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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chelsea maintain perfect start, Arsenal win

Chelsea maintain perfect start, Arsenal win

Last updated on: August 28, 2010 23:01 IST

Chelsea's goal-rush was staunched by Stoke City but the Premier League champions maintained their perfect start to the season with a 2-0 home victory on Saturday despite a missed penalty by Frank Lampard.

The England midfielder saw his spot kick saved by Thomas Sorensen but Florent Malouda fired Chelsea ahead just past the half hour mark and Didier Drogba tucked away a second-half penalty to seal a win that was much harder work than their 6-0 thrashings of West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic.

Carlo Ancelotti's side top the table with a maximum nine points and a 14-0 goal difference while Arsenal moved to seven with an impressive 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers where Theo Walcott scored his fourth goal of the season.

The surprise result of the day came a White Hart Lane where Wigan Athletic hit back from two crushing defeats to beat Champions League qualifiers Tottenham Hotspur 1-0.

Hugo Rodallega's late goal decided a fixture that Tottenham won 9-1 last season.

Blackpool's first home match in the top flight since 1971 ended in a 2-2 draw with Fulham while Andy Carroll was on target again for promoted Newcastle United who drew 1-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Manchester United can join Arsenal on seven points if they beat West Ham United in an early evening kickoff (1630 GMT).

Chelsea have been unstoppable so far this season but Stoke proved a much tougher proposition than they did at the back end of last season when they were hammered 7-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard wasted the chance to put the hosts in front when his poorly-struck penalty, awarded for a foul on Malouda by Ryan Shawcross, was saved by Sorensen.

SPARED BLUSHES

Malouda spared Lampard's blushes soon afterwards when he latched on to John Terry's pass to score but Stoke never looked like capitulating.

The visitors almost levelled when Matthew Etherington's shot was blocked on the line by Drogba and then Glenn Whelan's powerful shot struck the crossbar.

After 77 minutes Nicolas Anelka was brought down by Sorensen, and with Lampard having been substituted, Drogba made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Walcott's sparkling early-season form for Arsenal continued at Ewood Park and the England striker has already matched his goal tally for the whole of the last campaign which culminated with his exclusion from the World Cup squad.

He fired Arsenal ahead with a fine finish after 20 minutes and although Mame Diouf levelled for Rovers on his first Premier League start the Gunners sealed a deserved victory when Andrei Arshavin scored early in the second half.

The only blemish for manager Arsene Wenger was the sight of Dutch striker Robin van Persie limping off with a twisted ankle before halftime.

Source:
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