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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 31, 2008

Premier League: Blues and Reds both held

LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Chelsea and Liverpool, the only teams to start the Premier League season with two wins, lost their 100 percent records on Sunday when they drew with Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa respectively. Chelsea had scored five goals and conceded none in their opening wins, while Spurs lost both theirs but they drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge after Darren Bent cancelled out Juliano Belletti's opener for the home side. Liverpool, who needed a late extra-time goal to get past Standard Liege in their Champions League qualifier in midweek, looked short of inspiration in a goalless draw at Villa Park. Chelsea gradually took charge and Michael Essien thumped a dipping 25-metre shot against the bar before they went ahead in the 27th minute when Bent fluffed his attempted clearance of a near-post corner and Belletti bundled it in. Bent made up for his error in first-half injury time when he produced a calm finish under Petr Cech after Frank Lampard's tackle inadvertently popped the ball into his path. Chelsea dominated possession in the second period but created little. 'Spurs are a good team with good quality and they played well. They had five players in the middle and they touched the ball well,' Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said. 'A draw is a normal result...We had more chances but we made mistakes on the final shot...In England if you have two or three chances and don't score then you don't win.' 'We are happy with the draw. Seven points is okay.' Liverpool lost striker Fernando Torres to a hamstring injury midway through the first half, in just about the only talking point of a flat 45 minutes at Villa Park. John Carew wasted Villa's best chance when he sidefooted straight at Pepe Reina after good work by Gareth Barry, the midfielder Liverpool spent most of the close season fruitlessly chasing, while Robbie Keane shot over with Liverpool's clearest opportunity. The day's other match was a good one for Shaun Wright-Phillips who helped Manchester City to a 3-0 win at Sunderland. The winger, who rejoined City on Thursday after three frustrating years at Chelsea, scored twice early in the second half after Stephen Ireland had put City ahead. In Saturday's action Arsenal bounced back from defeat at Fulham to beat Newcastle United 3-0, Portsmouth ended a run of six successive league defeats with a 3-0 win at Everton while Hull City's flying start ended emphatically when they were thrashed 5-0 at home by Wigan Athletic.

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