• Premier League round-up

Liverpool heap woe on Wenger as Chelsea leave it late

ESPN staff
August 20, 2011

This season ESPN Goals is completely free. It's the first place to see every goal from every Premier League game, all season long

Plays of the Day

A testing week for Arsene Wenger ended on a sour note as Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Arsenal at the Emirates. The depleted Gunners, who lost Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona on Monday, had Emmanuel Frimpong sent off on his full Premier League debut.

Wenger sprang a surprise prior to kick-off, naming Samir Nasri in the starting XI despite his apparently imminent move to Manchester City, while Carl Jenkinson and Emmanuel Frimpong also came in. Luis Suarez was a surprise omission for Liverpool, with Kenny Dalglish opting to play Stewart Downing just off Andy Carroll.

Arsenal's already stretched squad was further depleted after 14 minutes when centre back Laurent Koscielny limped off clutching his back, bringing Ignasi Miquel into the fray. And six minutes later, with Arsenal still rattled from the reshuffle, came the best chance of the half, as Andy Carroll rose at the far post to meet Downing's cross - only to see Wojciech Szczesny claw his effort away.

Although Liverpool dominated possession for the majority of the opening period, Arsenal finished strongly as the interval loomed, and Frimpong forced Pepe Reina into a low save with a stinging drive from 30 yards, before Nasri drove at the defence and pulled a shot just wide.

After a sterile opening to the second half, Andrei Arshavin outmuscled Enrique in the area on 68 minutes before squaring the ball to Robin van Persie who, six yards out, scuffed a shot straight into the knees of Reina.

The momentum swung Liverpool's way when Frimpong was sent off six minutes later, the youngster shown a second yellow after bringing down Lucas with a clumsy challenge. And Dalglish's men took full advantage of their numerical superiority on 78 minutes when Miquel's clearance bounced off Ramsey's face before looping over Szczesny and into the back of the net.

Liverpool doubled their lead in stoppage time, Raul Meireles going clear on goal before squaring the ball to Suarez, who couldn't miss from close range.

Flourent Malouda beats Steven Reid to the ball and scores © Getty Images

In the evening kick-off, Chelsea were forced to come from behind to defeat West Bromwich Albion and give manager Andre Villas-Boas his first victory at Stamford Bridge.

Nicolas Anelka and an 83rd minute strike from substitute Florent Malouda ultimately got the job done for the home side, after they had fallen behind to Shane Long's individual effort inside the first five minutes.

Chelsea were expected to dominate but it was West Brom who started quickly and moved ahead, and it was their big summer signing who made the breakthrough. Brazilian defender Alex was caught dallying on the ball by Shane Long, who nipped past him and evaded his attentions to dribble into the box - before slotting a calm finish over the onrushing Henrique Hilario and inside the near post.

It was Long's second league goal since making the switch from Reading, after he had brought the Baggies back on level terms in their opener against Manchester United last weekend.

After 24 minutes Hodgson's side should perhaps have been two clear, as Long again found himself in the middle of proceedings. This time the Ireland international could have turned provider after once again breaking clear of the Chelsea defence - after a great through-ball from Chris Brunt - but he managed to misdirect what should have been a simple square pass to Somen Tchoyi, preventing the Cameroon international from firing into an unguarded net.

Chelsea, meanwhile, looked devoid of any clarity in attack and were sloppy at the back. Clearly unhappy with what he was seeing, Villas-Boas made the bold decision to remove Salomon Kalou with only half an hour gone, bringing on Malouda to try and inject some creativity and urgency into his side's attack.

Things picked up slightly after that amendment, but a goal was still not forthcoming. Anelka was perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after a clash with Ben Foster inside the box, while the goalkeeper was alert to make a solid long-range save from Ashley Cole.

However, t took just seven minutes of the second half for the Blues to get back on level terms. After Frank Lampard was lucky to avoid punishment for what appeared to be a dive inside the penalty box, Anelka collected the ball and dribbled into the area, moving the ball onto his right foot before hitting a low effort that caught Jonas Olsson's heel and spun right into the far corner, giving Foster no chance.

From there the Blues were finally in the ascendency. Foster saved from Anelka and Reid blocked from Malouda, before the ineffectual Torres was replaced by Didier Drogba. But that change did not immediately lead to the second goal the home fans wanted, with Anelka spurning what was perhaps the best chance - sliding the ball wide from 35 yards after Foster had scampered out of his goal to try and clear the ball.

Soon after that challenge, however, it was another Frenchman who did find the all-important goal. Jose Bosingwa rampaged down the right and sent in a fizzing low cross that made it all the way to the back post - where Malouda was on hand to strike home from six yards.

Baggies substitute Peter Odemwingie had a great chance to level matters with just three minutes remaining, but the Nigerian fired straight at Hilario from Steven Reid's pinpoint cross.

Alex McLeish cooled some of the dissent at Villa Park with a resounding win © PA Photos

The optimism created by Sunderland's busy summer of transfers was checked as they lost 1-0 to Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light. After Joey Barton saw his goal-bound effort apparently blocked by Seb Larsson's hand in the first half, Ryan Taylor ensured justice was done by putting the visitors ahead after 63 minutes, his arrowed free-kick flying straight into the top corner of the net. Steve Bruce's miserable afternoon was completed when full-back Phil Bardsley was shown a second yellow for a dangerous tackle on Fabricio Coloccini in the dying seconds.

New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish endeared himself to a sceptical home crowd by masterminding a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Gabby Agbonlahor's 50th Premier League goal put Villa ahead after 10 minutes, the pacey striker cutting in from the right, shrugging off Michel Salgado and then sending a curling strike beyond Paul Robinson. Fifteen minutes later Rovers found themselves further in the mire as Emile Heskey grabbed his first goal in 13 matches - and his 11th career strike against Blackburn - by drilling in a low shot from the edge of the box.

Despite being under pressure for virtually the entire first half, Rovers got themselves back into the game a couple of minutes after the break, Morten Gamst Pedersen timing his run shrewdly to nod in Junior Hoilett's centre. But Steve Kean's dreams of an unlikely point were shattered shortly afterwards as Darren Bent opened his account for the season by pouncing on Stiliyan Petrov's deflected shot and smashing over Robinson - a strike that handed a welcome boost to former Birmingham chief McLeish.

QPR bounced back from their opening day thumping at home to Bolton by claiming a 1-0 victory at the home of notorious slow-starters Everton.

With the first chance they mustered, Tommy Smith nudged the visitors into the lead with an inventive strike after 31 minutes, having profited from a mistake from Arsenal target Phil Jagielka, who gifted the ball to Akos Buzsaky.

Everton, playing for the first time this season after the cancellation of last week's game at Spurs, pressed without displaying a cutting edge in the second half, meaning Smith's gave QPR the first three points on offer following Tony Fernandes' takeover.

Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez picked up a 0-0 draw at the home of his former club Swansea, who were grateful for Michel Vorm's penalty save from Ben Watson.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.