Champions retain perfect start while Wigan get shock away win after two thrashings.
|Bent fires his penalty past Hart to give Sunderland all three points [GALLO/GETTY]|
Manchester City fell to a stoppage-time Darren Bent penalty as their title credentials took a knock with defeat at Sunderland.
Fernando Torres scored his first goal in 10 games as Liverpool kick-started their English Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Sunday.
In earlier action Bolton fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home with Birmingham City, recovering after their Finnish international goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was sent off for a senseless face-slap on Birmingham’s Roger Johnson.
Aston Villa recovered from their 6-0 mauling at Newcastle United last week and their Europa League playoff defeat to Rapid Vienna when an early goal from Luke Young gave them a 1-0 victory over winless Everton at Villa Park.
Torres ‘not fit’
Striker Torres had two knee operations at the end of last season, struggled at the World Cup for Spain and, according to manager Roy Hodgson, is still not quite at full fitness.
Nevertheless, he volleyed in Dirk Kuyt’s cross after 65 minutes for his 41st goal in 43 Premier League matches at Anfield.
“Fernando is fighting to be at his very best and is still two to three games away from full match fitness but the goal will do him a power of good today,” Hodgson told the BBC.
West Brom had defender James Morrison sent off four minutes from time for a late foul on Torres.
Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez was guilty of a glaring miss after 14 minutes when he shot over the bar from 12 metres out with an open goal in front of him.
The deadlock with Sunderland was finally broken in stoppage time when Micah Richards fouled Bent to concede the penalty and Bent struck his spot-kick underneath England’s current number one goalkeeper Joe Hart to score.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce told BBC Sport: “I don’t think Carlos Tevez will ever miss a chance like that again. It just shows you what football is.”
Birmingham led Bolton 2-0 after goals from Johnson and Craig Gardner, but Bolton stormed back for a point with a penalty from Kevin Davies and a free kick from former Birmingham player Robbie Blake 10 minutes later.
Bolton recovered after Jaaskelainen was shown an immediate red card after 36 minutes for slapping Johnson in the face as the Birmingham defender apologised to him for a late, but not malicious challenge.
Villa’s victory moved them into fourth place in the table with six points from three matches, behind Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United who all won on Saturday.
Liverpool climbed into mid-table on four points while Everton, who have made their worst start for 11 seasons, are 18th with one point and only Stoke City and West Ham United, who have both lost their opening three games, below them.