Chelsea Begin Where They Left Off
Monday, 16th August 2010 at 10:25am
Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea started the defence of their crown in the same vein of form as they finished the last campaign, effortlessly sweeping newly promoted West Bromich Albion aside 6-0 on their way to the top of the league.
Goals from Florent Malouda (2), Didier Drogba (3) and Frank Lampard hit the Baggies for six and the result now means that the Blues have scored 28 times at Stamford Bridge since conceding a goal and Drogba has become the first player to score back-to-back hat tricks since Thierry Henry did it in 2004.
Chelsea moved to the top of the table after their impressive win but performance of the weekend came at the DW Stadium where Championship play-off winners Blackpool hammered Wigan 4-0 to temporarily sit top of the league.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher opened the scoring before goals from debutant Marlon Harewood (2) and Didier Baptiste left the home crowd and fans around the country stunned.
In other matches, Manchester City had newly installed England number one Joe Hart to thank for earning them a point in the season opener against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Spurs produced a scintillating first half display but could find no way past an inspired Hart who was given the nod ahead of Shay Given by boss Roberto Mancini.
City improved after the break but Spurs should have taken all three points when Gareth Bale dragged a shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
At the Stadium of Light, Sunderland established a two goal lead with goals from Darren Bent and an own goal by Stephen Carr despite having Lee Cattermole dismissed before half time but let the lead slip, conceding twice in the final 13 minutes to earn Alex McLeish's side a point.
Aston Villa made light work of Martin O'Neill's shock departure, brushing aside a poor West Ham side at Villa Park.
Stuart Downing and Stylian Petrov gave Villa a 2-0 half time lead before James Milner sealed the win with a fine third in what was likely to be his final game for the club.
Bolton and Fulham shared the points after a goal-less draw at the Reebok Stadium, while Blackburn got off to a winning start as Nikola Kalinic took advantage of Tim Howard's blunder to give Sam Allardyce's men the three points.
In Saturday's remaining match, David Jones' stunning free kick set Wolverhampton Wanderers along the road to victory after 37 minutes and Steven Fletcher made it 2-0 just two minutes later as Wolves beat Stoke City at Molineux. Faye reduced the deficit after 55 minutes but the home side held on for the win.
In Sunday's big match, Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina made a terrible error that gifted Arsenal an equaliser in the 90th minute at Anfield, bundling the ball over the goal-line after it had struck the post.
Roy Hodgson's Liverpool had taken an early second half lead through David Ngog despite being a man short after Joe Cole was sent off for a lunge on Laurent Koscielny.
Koscielny himself was later shown the red card for a second bookable offence as the home side chased the win.