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Premiership gets off to rocking start

The new English Premiership season got off to a dramatic start on Saturday as newly-promoted Sunderland beat big-spending Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0.

sports Updated: Aug 12, 2007 03:59 IST

The new English Premiership season got off to a dramatic start on Saturday as newly-promoted Sunderland beat big-spending Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0 with a last-ditch goal.

New signing Michael Chopra scored a winner deep into injury time at the Stadium of Light to give Sunderland boss Roy Keane a home victory in his first match as a Premiership manager.

There was little to cheer for either side throughout the match. However, Chopra, signed for five million pounds (10.1 million dollars, 7.4 million euros) from Cardiff in July, was left unmarked in the penalty box to score 13 seconds from full time for last season's Championship winners.

Chopra elated

Michael Chopra reckons he can win a place in the hearts of Sunderland fans.

Many commentators questioned Black Cats boss Roy Keane's wisdom at spending a huge sum on Chopra.

But more than the price tag, Chopra had to overcome the fact that he is a Geordie — a native of Sunderland's bitter rival city Newcastle, and a former Newcastle United striker to boot.

“I was disappointed not to start but I was determined to get on the pitch and get a goal,” Chopra told Sky Sports television.

“It's always pleasing to start off on your debut to score and I managed to do that.

“I was desperate to do it, especially being a Geordie from Newcastle coming to Sunderland, I was desperate to get that goal and show Sunderland fans that I want to be here.

“I think they'll love me now!

“It's fantastic. Being a local lad I know all about the north-east supporters so I know if you work hard, you'll get on with the fans.

“It's just pleasing to start off with a win."

Keane was delighted to get his Premiership management career started with a win.

Results:

Sunderland beat Tottenham 1-0
Bolton lost to Newcastle 1-3
Derby County drew with Portsmouth 2-2
Everton beat Wigan Athletic 2-1
Middlesbrough lost to Blackburn 1-2
West Ham lost to Man City 0-2