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Everton halted by Reading, Wigan top
Martyn Herman | August 18, 2007 23:51 IST
Last Updated: August 19, 2007 00:17 IST
High-flying Everton came crashing back down to earth on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat at Reading while Tottenham Hotspur belatedly hit form with a 4-0 demolition of newly promoted Derby County.
Stephen Hunt scored Reading's winner just before halftime and Everton, who had won their opening two matches, could find no way back after the break as they were knocked off the top of the table on goals scored by Wigan Athletic.
Tottenham got back on track after a poor start to the season with two goals from Frenchman Steed Malbranque and one from Jermaine Jenas killing off a poor Derby side inside the opening 15 minutes at White Hart Lane.
Darren Bent, a 16.5 million pounds ($32.61 million) capture from Charlton Athletic, scored his first competitive goal for Tottenham in the second half.
"We are not bottom now which is a relief," said Tottenham manager Martin Jol, who some newspapers had suggested was in danger of losing his job after two defeats. "To lose back-to-back home games was impossible."
Wigan gave Roy Keane's Sunderland a wake-up call with a 3-0 victory at the JJB Stadium. Emile Heskey's first-half volley and penalties after the break from Danny Landzaat and Antoine Sibierski inflicted a first defeat on Sunderland.
"We were second best, I can't think of any plusses," former Manchester United captain Keane told the Sunderland Web site (www.safc.com).
Two sides looking for their first points of the season, West Ham United and Middlesbrough, both got off the mark. Big-spending West Ham won at Birmingham City thanks to a Mark Noble penalty while Egyptian striker Mido scored on his debut as Boro came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1.
The match at Craven Cottage ended controversially, however, as Fulham appeared to have a late equaliser harshly ruled out when the ball was adjudged not to have crossed the line.
"You've got to be brave and make the decision, it was well over (the line)," Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez told Sky Sports.
Fulham also lost Brian McBride, who dislocated his knee while putting his side ahead in the first half, and Hameur Boazza who dislocated his shoulder.
Sammy Lee is still waiting for his first points as Bolton Wanderers manager after his side were beaten 3-1 by a Portsmouth side inspired by Nwankwo Kanu to leave them bottom.
Nicolas Anelka gave Bolton an early lead but Kanu quickly equalised and then sent John Utaka clear to race half the length of the pitch and make it 2-1 before halftime. Matt Taylor scored with a late penalty to seal Portsmouth's first victory.
England's [Images] leading striker Michael Owen [Images] made his first appearance of the season for Newcastle United after recovering from a thigh injury, coming on as a second-half substitute in a dour 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
Champions Manchester United play second-placed Manchester City on Sunday looking for their first win opf the season, Chelsea travel to Liverpool and Arsenal visit Blackburn Rovers.