Tue, Aug 25, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Spurs, Chelsea maintain perfect start

ROCK-BOTTOM EVERTON Spurs top the table, while Burnley followed up their win over the champions by chewing up the Toffees and then spitting them out


Chelsea’s Didier Drogba celebrates after his teammate Nicolas Anelka scored the second goal against Fulham during their Premier League match at Craven Cottage in London on Sunday.


Spurs maintained their perfect start to the season when they came from behind to win 2-1 at West Ham United and stay top of the English Premier League on Sunday.

Spurs were joined on nine points by Chelsea who also won their third successive league match, a 2-0 victory at near-neighbors Fulham, while promoted Burnley followed up their shock 1-0 win over champions Manchester United on Wednesday with another 1-0 victory over Everton, who finished fifth last season.

David Moyes’ team, who he admits have been unsettled by the Joleon Lescott transfer saga, prop up the table after losing both their opening matches.

Tottenham Hotspur have made their best start to a season since 1960-1961 when they won their first 11 league matches and went on to win the FA Cup and League double.

Their success at Upton Park came courtesy of two mistakes by West Ham United, who gifted goals to former Hammer Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon after Carlton Cole had given West Ham the lead in an exciting, open London derby.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp refused to compare the current side to the 1961 team, but told reporters: “I was delighted with the performance, we showed a lot of character after going behind.”

“We’ve got the smallest forward line in the world with Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Luka Modric, but we’ll go for it,” he said.

The Hammers went ahead just after the break when Cole, in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello, scored a blistering goal with a shot on the turn which Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini had no chance of saving.

Cole turned from hero to villain within five minutes, however, when he inexplicably passed back from midfield straight to Tottenham striker and England colleague Defoe, who lashed the ball past goalkeeper Robert Green from the edge of the box for the equalizer and his fourth league goal of the season.

Spurs went ahead with around 10 minutes to go when Lennon took advantage of a slip by West Ham defender Jonathan Spector to curl home the winner from the edge of the box. That goal gave them the points and a goal difference of plus-six compared with Chelsea’s plus-five.

Chelsea, tipped to launch a strong challenge for the title under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, made the short trip back to Stamford Bridge with all three points after goals from Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka secured victory at Fulham.

Drogba put Chelsea ahead after 39 minutes when he was played through by Anelka and slotted the ball past Mark Schwarzer, with Anelka making sure of the points by scoring after a quick Chelsea breakaway 14 minutes from time.

Burnley overcame Everton courtesy of a 34th-minute Wade Elliott goal.

Burnley, who saw United’s Michael Carrick miss a penalty in their shock midweek win over the champions, enjoyed similar fortune when Everton’s French striker Louis Saha fired wide with his second-half spot-kick.

That left Burnley, back in the top division for the first time for 33 years, in seventh place with six points from their opening three games.

Burnley boss Owen Coyle said: “We knew we were going to have to be at our best today and in the opening period some of our football was terrific. Everton had a lot of the ball in the second half and we had to be brave in our defending.”

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