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City and Chelsea frustrated as Utd and Arsenal run riot

ESPN staff
September 15, 2012 « White tells Machida to take Henderson fight | Chartbeat test »
Paul Scholes scored on his 700th appearance for Manchester United © Getty Images
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John Terry saw his offer of a handshake shunned by Anton Ferdinand as QPR held Chelsea, while a debut goal from Javi Garcia was only enough to earn Manchester City a draw at Stoke.

Elsewhere, Manchester United strolled past Wigan and Gervinho grabbed a brace as Arsenal ran riot at home to Southampton.

Manchester City remain without a Premier League away victory against Stoke following the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

Peter Crouch was on target against City in the league last season, and he repeated the trick by controlling Jonathan Walters' cross in the box before drilling home - although there were suspicions of handball.

City's equaliser came from an unlikely source, as debutant Javi Garcia nodded in unmarked from a set-piece; Maicon and Scott Sinclair were also awarded first starts by Roberto Mancini. For all City's pressure in the second half, they could not break through, with Ryan Shawcross' acrobatic late clearance denying them all three points.

Paul Scholes netted on his 700th Manchester United appearance as the Red Devils cruised past Wigan 4-0 at Old Trafford.

The hosts were gifted a soft penalty within the first five minutes when Ali Al-Habsi was penalised for bringing down Danny Welbeck, but justice was done as Al-Habsi saved Javier Hernandez's spot-kick - the closest United came in a subdued first half.

Having probably received a half-time tongue-lashing from Sir Alex Ferguson, United took the lead early in the second period through Scholes, before Hernandez atoned for his earlier aberration with a trademark poacher's finish.

Alexander Buttner, making a debut at left-back after signing from Vitesse Arnhem, announced himself to the home crowd with a superb solo strike - beating four men before netting - to put the game beyond Wigan. And another debutant, former Crewe youngster Nick Powell, thumped home to round off the scoring.

Arsenal made a serious statement of intent at Emirates Stadium by thrashing Southampton, who are still without a point this season, 6-1.

Gervinho grabbed a brace for Arsenal © PA Photos
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The Gunners' relentless early pressure was rewarded when Jos Hooiveld put through his own net after Kelvin Davis palmed away Kieran Gibbs' shot. That blow rattled Southampton, and they were two goals in arrears shortly after, Lukas Podolski curling in a free-kick for his first Arsenal goal at Emirates Stadium.

Gervinho notched the next for Arsene Wenger's rampant side following an inventive through ball from Mikel Arteta, while another own goal - this time from Nathaniel Clyne - left Saints staring at a thrashing. They did manage to reduce the deficit through Danny Fox - the first goal Arsenal had conceded in the Premier League this season - with the defender gifted his strike by an error from Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal noticeably let their tempo drop in the second half, but Gervinho grabbed his second, profiting from Aaron Ramsey's fine work, and Theo Walcott netted against his old club to complete Southampton's misery.

Chelsea's 100% start to the league season was ended as they were held 0-0 at Loftus Road by QPR. Following the drama of the handshake snub, Chelsea shaded an even first half played at a frenetic pace. There was little between the sides after the break, with the best chance falling to Bobby Zamora, who somehow contrived to miss from close range.

Liverpool rallied from a goal down to claim a point at Sunderland in front of the ESPN cameras. The Reds do not have a great record against Sunderland and fell behind when Steven Fletcher netted on 29 minutes. Glen Johnson will not look back on the goal with affection, as his poor attempt at a tackle allowed Crag Gardner to drive forward before picking out Fletcher who turned the ball home from close range.

Liverpool felt they should have had a penalty towards the end of the first half, as Luis Suarez went down under challenge from John O'Shea. There was contact, but Suarez was booked for a dive.

The Uruguayan was far from happy, but his mood was improved in the second half as he showed great reactions to stab home after the ball had rebounded off Titus Bramble to grab a point.

Aston Villa won a league match for the first time since March by overcoming Swansea 2-0 at Villa Park. The home fans' nerves were settled by a terrific long-range strike from right-back Matt Lowton, who chested the ball down before volleying past Michel Vorm. And a late goal from new signing Christian Benteke, the Belgium international who arrived last month from Genk, put the seal on the triumph.

Dimitar Berbatov bagged a brace as Fulham proved there is life after Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele with a 3-0 triumph over ten-man West Brom. The former Manchester United striker showed why Martin Jol described him as the biggest signing in the Cottagers' history by conjuring a delightful 15-yard opener.

West Brom's task was made considerably tougher when Peter Odemwingie saw red for a wild lunge on Sascha Riether, and Fulham took total control after Berbatov nonchalantly stroked in a penalty. Steve Sidwell's 89th-minute goal completed the scoring at Craven Cottage.

Norwich are still searching for their first Premier League win after West Ham battled to a goalless draw at Carrow Road.

Chris Hughton's men enjoyed the better of the first half, and felt they should have been awarded a penalty when James Collins upended Andrew Surman, but referee Chris Foy correctly ruled the challenge was just outside the area.

West Ham also had their chances, with Carlton Cole's early chance blocked and John Ruddy saving from Kevin Nolan. Both sides, though, seemed to run out of ideas as the match wore on.

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