Nil-nil draw puts Chelsea in the driving seat while Spurs come from behind to beat Villa and Everton finally win.
|Ben Arfa joined Newcastle on loan after demanding to leave French champions Marseille [GALLO/GETTY]|
Liverpool’s terrible start to the season continued as they lost 2-1 at home to promoted Blackpool while Didier Drogba tormented Arsenal again as Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the English Premier League.
Blackpool had an afternoon to remember at Anfield to leave Roy Hodgson’s side in the bottom three with just six points.
In the early kickoff on Sunday, France striker Hatem ben Arfa suffered a suspected broken leg in an incident that broadcasters refused to show on replay during Newcastle United’s 2-1 away defeat to Manchester City.
Seasiders Blackpool stunned Liverpool with a 29th-minute penalty from Charlie Adam after a clumsy tackle from defender Glen Johnson and a second goal at the end of the first half from Luke Varney.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos pulled one back for Liverpool after 53 minutes but the home side, who lost misfiring striker Fernando Torres with an injury after nine minutes, could do nothing to save the match.
Drogba took his tally to 13 goals in 13 appearances against Arsenal with a shot that went in off the post five minutes before the break after Arsenal had dominated much of the opening half.
Saturday October 2
Alex sealed the win with a blistering free kick late in the game.
Chelsea, who have beaten Arsenal in their last four league matches, top the table with 18 points from seven games, followed by City on 14, Manchester United on 13 and Arsenal on 11.
At the City of Manchester Stadium Ben Arfa, who signed for Newcastle on loan from Marseille in the summer, was carried off on a stretcher after a powerful challenge from City’s Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong.
Ben Arfa’s left leg buckled as De Jong’s momentum carried him forward.
The nature of the injury was so upsetting that ESPN television, broadcasting the match live, decided not to show replays of the incident.
Adam Johnson, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, scored a superb goal 15 minutes from time after collecting the ball on the right, jinking his way past two defenders and curling a low shot into the far corner of the Newcastle net.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said of Ben Arfa: “At the moment, it seems as if it’s a broken leg. Whether it’s the tibia or the fibula, we will have to confirm that.”
City went ahead with a penalty after Newcastle defender Mike Williamson was adjudged to have brought down Carlos Tevez.
Tevez picked himself up and smashed the ball low past Tim Krul for the opener after 18 minutes.
Newcastle were level six minutes later when Vincent Kompany made a poor clearance from a shot from Jonas Gutierrez whose powerful volley on the rebound gave Joe Hart no chance.
Newcastle’s injury misfortune continued when they lost Fabrico Coloccini after 38 minutes.
He was replaced by Sol Campbell who made his league debut for the club and became only the second player, after Ryan Giggs, to have played in all 19 seasons of the Premier League’s existence.