Van der Sar shields off Chelsea (Manchester Utd 1 Chelsea 1) 3-0 on penalties
Tottenham get the chop
The new Premier League season started slowly in an early kick-off between Sunderland and Tottenham, but ex-Newcastle player Michael Chopra came on to score with virtually the last kick of the match giving Roy Keane a winning start as Sunderland manager. Sam Allardyce Retuned to Bolton and enjoyed a 3-1 triumph with Obafemi Martins scoring twice for Newcastle, while Sven Göran Eriksson's new signings Bianchi and Geovanni were on the score-sheet in their 2-0 win at West Ham. Everton beat Wigan 2-1 and Blackburn Rovers came from behind to enjoy the same result at Middlesbrough. Steven Gerrard scored with an inch-perfect free-kick with 3 minutes remaining, to give Liverpool a 2-1 win at Aston Villa, and Derby shared 4 goals with Portsmouth.
On Sunday a Jens Lehmann error gifted David Healy a goal on his debut for Fulham after only 50 seconds, but a late penalty scored emphatically by van Persie and a goal by Hleb on the stroke of full time gave Arsenal all 3 points. Birmingham showed they mean business by stretching Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and losing eventually by the odd goal in five. Mikael Forssell had put the visitors ahead against his old club, but a quick reply from Pizarro and another from Malouda was followed by an Olivier Kapo equalizer in the first half. Michael Essien aimed for the top left corner and settled the match in the 50th minute. Reading held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford despite having substitute Dave Kitson sent off less than a minute after coming on in the 73rd minute.
Tottenham's poor start to the season continued on Tuesday as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Everton. On Wednesday Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba scored early second-half goals for Chelsea to overturn the first-half advantage Reading and taken at home through debutant Andre Bikey. Paul Scholes drilled the ball home in the 15th minute at Portsmouth, but Benjani scored with a decisive header in a second half which saw Mutari sent off for a second yellow, and Ronaldo dismissed with a straight red for head butting late on in the game. David Healy was among the scorers for Fulham as they beat Bolton 2-1, while a last minute goal by Stern John at his former club Birmingham gave Sunderland a 2-2 draw. Manchester City finally scored at home when Michael Johnson curled the ball past the Derby keeper for the only goal of the match. Wigan enjoyed the same result at home to Middlesbrough with a goal from Sibierski on his home debut.
City on top
An early Tottenham tidal wave on Saturday destroyed Derby in the first 15 minutes with 2 goals from Steed Malbranque and another from Jermaine Jenas. Darren Bent added a 4th late on in the match. Portsmouth added to Bolton's misery with 3 goals from Kanu, Utaka and a Matthew Taylor penalty after Anelka had given the visitors the lead, while 2 Wigan penalties helped them to a 3-0 home win over Sunderland. A Stephen Hunt goal for Reading just before half time sent Everton home empty handed, while a Mark Noble penalty was enough to give West Ham victory at Birmingham. Brian Mc Bride injured himself giving Fulham the lead, but Mido equalized for Middlesbrough on his debut and Lee Cattermole scored a late winner for the visitors. Newcastle and Aston Villa shared the points in a goalless draw. On Sunday City won the bragging rights over United in the Manchester derby with a goal from Geovanni which took them to the top of the premiership table, while Blackburn drew 1-1 with Arsenal after Lehmann had let in a soft goal from David Dunn to wipe out a scrappy van Persie goal at Ewood Park. Fernando Torres scored his first goal for Liverpool with a slick finish, but the Reds were denied victory when Frank Lampard converted a controversial penalty in the second half.
Liverpool close the gap
After the midweek international matches, business resumed in the Premier League on Saturday with an early kick-off between Liverpool and Sunderland in which Sissoko scored his first and Liverpool's 7000th goal of their history with a Gerrarld-like daisy cutter in the 37th minute and Voronin put the tie to bed 3 minutes from time. In other matches Kasper Schmeichel saved a van Persie penalty , but was finally beaten when Fabregas riffled home in the 80th minute to give Arsenal a 1-0 win over Manchester City at the Emirates, while Frank Lampard put the ball past David James just after the half-hour mark at Stamford Bridge and Ashley Cole made an off the line clearance with a diving header to ensure Chelsea a similar result against Portsmouth and take them to the top of the table. Aston Villa came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 at Villa Park with a 90th minutes goal from Maloney in a controversial match that saw Chris Baid sent off. Nicolas Anelka was among the scorers as Bolton eased past Reading. Speed had opened the scoring with a thunderous header and Braaten made it 3-0 in the last minutes of the match. Lee Bowyer salvaged a home point for West Ham 3 minutes after Paul Scharner had scored for Wiagn with an overhead kick in the 78th minute. Cameron Jerome scored after only 30 seconds at Derby and added another in the second half to give Birmingham a 2-1 away win. Santa Cruz scored for Blackburn at Everton, but the home side equalised through Mc Fadden with 12 minutes remaining. On Sunday Middlesbrough twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Newcastle with former Boro player Mark Viduka among the scorers for his new club at his old ground. After denying Tottenham with 2 off the line clearances Manchester United finally registered their first win of the season with a fierce 30 yard shot from Nani which brushed off Tevez on its way past Robinson in the 68th minute. Chelsea end the month of September at the top, followed closely by Man City with Liverpool and Arsenal having played a game fewer than the top teams.