– Dan Brown contributed to this report.
The fourth round of Premier League fixtures got underway on Saturday lunchtime as Norwich City played host to West Ham.
Spectators at Carrow Road were subjected to 90 minutes of football devoid of any quality, class or cutting edge as the two sides played out an insipid goalless draw, leaving Norwich still searching for their first win while West Ham occupy seventh spot.
Arsenal and United record comfortable victories
The day’s three o’clock kick offs proved to be more entertaining, as six fixtures produced 18 goals. Seven of those came at The Emirates Stadium as Southampton were subjected to a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Arsenal, who continued their bright start to the campaign.
The Gunners were gifted the opening goal when Kieran Gibbs’ effort was turned into his own net by Dutchman Jos Hooiveld.
The game was put beyond any doubt when Arsenal scored three goals in an emphatic six minute spell. Gervinho’s powerful drive on 35 minutes added to Lukas Podolski’s superb 25 yard free kick, before the Saints scored a second own goal, this time through Nathaniel Clyne.
Danny Fox did give travelling fans something to smile about when he scored before the break, but second half strikes from Gervinho and Theo Walcott completed the rout, leaving pointless Southampton rooted to the foot of the table.
Manchester United were also comfortable winners as they beat Wigan 4-0 at Old Trafford, despite missing an early penalty. Javier Hernandez saw his 5th minute spot kick saved by Ali Al-Habsi after the Wigan keeper had been adjudged to have brought down Danny Welbeck.
Paul Scholes celebrated his 700th appearance for the club with the opening goal on 51 minutes, before Hernandez doubled the lead 12 minutes later. Debutants, Alex Buttner and Nick Powell added gloss to the score-line, scoring in the 66th and 82nd minute respectively.
Berbatov leads Fulham to victory and Villa secure first win
Dimitar Berbatov marked his home debut with a brace as Fulham swept aside West Brom at Craven Cottage. The Bulgarian’s classy finish after 32 minutes gave the hosts the lead, before Albion were reduced to 10-men when Peter Odemwingie petulantly kicked out at Sascha Riether.
Berbatov scored his second from the spot after Billy Jones tripped Alex Kalaniklic in the box, before Steve Sidwell completed the scoring in the dying minutes.
Aston Villa earned their first win of the season with a 2-0 home win over Swansea. Summer signing, Matthew Lowton broke the deadlock with a spectacular 16th minute strike, before fellow summer recruit, Christian Bentake, made the points safe when he pounced on Ashley Williams’ poor back-pass to chip home.
Frustration for City, Chelsea and Liverpool as they are held to draws
Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. The hosts took the lead in controversial circumstances on 15 minutes when Peter Crouch bundled home from close range. Crouch appeared to handle the ball in the build-up, with furious City boss, Roberto Mancini, saying the effort “belonged on a basketball court.”
City restored parity after 35 minutes when £15.8m signing, Javi Garcia headed home Carlos Tevez’s free-kick, but the champions were unable to find a winner.
Chelsea dropped their first points of the season as they played out a dull 0-0 with QPR at Loftus Road. The game did little to overshadow the pre-match controversy, as Anton Ferdinand again refused to shake the hands of John Terry and Ashley Cole.
Luis Suarez’s 71st minute strike earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland, to cap off an emotional week for the Merseysiders following the revelations over the Hillsborough disaster. Steven Fletcher had given the Black Cats a 29th minute lead, before Suarez’s effort levelled matters, leaving both sides still searching for their first league win of the season.
Spurs win while Everton are left fuming
Andre Villas-Boas enjoyed his first win as Tottenham boss on Sunday as they swept aside Reading at the Madjeski Stadium. Two Jermaine Defoe goals came either side of a scuffed Gareth Bale effort to give Spurs a commanding 3-0 lead, before Hal Robson-Kanu struck a last minute consolation.
Monday’s evening fixture saw Everton held 2-2 at home to Newcastle in a match full of controversy. Everton’s first half domination was rewarded with a Leighton Baines goal, but Demba Ba levelled 4 minutes after the break. Everton were then left fuming as they saw what they felt were two legitimate goals ruled out.
First, Marouane Fellaini’s cool finish was chalked off after he was deemed to be offside, before Victor Anichebe saw the referee wave play on, despite his effort appearing to cross the line.
Nevertheless, Anichebe did get on the score sheet in the 88th minute, but Everton were denied all three points when Ba again equalised, poking past Tim Howard in the last minute.Tweet