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Nov 25, 2012

Booed Benitez begins with a draw

Rafael Benitez's first match in charge of Chelsea ended in a 0-0 draw against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

• Team of the Week
• Brewin: Chelsea cauldron greets Rafa
• Delaney: Defoe overshadowed by chants

Benitez was booed by the home fans as he entered the pitch ahead of the game and there were signs expressing their dislike of the Spaniard on show throughout. Indeed, in the 16th minute [his shirt number at Chelsea] there was a minute's applause for departed boss Roberto Di Matteo.

Both David Silva and Sergio Aguero had chances to open the scoring once the match began, but their respective headers were poor. Chelsea had efforts, notably a snapshot from newly reinstated Fernando Torres, but never truly tested Joe Hart and both sides will be disappointed with a point.

The draw moved unbeaten champions City to within a point of new leaders Manchester United, leaving Chelsea fourth.

Tottenham eased to a 3-1 win over West Ham at White Hart Lane thanks to two goals from Hammers old boy Jermain Defoe.

Defoe broke the deadlock in the 44th minute with a fine run and shot before Gareth Bale doubled the lead after the break. Defoe then bagged his brace to seal a game that his side had dominated and keep Spurs level with Arsenal on 20 points before Andy Carroll's last consolation.

But the game was overshadowed as Hammers fans taunted Tottenham about the stabbing of one of their fans in Rome during the fiery London derby.

The fans chanted "Viva Lazio'' and sang the name of former Lazio and Hammers man Paolo Di Canio on several occasions - something that was hard to stomach for the home supporters who witnessed the horrifying attack on Spurs fans in Rome that ended with one man in hospital for stab wounds to his leg and head.

Brendan Rodgers secured a point on his return to Swansea's Liberty Stadium but will feel his Liverpool side deserved more at the home of his former employers than a 0-0 draw.

The Reds had Jose Enrique's first-half strike ruled out for a marginal offside decision, while teenage prodigy Raheem Sterling rattled the bar and Jonjo Shelvey's late strike was beaten out by Gerhard Tremmel.

Man of the match Pablo Hernandez had Swansea's best chances. The Spain winger curled narrowly wide in the first half before having his low-free-kick brilliantly tipped wide by Jose Reina. Ashley Williams, who shook hands with Luis Suarez prior to kick-off after his criticism of the Liverpool striker, also saw former Swan Joe Allen clear his header off the line.

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins denied predecessor, now Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew a winning return to St Mary's as the south coast club impressively despatched Newcastle 2-0.

Pardew was Saints boss for just over a year and led the club to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy title, but says he was "treated harshly'' and exited the club after just 13 months. The 51-year-old made his return to Southampton for the first time although back-to-back promotions means the hosts are a much different proposition to the League One club he left behind 27 months ago.

Adkins oversaw that spell of success and, after his position came under early-season scrutiny, oversaw a second successive win.

Saints edged the first half and took a deserved lead through captain Adam Lallana, who linked with Jason Puncheon to set up Gaston Ramirez for their second goal after the break.

Newcastle were unable to find a response, meaning they have won just one of their eight matches since Pardew was awarded an eight-year deal, as Saints earned a first clean sheet of the season and three points to propel them out of the relegation zone.

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