Mon, Sep 26, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Crouch’s goal thwarts United’s perfect start

AFP, LONDON

Manchester United dropped their first Premier League points of the season on Saturday after Peter Crouch’s first goal for Stoke City secured a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

United had looked on course to maintain their 100 percent start to the season — and a two-point lead at the top of the table — after Portuguese winger Nani fired them ahead in the 27th minute.

However, former Tottenham striker Crouch soared high to head home a corner on 52 minutes as battling Stoke deservedly secured their first ever Premier League point against Manchester United.

The result left United top of the table on goal difference from arch-rivals Manchester City, with both clubs on 16 points after six games.

In other results on Saturday, Fernando Torres was sent off for the first time in his Premier League career as Chelsea bounced back from defeat at Manchester United with a 4-1 win over Swansea City.

Torres had a hand in Chelsea’s second goal scored by Ramires on 36 minutes, but then saw a promising display take a disastrous turn when he was given a straight red for a two-footed lunge on Swansea midfielder Mark Gower.

The win leaves Chelsea three points behind leaders Manchester United and second-placed City.

Elsewhere, Arsenal captain Robin van Persie brought up a century of goals for the London club after scoring twice in the Gunners 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Emirates. Dutch striker van Persie scored in the 46th and 71st minutes, before Alex Song added a third late on.

Liverpool bounced back from their 4-0 thrashing by Tottenham Hotspurs with a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.

Liverpool took the lead courtesy of a Roger Johnson own goal on 11 minutes and added a second through Luis Suarez shortly before halftime.

Newcastle United maintained their fine start to the season with a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at St James Park with Senegalese striker Demba Ba scoring a hat-trick.

Tottenham followed up their win over Liverpool with a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium courtesy of first-half goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Welsh winger Gareth Bale.

In other action, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion played out a 0-0 stalemate at the Hawthorns.

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