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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 23, 2008

Prem Wrap: Wigan prove test for Chelsea

In Sunday's games, a Deco free-kick in the fouth minute gave Chelsea maximum points from their opening two games as Felipe Scolari's men battled to a hard earned win at Steve Bruce's Wigan. Manchester City found West Ham easier opposition and struck three past their visitors. The Hammers had Mark Noble dismissed in the first half and things failed to improve for Alan Curbishley's team. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for City in the 65th minute before Elano converted two chances. Micah Richards was taken to hospital suffering from a head injury.Fulham held on for a famous victory over Arsenal which was secured by big defender Brede Hangeland's first goal for the club. Arsenal's Robin van Persie missed a golden chance before Norwegian Hangeland turned in a corner from Jimmy Bullard in the 21st minute. Emmanuel Adebayor hit the right post with a header for Arsenal soon afterwards, but that was as close as the Gunners came to an equaliser in Fulham's 1-0 win. Tottenham's woeful start to the Premier League season continued as they lost 2-1 at home to Sunderland - with wantaway striker Dimitar Berbatov left out completely by boss Juande Ramos. Spurs, who lost at Middlesbrough last week, dominated first-half possession and chances at White Hart Lane but lost due to debutant Djibril Cisse's 83rd-minute header. But Sunderland started the second half like a different team after a spell of pressure Kieran Richardson scored a brilliant long-range effort, bending home a powerful right-footed shot from 20 yards in the 55th minute. Jermaine Jenas equalised with a scrappy strike on the rebound but Sunderland showed their spirit as debutant Cisse, on as a substitute, rose to head Daryl Murphy's cross home to secure the win. Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane's fledgling partnership was frustrated as Liverpool needed an injury-time winner from Steven Gerrard to beat Middlesbrough 2-1. The opener went to Boro as Mido collected the ball deep and took Liverpool by surprise with a delightful left-footed long-range strike. But the home side levelled at Anfield as Jamie Carragher's drive from the corner of the area deflected off Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz four minutes from time, with Gerrard drilling home the winner. Michael Owen scored on his return from injury to hand Newcastle a deserved 1-0 win at home to Bolton. Kevin Nolan should have given his side the lead when Steven Taylor's handball led to a penalty. But the Bolton skipper's effort was saved by Shay Given, who dived low to his left. At the other end, injury-plagued England striker Owen capitalised in the 71st minute, rising to head Geremi's brilliant diagonal ball home. Stoke enjoyed a winning start to life at home in the top flight as Mamady Sidibe scored a last-gasp winner to beat Aston Villa 3-2. Liam Lawrence's first-half penalty had been cancelled out by John Carew. Ricardo Fuller's world class solo effort had looked like giving Tony Pulis' side the win, only for Martin Laursen to spoil the party with an equaliser from a goalmouth scramble. However, Sidibe rose to somehow head beyond Friedel deep into injury-time and secure the win. Hull striker Richard Garcia provided a brilliant headed equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw at Blackburn. Rovers dominated much of the first-half and Jason Roberts coolly fired them ahead seven minutes before the break. However, Australian Garcia levelled soon after when he found space at the far post to arc a header beyond Paul Robinson. Leon Osman and Ayegbeni Yakubu's second half strikes helped Everton to a hard-fought 2-1 win at West Brom. Osman scored in the second after good work by Mikel Arteta - just moments after youngster Jack Rodwell had a goal disallowed for a push. Ayegbeni Yakubu made it 2-0 with a header 11 minutes later and while Roman Bednar pulled one back from the penalty spot with a minute remaining, it proved immaterial.

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