Chelsea and Spurs set pace in Premier League
Saturday 29 August 2009
Chelsea and Tottenham made it four wins from four at the top of the Barclays Premier League with victories over Burnley and Birmingham today.
Goals from Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole kept Chelsea's 100% record intact and left top-flight rookies Burnley tasting defeat for the second time this season.
Tottenham were also seeking to maintain a perfect start and had Aaron Lennon's winner deep in injury-time to thank for a 2-1 win at home to Birmingham.
After an open first half which Spurs dominated while Birmingham also had chances, the home side pushed hard for a breakthrough after the break.
Substitute Peter Crouch came closest for Spurs - heading against the post and seeing another header cleared off the line by Lee Carsley - and he finally made the breakthrough with a far-post header in the 72nd minute from Tom Huddlestone's free-kick.
Birmingham snatched an equaliser three minutes later when Lee Bowyer capitalised on a defensive mix-up caused by City substitute Christian Benitez to slam the ball home.
With the game heading for a draw, however, former Spurs defender Stephen Carr slipped in possession to allow his old side to break forward in numbers before Lennon gleefully scored four minutes into injury-time.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's late winner earned his side a 3-2 victory at Bolton as they twice came from behind at the Reebok Stadium.
Kevin Davies put Bolton ahead in the 33rd minute when he hooked Johan Elmander's header into the net but Glen Johnson's low, left-footed drive put Liverpool level at the break.
Bolton went ahead again two minutes after the re-start, Davies flicking the ball on for Tamir Cohen to hammer home beyond Jose Reina.
Sean Davis' dismissal for a second caution in the 54th minute was always likely to be a blow and minutes later Liverpool were level again. Gerrard's chip into the box was chested on delightfully by Dirk Kuyt into Fernando Torres' path and the striker steadied himself before stabbing home.
And with less than eight minutes remaining captain Gerrard rifled home Torres' knockdown from Yossi Benayoun's corner.
Stoke enjoyed a straightforward 1-0 win at home to listless Sunderland as Dave Kitson's 43rd-minute strike proved the difference.
Both sides battled valiantly without producing any clear-cut early chances, but when the visitors failed to clear Liam Lawrence's corner, Kitson fired the ball past Craig Gordon.
Hull and Wolves shared a 1-1 draw at Molineux after early goals in each half.
Hull went ahead through Geovanni's third-minute header, the Brazilian profiting from Stephen Hunt's perfect cross.
But Wolves scored even more quickly in the second half as defender Richard Stearman stole in to level after Jody Craddock flicked on a free-kick from deep.
Blackburn and West Ham cancelled each other out at Ewood Park in a battle of brawn and beauty.
West Ham's quality on the ball gave them the edge in the first half but Blackburn's grit saw them give as good as they got in an ultimately goalless stalemate.
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