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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea ties Liverpool with dubious penalty

LONDON -- Manchester City beat defending champion Manchester United 1-0 Sunday, giving Sven-Goran Eriksson his third straight shutout in three games as a manager in the English Premier League.

Geovanni, one of Eriksson's eight preseason signings, scored the winning goal in the 31st minute.

The United midfielders, including Owen Hargreaves in his competitive debut, gave Geovanni too much room and the Brazilian sent a 25-yard shot which took a deflection off United defender Nemanja Vidic and swerved around goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.

Eriksson, a former England coach, has been perfect in his return to club soccer. United, however, has only two ties from its first three games, the team's worst start in 15 years.

"It's fantastic. But we were lucky," Eriksson said. ``If the game were based on possession of the ball or shots on target we would have lost. But it's goals that count.''

Despite playing without the injured Wayne Rooney and suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, United controlled the first 30 minutes and nearly scored two goals before Geovanni gave City the lead.

When Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes opened up the City defense in the fourth minute, Nani got clear but his shot was blocked at the foot of the near post by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, the son of United great Peter Schmeichel.

The City goalkeeper also saved another from Nani, and Patrice Evra was tackled as he was about to shoot with only Schmeichel to beat.

"We had an awful lot of chances. We played some fantastic football at times but it wasn't our day," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We were just wasteful. I don't think you can even say we were unlucky because we had so many opportunities to win it ourselves. It was our own fault."

In the second half, United almost tied the score in the 47th when Vidic headed a corner from Ryan Giggs off the crossbar.

Tevez had another chance in the final minute but he headed a corner wide of the far post.

City leads the league with nine points, two more than Chelsea, which was held to a 1-1 tie at Liverpool.

Fernando Torres slid a shot in at the far post to give Liverpool the lead, but Frank Lampard tied the score in the 62nd after Florent Malouda was given a penalty for jumping into Steve Finnan.

Blackburn and Arsenal also tied 1-1. Robin van Persie gave Arsenal an 18th-minute lead after former U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel had failed to hold a shot from Eduardo da Silva.

Blackburn equalized in the 72nd when goalkeeper Jens Lehmann couldn't reach David Dunn's looping shot.

Netherlands
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Ajax opened the Dutch season by routing De Graafschap 8-1, getting four goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and two from Hedwiges Maduro.

Luis Suarez and Kennedy Bakircioglu also scored for Ajax, while Donny de Groot scored a consolation goal for De Graafschap.

Ibrahim Afellay and Mike Zonneveld scored second-half goals to give defending champion PSV Eindhoven a 2-0 win over Heracles Almelo.

Feyenoord also started the season with a win, getting goals from Luigi Bruins, Nicky Hofs and Roy Makaay in a 3-0 win over FC Utrecht 3-0.

Scotland
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Celtic stayed two points behind Rangers in the Scottish Premier League by beating Aberdeen 3-1.

Kenny Miller scored two late goals and Massimo Donati added the other after Craig Brewster had given the hosts the lead in the 25th minute.

Donati scored with a bending shot in the 62nd minute, and Miller gave Celtic the lead in the 85th. Miller scored another in the 89th with a 30-yard shot.