English Premier League Saturday Wrap-Up
Arsenal outgunned Southampton, United routed Wigan, City drew yet again at Stoke and Chelsea's perfect record ended.
Saturday provided a thrilling slate of English Premier League action, and the excitement wasn't limited to the biggest clubs. Aston Villa picked up victory No. 1, while Swansea and West Brom saw their promising starts go up in flames.
Click here for the league table, and keep reading for all the details from Saturday's Premier League matches.
Norwich City 0-0 West Ham United
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Quickie recap: Norwich remain winless on the season after a scoreless draw in the day's early kickoff. The Canaries peppered West Ham's goal with 25 shots (10 on target) and threatened often in the first half. After an opening 45 minutes full of promise, both teams appeared to lose initiative in the second half.
The result was secure when…Norwich's Harry Kane, a 19-year-old forward on loan from Tottenham, saw his tame shot saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 90th minute after a three-on-two break. Steve Morrison also directed a header on the West Ham goal moments later, but it didn't trouble Jaaskelainen.
Penalty appeal: Norwich had a penalty appeal in the 40th minute, when West Ham's James Collins fouled Andre Surman on the edge of West Ham's box. Referee Chris Foy whistled for a foul just outside the box and awarded Collins a yellow card. The ensuing free kick came to nothing.
Stat time: Norwich did not have a player booked. Through four matches, the Canaries are the only Premier League team yet to have a single player receive a yellow card.
Where it leaves them: Norwich remain 15th with three points, all from draws. West Ham are seventh with seven points.
Up next: West Ham host Sunderland next Saturday. Norwich travel to Newcastle next Sunday.
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Scorers: Arsenal—Jos Hooiveld (o.g.) 11'; Lukas Podolski 31'; Gervinho 35', 71'; Nathaniel Clyne (o.g.) 37'; Theo Walcott 88'; Southampton—Daniel Fox 45'
Quickie recap: Gervinho scored a brace as Arsenal tore last-place Southampton apart for their first win this season at the Emirates Stadium. Podolski bent in a free kick, Walcott scored against his former club and Southampton helped Arsenal with two own goals.
The result was secure when…Clyne made it 4-0 late in the first half with Southampton's second own goal. Fox pulled the Saints one back, and the introduction of new signing Gaston Ramirez spurred a revival for the visitors early in the second half, but Arsenal's improved defense was never in danger of conceding four goals.
Shaky keeping: Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny spilled a high cross late in the first half that led directly to Fox's goal. He also had a number of poor clearances.
First of the year: Gervinho's goals were his first two of the calendar year 2012.
Old boy: Walcott gave a muted celebration after scoring in the 88th minute. A former Southampton youth player, he signed for Arsenal from the south-coast club in 2006 as a teenager.
Stat time: Arsenal conceded their first goal of the season against Southampton, but the Gunners lead the Premier League with a plus-seven goal differential.
Where it leaves them: After two scoreless draws to start the season, Arsenal suddenly find themselves third in the table, just two points behind Chelsea. Southampton remain at the bottom of the table, the only Premier League club yet to have collected a single point.
Up next: Southampton host Aston Villa next Saturday. Arsenal travel to Manchester City next Sunday.
Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea City
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Scorers: Aston Villa—Matthew Lowton 16'; Christian Benteke 88'
Quickie recap: Aston Villa won a league match for the first time since March while putting the breaks on Swansea's hot start to the season.
The result was secure when…Benteke, who was making his Villa debut after signing from Genk, made it 2-0 in the 88th minute.
Volleyball: Lowton, signed in July from Sheffield United, put Villa ahead with a skillful chestdown and volley from 20 yards in the 16th minute. The goal can be seen here at the 0:40 mark.
Stat time: Villa's last Premier League victory came March 10, at home to Fulham, a run of 189 days.
Where it leaves them: Aston Villa have picked up four points in their last two matches after losing their first two games. They're 11th with four points. Despite suffering their first defeat of the new campaign, Swansea are still fifth with seven points.
Up next: Aston Villa travel to Southampton, and Swansea host Everton next Saturday.
Fulham 3-0 West Bromwich Albion
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Scorers: Fulham—Dimitar Berbatov 32, 45+1 (pen.); Steve Sidwell 89'
Quickie recap: Dimitar Berbatov scored twice on his Fulham debut as the Cottagers rebounded from a 3-0 loss two weeks ago; 10-man West Brom crashed to their first defeat of the season.
The result was secure when…Berbatov put Fulham ahead by two goals with a cool penalty on the stroke of halftime.
Red card: West Brom's Peter Odemwingie drew a straight red card for kicking out at Fulham's Sascha Riether near the two teams' dugouts.
Stat time: Fulham registered 23 shots and held 63 percent of possession. The Cottagers are joint-top scorers in the Premier League (with Manchester United and Swansea) with 10 goals.
Where it leaves them: Fulham climb to eighth with six points. West Brom fall to sixth with seven points.
Up next: West Brom host Reading, and Fulham travel to Wigan next Saturday.
Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Scorers: Manchester United—Paul Scholes 51'; Javier Hernandez 63'; Alexander Büttner 66'; Nick Powell 82'
Quickie recap: Marking his 700th appearance for Manchester United, Scholes scored his 155th goal for the club as the Red Devils overcame a penalty miss in the first half with four second-half strikes.
The result was secure when…Hernandez and Büttner put the game beyond Wigan with United's second and third goals in three second-half minutes.
Penalty miss: Hernandez had his penalty saved by Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi in the sixth minute. Al-Habsi had been penalized for fouling Danny Welbeck in the box, but replays suggested the penalty was harsh.
More United landmarks: Rio Ferdinand played his 400th game for United. Sir Alex Ferguson marked his 500th home league match. Ryan Giggs played his 600th Premier League match, the most all time.
Stat time: United have scored 10 goals, tied for most in the league.
Where it leaves them: United sit second in the table on nine points, just one point behind leaders Chelsea. Wigan are 13th with four points.
Up next: Wigan host Fulham next Saturday, and United visit Liverpool on Sunday.
Queens Park Rangers 0-0 Chelsea
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Quickie recap: Chelsea's 100 percent start to the season ended in a scoreless London-derby stalemate. Following last season's racism controversy and this summer's trial, QPR's Anton Ferdinand refused to shake hands with Chelsea's John Terry and Ashley Cole (more info from Associated Press, via New York Times).
The result was secure when…Chelsea's Eden Hazard blasted over the bar with three minutes left. He was unmarked.
Gracious hosts: QPR's Bobby Zamora missed from close range in the second half's best chance. Park Ji-Sung also sent a free header straight at Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.
Stat time: Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar made four saves in his QPR debut.
Where it leaves them: Chelsea have 10 points and still top the table, one point ahead of Manchester United. QPR remained in the relegation zone, now 18th with two points from four matches.
Up next: Chelsea host Stoke next Saturday, and QPR visit Tottenham next Sunday.
Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Scorers: Stoke—Peter Crouch 15'; Manchester City—Javi Garcia 35'
Quickie recap: Stoke held champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw yet again at the Brittania Stadium. City pushed for a late winner, but Stoke held on for a controversial draw.
The result was secure when…Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross cleared Edin Dzeko's chip off the line. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic also saved well from Garcia moments before.
Owen takes a bow: Michael Owen made his debut for Stoke after signing Sept. 4 (via ESPN FC). He replaced Crouch in the 90th minute and did not record a shot.
Debuts galore: Owen and Steven Nzonzi debuted for Stoke, while Charlie Adam made his first start for the club following his move from Liverpool. Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Maicon debuted for City.
Controversy: Crouch appeared to handle Jon Walters' cross before turning and scoring the opener.
Stat time: This was the fourth straight 1-1 draw between these teams at Stoke's Britannia Stadium
Where it leaves them: City are fourth, level with Arsenal on eight points. Stoke, who have drawn all four matches this season, are 10th with four points.
Up next: Stoke travel to Chelsea next Saturday, and City host Arsenal next Sunday.
Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Scorers: Sunderland—Steven Fletcher 29'; Liverpool—Luis Suarez 71'
Quickie recap: Sunderland continued a run of league draws while Liverpool continued their poor start to the season with a stalemate at the Stadium of Light. Fletcher scored his third goal in two league starts after signing from Wolves, and Suarez equalized in the second half after being booked for diving in the first.
The result was secure when…Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet saved Jonjo Shelvey's low shot 10 minutes from time. Suarez was unable to reach the rebound with his head.
Woodwork: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard hit the outside of the post in the second half after Shelvey's square pass in the box.
Hillsborough tribute: Liverpool's players wore warmups with No. 96, a tribute to the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy. This week the British government apologized (via The Guardian) to victims' families over the police's handling of the incident and their attempts to blame fans for it.
Stat time: Liverpool dominated 66 percent of possession and had 23 shots. Only six found the target.
Where it leaves them: Liverpool climbed out of the relegation zone and now sit in 17th place with two points. The Reds remain winless on the season. Sunderland are 14th with three points from three draws in three matches.
Up next: Sunderland visit West Ham next Saturday, and Liverpool host Manchester United next Sunday.