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Blues for Torres as Manchester United run amok

sports Updated: Sep 19, 2011 01:18 IST
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Manchester United maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win over title rivals Chelsea, while Manchester City surrendered their 100% record as Fulham fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side blew Chelsea away thanks to three goals in the first half from Chris Smalling, Nani and Wayne Rooney.

Fernando Torres reduced the deficit soon after half-time with only his second goal for Chelsea, but later missed an open goal and United could have won by a greater margin as Rooney wasted a second half penalty.

United's victory equalled a club record of 18 consecutive home wins and moved them two points clear of second placed Manchester City at the top of the table and five ahead of third placed Chelsea.

It was Chelsea's first loss under new boss Andre Villas-Boas, who tasted defeat in a league game for the first time since April 2010 when Benfica beat his Academica de Coimbra team. United, who have made their best start since 1985, took the lead in the eighth minute when Smalling was left unmarked from Ashley Young's free-kick and the defender headed past Petr Cech despite Chelsea's appeals for offside.

Portugal winger Nani increased United's advantage in the 37th minute, cutting in from the right wing before smashing a ferocious 20-yard strike into the top corner.

There was an element of good fortune about United's third goal as John Terry's attempted clearance cannoned off Nani into Rooney's path and the England forward slotted home from close-range.

Torres gave Chelsea a glimmer of hope in the 46th minute when he flicked a fine finish over David de Gea. He should have pulled Chelsea to within one goal in the closing stages, but the £50 million striker produced an early candidate for miss of the season as he rounded De Gea and somehow scuffed wide with an empty net at hsi mercy.

City held by Fulham
At Craven Cottage, Sergio Aguero fired the visitors into the lead as he met David Silva's pass with a clinical finish in the 18th minute. Aguero seemed to have put City in total command when he steered home Edin Dzeko's flick in the 46th minute for his eighth goal of the season.

But Bobby Zamora got one back for Fulham in the 55th minute and Danny Murphy completed the fightback when his long-range shot found the in the 75th minute.

Liverpool drubbed
At White Hart Lane, Tottenham routed nine-man Liverpool 4-0.

Harry Redknapp's side took the lead in the seventh minute through Luka Modric's superb strike from the edge of the area.

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam was sent off for two bookings in the 28th minute and Martin Skrtel saw red after half-time a challenge on Gareth Bale.

Jermain Defoe made it 2-0 soon after and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor struck twice in the closing stages.