Chelsea 1 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, August 31, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) The London derby, played under the greys wet skies befitting an English summer, got off to a super start when Gomes showed his massive reach to tip over Frank Lampard’s chip after just 4 minutes. Spurs then took a foothold in the game, only for Chelsea to turn the screw when Anelka fired over, Essien struck the bar and eventually scoring when Belletti turned home a corner kick. But on the stroke of half-time Spurs drew level, the ball broke to Darren Bent and the forward proved he can score in the league as well as pre-season. The second half was a far more stale affair. The best chance fell to Kalou but the striker dragged his shot wide. The point was a welcome result for Spurs, who finally get on the scoreboard this season.
Aston Villa 0 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, August 31, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) In a goalless and generally uninteresting first half, John Carew had a great chance to score from Young’s cutback but Reina was up to the task. (First half highlights here.) After the break it was Liverpool’s chance to be frustrated in front of goal when Alonso’s shot was deflected over. Villa could have snatched the points at the end but Martin Laursen’s header was just off target. (Second half highlights here.)
Sunderland 0 – Manchester City 3 (Premier League, August 31, 2008) Stephen Ireland gave City the lead right on half time, latching on to Michael Johnson’s deflected cross and sliding the ball past Craig Gordon, the Sunderland goalkeeper. (First half highlights here.) But it was Shaun Wright-Phillips who stole the show after the break, making it 2-0 by tapping home Jo’s pin-point cross at the back post before collecting Michael Ball’s long-range pass to flick the ball beyond Gordon and inside the far post. (Second half highlights here.)