London: Manchester United`s unbeaten start to
the Premier League season finally ended with a surprise 2-1
defeat at last-place Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Nani put the league leaders ahead in the third minute but
George Elokobi and Kevin Doyle scored before halftime for a
defensively superb Wolves side yesterday.
But Arsenal was unable to take full advantage of United`s
slip up, throwing away a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 at
Newcastle in the highest scoring day in Premier League
The second-place Gunners were 4-0 up at halftime but had
Abou Diaby sent off in the 50th minute for pushing over Joey
Barton`s in reaction to the Newcastle midfielder`s tough
challenge. Barton scored a penalty to spark the comeback
before a goal by Leon Best, another penalty by Barton and
Cheik Tiote`s 87th-minute equaliser.
United is four points ahead of Arsenal after a day that
featured a record 41 goals from eight matches.
Carlos Tevez scored all Manchester City`s goals in a 3-0
win over West Bromwich Albion, and Louis Saha hit four as
Everton beat Blackpool 5-3.
Niko Kranjcar`s injury-time winner gave Tottenham a 2-1
win over Bolton, Clint Dempsey hit his 10th goal of the season
to earn Fulham`s 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, Stoke beat
Sunderland 3-2, and Wigan beat Blackburn 4-3 to climb out of
the relegation zone.
United was unbeaten in 29 Premier League matches since
April, equaling a club record partly set in its treble-winning
1998-99 season. That run looked like being beaten when Nani
cut inside onto his left foot to score with a fierce shot past
goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
But Wolves withstood the little pressure that United
created and equalised just eight minutes later, the unmarked
George Elokobi adding to the goal he scored against United in
the League Cup with a firm header past Edwin van der Sar.
The move that led to Doyle`s 40th-minute winner started
when Rooney lost the ball with his back to goal on the edge of
Wolves` area. Wolves carried the ball up the middle of the
pitch and won a free kick just outside United`s box.
Nenad Milijas hit the free kick to the near post, where
Doyle deflected it in.
United`s passing was awry and its players increasingly
frustrated in the second half as Wolves held on for a first
win over the Red Devils since January 2004 - when the teams
were also first and last in the standings.
United could have paid heavily for the loss but Arsenal
became the first team in the Premier League`s 19-year history
to surrender a 4-0 lead.
The Gunners beat Newcastle 4-0 in the League Cup in
October and led by the same margin after just 26 minutes
Theo Walcott gave them a first-minute lead and Johan
Djourou headed in Andrey.
"We dropped two points, that`s all," Wenger said.
Third-place City moved to within a point of Arsenal,
albeit having played one game more, following Tevez`s
first-half hat trick.
Tevez hit the post after only three minutes before
scoring a 17th-minute penalty for Steven Reid`s trip on
The Argentina striker scored again minutes later
following an exchange of passes with David Silva and, after
Kolarov had struck the bar from long range, Tevez took his
season tally to 20 goals with another penalty - awarded when
Jerome Thomas handled the ball.
"We were a bit disappointed at full time we have not gone
on and got more goals and played in a way we did in the first
half," City assistant manager David Platt said.
Tottenham moved level on points with fourth-place
Chelsea, which hosts Liverpool in one of two matches today.
Rafael van der Vaart put Spurs ahead with a sixth-minute
penalty and converted another a minute later, only for it to
be ruled out because of encroachment by other players. Jussi
Jaaskelainen saved the retaken kick.
"How many times do you see a penalty retaken? You would
retake every penalty if you looked at that too carefully,"
On-loan Chelsea striker Dean Sturridge equalised in the
55th but Tottenham substitute Niko Kranjcar scored in injury
time with a 25-meter (yard) shot.
Dempsey`s 78th-minute header from a corner was Fulham`s
second equaliser at Villa, while Louis Saha - who had never
even scored a Premier League hat trick - struck four of
Everton`s goals against visiting Blackpool. Jermaine Beckford
hit Everton`s other goal.
Robert Huth scored twice in the last seven minutes to
give Stoke victory against a visiting Sunderland side that had
led for more than an hour, while James McCarthy scored twice
to help lift relegation-threatened Wigan to 17th place.
Birmingham and West Ham each could move above Wigan with
victory when they meet today.
Nottingham Forest is seven points behind League
Championship leader Queen`s Park Rangers and has two games in
hand after a 1-0 win over Watford. QPR won its latest game 1-0
at Reading on Friday.
Third-place Norwich lost 2-1 at Burnley.