Arsenal and Liverpool emerged victorious from two of the Premier League’s fiercest rivalries with wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively on Sunday.
Arsenal prevailed over big-spending Spurs 1-0 thanks to Olivier Giroud’s third goal in as many games,while Daniel Sturridge matched him in the scoring stakes as The Reds also won 1-0 on the day the club celebrated the 100th birthday of legendary former manager Bill Shankly. Liverpool sit top of the Premier League with nine points from three matches,two ahead of Chelsea. Manchester City,Arsenal,Stoke City and Spurs are on six points,with United two further back.
In the day’s early match at Anfield,Agger got the better of Rio Ferdinand from a corner and Sturridge,celebrating his 24th birthday,reacted sharply to nod the ball home from close range. Champions United,without striker Wayne Rooney after a training-ground injury,rarely threatened to equalise despite dominating possession in the second half. David Moyes’s first competitive defeat as United manager continued his poor record at Anfield where he failed to win in 12 attempts while in charge at Everton.
In the other early kickoff,Swansea City picked up their first points of the season with victory over West Bromwich Albion,who lie bottom of the table with a single point and no goals scored. Ben Davies opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a classy side-foot volley after being set up by Pablo Hernandez who sealed all three points in the 83rd minute,capitalising on good work from compatriot Michu. The result will come as a relief to Michael Laudrup’s side after defeats by United and Spurs,while even the return of striker Nicolas Anelka from compassionate leave could not paper over the problems facing West Brom.
Arsenal looked the more cohesive side and were rewarded after 23 minutes when Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott combined to set up Giroud at the near post. Both teams pressed in search of further goals,and while there were opportunities neither were able to find the crucial touch,with Spurs in debt to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris,who made several fine saves.
Madrid ride on isco brace
Madrid: In-form playmaker Isco struck twice and Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first goal of the campaign to give Luka Modric-inspired Real Madrid a 3-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday. The comfortable victory gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side a joint share of the lead in the standings with a perfect nine points from three games.
After a subdued start at the giant,sun-drenched arena,Karim Benzema dinked a pass through to Isco in the 26th minute and the playmaker,who joined from Malaga in the close season,drilled a shot past Bilbao goalkeeper Iago Herrerin. Ronaldo powered home a header moments before halftime for his 202nd goal in 202 official games for Real ,putting him on a par with the club’s former strikers Raul and Hugo Sanchez.
Bilbao threatened a comeback on a couple of occasions before Isco picked up another assist from Benzema and he found the net with a sublime 72nd-minute strike. Ibai Gomez made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the visitors,who have now conceded 22 goals in their last five league visits to the Bernabeu.