London - Jose Mourinho's Chelsea homecoming party turned sour as a 1-0 defeat
at Everton on Saturday condemned them to their worst start to a Premier
League season during the big-spending era of owner Roman Abramovich.
Naismith celebrated his 27th birthday by heading the winner in
first-half injury time before the hosts clung on to secure manager
Roberto Martinez's first victory and inflict Chelsea's maiden defeat of
On a day of debuts, Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal fans a
glimpse of his creative talents in a comfortable 3-1 win at Sunderland
and Chelsea handed a first start to Samuel Eto'o, but the Cameroonian
fluffed a host of chances.
It was a similar story for Manchester City, whose costly attacking recruits misfired in a goalless draw at Stoke City.
Manchester United laboured to a 2-0 win over 10-man Crystal Palace at
Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur's Gylfi Sigurdsson netted twice as
they beat Norwich City by the same scoreline.
mercurial talent Hatem Ben Arfa grabbed one goal and created another in a
2-1 victory at Aston Villa. Hull City against Cardiff City and Fulham
against West Bromwich Albion both ended 1-1.
Arsenal top the table
with nine points, ahead of Tottenham and Liverpool, who play Swansea
City on Monday, on goals scored. Manchester City, United and Chelsea are
fourth, fifth and sixth respectively on seven points.
Chelsea's worst opening to the season since Abramovich assumed control
of the club in 2003 and since they took six points from their opening
four matches in 2002-03.
Mourinho began his first spell in West
London in 2004 with four consecutive wins, so will not relish seeing
points go begging as easily as chances did at Everton.
been drafted in from Anzhi Makhachkala as a trusted frontman, having
helped the Portuguese cement his reputation as one of the world's best
coaches at Inter Milan with Champions League success in 2010.
Mourinho may have expected more, however, from the man he chose to be his attacking spearhead.
wasted three good chances on a profligate evening for both him and
Chelsea, who were undone when Naismith headed in from close range.
he needs matches," Mourinho said of Eto'o on Sky Sports. "But it is not
just him, (Andre) Schuerrle missed three big chances to score, Samuel
was the same, other players had chances."
City handed a debut to close-season signing Stevan Jovetic and paired
him in attack with another big-money arrival, Alvaro Negredo, but they
were frustrated at Stoke.
Arsenal's recent recruit fared much better.
arrived on transfer deadline day for 42.5 million pounds ($66.6m) from
Real Madrid with a reputation for unpicking defences and represented a
bold move for the north London club's naturally cautious manager, Arsene
He made his mark after just 11 minutes, killing a long
ball forward with a wonderful touch before squaring for Olivier Giroud,
who netted with a composed finish for his fourth of the season.
were pegged back when Craig Gardner scored from the penalty spot three
minutes into the second half, but the visitors' jitters were swept away
as Aaron Ramsey scored twice to continue his excellent early season
"Considering that he was sick and did not practice
yesterday, his first half was outstanding, in the second half his level
dropped a bit, but overall he was great," Wenger said on Sky Sports
about his record signing.
Another playmaker who made a splash was
Tottenham's Christian Eriksen, who also marked his debut with an assist,
setting up Sigurdsson's opener at White Hart Lane.
international Sigurdsson, who was in and out of the team last season
after arriving with a lofty reputation after a spell at Swansea City,
added a second from a Paulinho cross.
Robin van Persie and Wayne
Rooney scored to lift Manchester United to a patchy home win over
Crystal Palace, but it was a workmanlike display that will have done
little to worry their title rivals.
Referee Jon Moss was the focus
of attention at Old Trafford after he awarded a controversial penalty
from which van Persie fired United in front.
He pointed to the
spot and sent off Palace defender Kagisho Dikgacoi for bringing down
Ashley Young on the stroke of halftime, but replays showed the initial
contact had been outside the area.
New signing Marouane Fellaini
started on the bench but joined the fray in the second half and Rooney
curled in a late free kick to make the game safe.
Christian Benteke scored his fourth league goal of the season for Villa, but it was Ben Arfa who took the plaudits.
Frenchman slotted home from close range to give Newcastle the lead at
Villa Park and then created the winner when his shot from distance was
parried by keeper Brad Guzan and Yoan Gouffran gobbled up the rebound.