Tevez strikes for City, hands Chelsea 1st lossLONDON - Champions Chelsea suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season as a Carlos Tevez goal handed Manchester City a 1-0 victory at Eastlands on Saturday.
Chelsea had been in scintillating form going into the match, winning five consecutive games to start the season, scoring 21 goals and conceding only one to leave the London club at the top of the table. But in the first major test of their season, the champions were unable to find their way through a well-organized Manchester City team, which remains fourth in the table.
After the match, City manager Roberto Mancini repeated his pre-game claim that Chelsea is a favorite to compete for the title
“Chelsea are still the best team in the Premier League, and they will probably still win the title,” Mancini said. “It’s not possible for them to score four or five goals every game, and sometimes they will have days like today.”
In later games, second-placed Arsenal missed the opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea to one point after they suffered a shocking 3-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies made it look easy at first, seeing a first-half Chris Brunt penalty saved by Manuel Almunia before opening up a 3-0 lead with goals from Peter Odemwingie, Gonzalo Jara and former Arsenal winger Jerome Thomas.
Arsenal fought back with two goals from Samir Nasri, but it was too little too late for manager Arsene Wenger’s men.
“We deserved to lose the game because we were just not up for it,” Wenger said. “Not one of our players played at his usual level. We had a lack of concentration today and we paid for it. We made mistake after mistake defensively.”
At Anfield, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard rescued his team from what would have been another embarrassing home defeat as Roy Hodgson’s men scrambled to a 2-2 draw against Sunderland. Gerrard crashed in a 64th-minute header to give the team a share of the points after two goals from Darren Bent gave the Black Cats a 2-1 lead. But the major talking point was a controversial Dirk Kuyt play that had given Liverpool the lead.
After referee Stuart Attwell awarded Sunderland a free-kick, Black Cats defender Michael Turner tapped the ball back towards his own goal as if to suggest to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet that he should take it. However Fernando Torres pounced - and with Attwell ruling the ball live - raced past Turner and passed to Kuyt to slide past the completely bewildered Mignolet, sparking angry protests from Sunderland’s players.
“Liverpool got away with something today and for me it’s unjust, it’s unsportsmanlike, it’s not in the rules of the game,” Sunderland boss Steve Bruce fumed afterwards.
Regardless, it was another unconvincing performance by Liverpool, which suffered a humiliating League Cup defeat to lowly Northampton last week. West Ham, meanwhile, got its first win of the season in a 1-0 victory over the Spurs.
The victory lifted West Ham off the bottom of the table at the expense of Everton, which could only manage a 0-0 draw in their visit to Fulham.
Everton, knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Brentford, is still searching for its first win of the season with three points from six games.
Blackpool substitute Matt Phillips looked to have secured a share of the points for the Tangerines after scoring an 85th-minute equalizer for the newly promoted minnows in their match at home to Blackburn Rovers, which had taken the lead when Charlie Adam headed into his own net 20 minutes into the match. But a Brett Emerton goal in the third minute of stoppage time secured a 2-1 victory for the Rovers.
In the day’s other game, Birmingham was held to a 0-0 draw by Wigan at St. Andrews. AFP
Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez celebrates his goal during an English Premier Le
ague football match against Chelsea at The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, on Sept. 25. [AP/YONHAP]