A fluke goal by Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over title rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba inadvertently scored as he attempted to control a pass by Paulo Ferreira but the ball rebounded off his knee and into the back of the net.
The victory gave Chelsea their first win over Arsenal since 1995 ending Arsenal’s unbeaten run in London derbies which had reached 34.
Arsene Wenger’s 500th game in charge of the Gunners turned out to be an uninspiring contest. A Freddie Ljungberg injury, following a collision with an advertising hoarding, compounded Wenger’s misery.
“This game was all about who made the first mistake and we lost as it was us.” he said.
Tottenham are top of the Premiership following a 2-0 over Middlesbrough courtesy of two second half goals at White Harte Lane.
England international Jermain Defoe scored after he unleashed a long-range strike following a run from the centre circle. Mido then doubled the lead when his tame shot was allowed in following a Mark Schwarzer blunder. Edgar Davids made his debut but it was Paul Robinson who impressed, making two good saves.
“It is hard to take a defeat like that. We missed some glorious chances and on another day we would have come away with a victory,” said Boro manager Steve McClaren.
Darren Bent scored his third goal in two games to give Charlton a 1-0 victory over newly promoted Wigan at the Valley. The Addicks are second in the league following Bent’s header at the far post after good work by Danny Murphy.
Man Utd beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford to record a second win despite the efforts of Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. The outstanding Sorensen saved shots from Park Ji-Sung, Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ruud Van Nistelrooy eventually grabbed the winner tapping in from close-range. Aston Villa have yet to win at Old Trafford in the Premiership. Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson was happy with Van Nistelrooy’s second goal in as many games.
“His fitness has been fantastic in pre-season and we are getting the benefit of that,” he said.
Newcastle United failed to beat West Ham at St James Park despite playing against 10 men for most of the game. Paul Konchesky was dismissed after 35 minutes following a debatable foul on Jermaine Jenas as the England international raced through on goal.
Newcastle struggled to create chances as the Hammers defended in numbers. West Ham manager Alan Pardew will appeal against the red card.
“The referee has seen the replay. I showed him three or four times,” he said.
A superb Andy Cole strike gave Man City an impressive away win at Birmingham. Nicky Butt scored his first for the Blues with a powerful finish but Joey Barton equalised before Cole drilled in the winner. Stuart Pearce remains unbeaten in 10 games as Man City manager since losing his first game in charge against Tottenham.
Geoff Horsfield grabbed two goals as West Brom beat Portsmouth at the Hawthorns. Horsfield grabbed his first with a header before Pompey goalkeeper Sander Westervelt gifted Horsfield his second letting the shot squirm under him. Laurent Robert scored a trademark free-kick to give the visitors hope.
Xabi Alonso scored a superb winner as Liverpool won 1-0 at Anfield against Sunderland. Liverpool wasted a host of good chances as they dominated the game. Alonso finally opened the scoring with a free-kick from 25-yards out. The Black Cats had Andy Welsh sent off harshly for a foul on Luis Garcia. Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy was upset by the dismissal of Welsh.
“It’s not a sending off. I spoke to referee Barry Knight and he says he will have a look at it,” said McCarthy.
Blackburn scored two stunning goals in an impressive victory over Fulham at Ewood Park. Morten Gamst Pedersen hammered in a volley off the underside of the bar to give Blackbun a deserved lead in the first half. Fulham came back as Brian McBride levelled when he steered Niclas Jensen’s cross into the back of the net. Tugay gave Blackburn the three points when he volleyed in Pedersen’s corner. Rovers manager Mark Hughes was delighted with the goals.
“The quality of Morten Gamst Pedersen and Tugay’s goals was exceptional and they will take some beating.