Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

Not so special for Chelsea

Written by Reuters | Manchester | Posted: September 15, 2013 3:37 am

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea homecoming party turned sour as Everton inflicted a first Premier League defeat on the Portuguese since he returned in the close-season,winning 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Steven Naismith celebrated his 27th birthday by heading the winner in first-half injury time before the hosts clung on with a gritty rearguard display to secure their first victory of the campaign after three straight draws.

On a day of debuts,Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal fans a glimpse of his creative talents in a comfortable 3-1 win at Sunderland and Chelsea handed a first start to Samuel Eto’o but he fluffed a host of good chances.

It was a similar story for Manchester City whose costly attacking recruits misfired in a goalless stalemate at Stoke City. Champions Manchester United laboured to a 2-0 win over 10-man Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur’s Gylfi Sigurdsson netted twice as they beat Norwich City by the same scoreline.

Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa grabbed one goal and created another in a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa. Hull City against Cardiff City and Fulham against West Bromwich Albion both ended 1-1.

Arsenal top the table with nine points,ahead of Tottenham and Liverpool on goal difference.

Manchester City,United and Chelsea are fourth,fifth and sixth respectively on seven points.

Having failed to find the net in the their last two games,relief echoed around Old Trafford when Robin Van Persie converted a controversial penalty on the stroke of halftime for his third goal of the season.

Referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and sent off Palace defender Kagisho Dikgacoi for bringing down Ashley Young at Old Trafford,but replays showed the initial contact had been well outside the area.

United,who had seen two earlier penalty appeals waved away,struggled to build any momentum despite dominating possession and took until the 81st minute to double their advantage.

Rooney,wearing a thickly wadded headband after sitting out their last Premier League game and two internationals with a cut head,curled in a free kick from 25 metres to make the game safe.

New signing Marouane Fellaini started on the bench but joined the fray in the second half and his combative presence helped to contain Palace’s limited ambitions on the break.

Yet there was little urgency from United to kill off the match and while Palace were there for the taking the champions seemed content to push and prod,but rarely committed numbers to the attack.

The result helped United paper over a poor start to the season and moved them up to seven points from their opening four matches. Promoted Palace have three.

Having recently been fined and given a touchline ban for criticising the referee in their opening match against Tottenham Hotspur,Palace manager Ian Holloway was reluctant to comment.

How the signings fared

Mesut Ozil (Arsenal): The Gunners’ record buy weighed in with an assist for the side’s opener against Sunderland. Substituted in the 80th minute,Ozil was an accomplished presence until then,completing 79 off 88 attempted passes in the win.

Marouane Fellaini (Man United): The midfielder came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute with continued…

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