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Villa holds Chelsea to 1-1 draw

Aston Villa held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw Saturday to maintain its unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2006 22:32 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Aston Villa held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw Saturday to maintain its unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

Gabriel Agbonlahor scored for Villa at Stamford Bridge after Didier Drogba had put Chelsea ahead, denting Chelsea's perfect home record and keeping Villa unbeaten after seven games.

Chelsea leads the standings with 16 points- one more than Bolton, which beat Liverpool 2-0. Manchester United, Portsmouth, Everton and Villa all have 13 points.

Arsene Wenger took charge of his first game since passing 10 years as Arsenal manager with a 2-1 win over Charlton. Manchester City drew 1-1 with Everton with an injury-time goal from Micah Richards.

Sheffield United played Middlesbrough later Saturday. Drogba scored after three minutes when he tapped in a free kick from Arjen Robben. It was his fourth goal in as many days - he hit a hat trick in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win at Levski Sofia- and eighth of the season.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard went close to scoring several times, but was denied by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, who also stopped a header from Michael Essien.

Aston Villa leveled in first-half injury time through Agbonlahor, who headed in a pass from Liam Ridgewell.

The match was the first time that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his Villa counterpart Martin O'Neill had faced each other since 2003. Then, Mourinho was manager of FC Porto, which beat O'Neill's Celtic 3-2 in extra time to win the UEFA Cup final.

Liverpool's poor away form continued at Bolton. The Reds are yet to win away from home this season in the Premier League or Champions League.

Bolton midfielder Gary Speed scored in the 30th minute in the 750th club game of his career after Ivan Campo had tapped him a free kick given when the assistant referee ruled that Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina had handled outside the box.

However, TV replays showed that Reina had released the ball inside the area before kicking it.

Campo scored the second in the 51st when his header from a pass from Kevin Davies hit the underside of the crossbar and went over the goal-line before bouncing out.

At the Valley, Robin van Persie scored twice for Arsenal's win. Charlton took the lead through Darren Bent, who scored in the 21st after taking a cross from Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink. Television replays suggested that Hasselbaink was offside.

Van Persie equalized in the 32nd when he was set up by Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb. He scored his second with a volley from inside the area in the 49th.

Everton maintained its unbeaten start to the season but was denied victory by Richards. Everton's Andy Johnson scored his sixth league goal of the season when he volleyed in Phil Neville's cross in the 44th.

First Published: Sep 30, 2006 22:32 IST