Arsenal ahead with a fine finish after 20 minutes and although Mame Diouf levelled for Rovers on his first Premier League start the Gunners sealed a deserved victory when Andrei Arshavin scored early in the second half.
The only blemish for manager Arsene Wenger was the sight of Dutch striker Robin van Persie limping off with a twisted ankle before half time.