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Arsenal saves point at Everton
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 08 - 2014

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (2nd R) is challenged by Everton's Sylvain Distin (R) and Leighton Baines (3rd R) as Tim Howard saves his shot during their English Premier League match at Goodison Park in Liverpool Saturday. — Reuters


LONDON — Arsenal scored twice in the last seven minutes to escape with a 2-2 draw at Everton Saturday after the home side had largely dominated the Premier League encounter at Goodison Park.

Aaron Ramsey scored after 83 minutes and substitute Olivier Giroud planted home a header in the 90th to cancel out the lead Everton held after first-half goals from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith.

The result meant Arsenal stayed third in the early-season table with four points from two games although its run of six successive league victories, which started after it lost 3-0 at Everton in April, came to an end.

Chelsea, which beat Leicester City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, and Swansea City, who sank Burnley 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium, head the standings with six points.

In the day's other matches West Ham United won 3-1 at Crystal Palace while the games between Aston Villa and Newcastle United and Southampton and West Bromwich Albion both ended goalless.

Earlier, Diego Costa kept up the prolific start to his Chelsea career, setting the title favorite on its way to a 2-0 win over Leicester.

The Spain striker scored on his Chelsea debut in a 3-1 win over Burnley Monday and was back in the goals five days later, breaking down Leicester's stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge in the 63rd minute.

Belgium winger Eden Hazard's solo effort in the 77th ensured Chelsea has maximum points after two games against teams promoted from the second-tier League Championship.

It would have been a very different story, however, had Leicester striker David Nugent not seen his shot saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois when clean through on goal with the score at 0-0.

“I don't forget they had a good chance with the result 0-0,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said, “but we had so many chances, so many opportunities to score obviously we deserved the victory.”

Didier Drogba was given a standing ovation from the Chelsea fans when he came on as a second-half substitute for his first match in his second spell with the London club.

But the Stamford Bridge fans have a new goalscoring star in Costa.

Signed for 32 million pounds ($53 million) from Atletico Madrid in the offseason, Costa is proving exactly the kind of ruthless finisher Chelsea was lacking last season as it came up short in the title race.

His goal came after Oscar played in Branislav Ivanovic on the right side of the area, and the right back's cutback was chested down by Costa and drilled past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel from six yards.

Cesc Fabregas and Courtois are other arrivals at Chelsea this summer and played key roles in a hard-fought win against last season's second-tier champion.

Courtois — back at Chelsea after spending last season on loan at Atletico — again started ahead of Petr Cech and his save from Nugent in the 55th minute was crucial.

Fabregas had two assists in a man-of-the-match display against Burnley and he set up Hazard for the second goal against Leicester, with the winger collecting the ball on the left, cutting inside and drilling a low shot past Schmeichel into the corner.

“I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half but it's about taking your chances when you get them,” Leicester manager Nigel Pearson said. “There are more positives today than there are negatives.

Leverkusen beats Dortmund

Karim Bellarabi scored the quickest goal in 52 seasons of the Bundesliga to help Bayer Leverkusen beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the opening round Saturday.

Bellarabi scored nine seconds after kickoff, beating the previous record of 11 seconds set by Giovane Elber for Bayern Munich in January 1998, Ulf Kirsten for Leverkusen in March 2002, and Paul Freier for Bochum in May 2003. Hakan Calhanoglu passed the ball to Son Heung-min, who played Sebastian Boenisch through. Boenisch passed to Bellarabi, who eluded Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter and scored from 12 meters past Mitchell Langerak.

Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno made a host of saves to deny the home side a late equalizer, before Stefan Kiessling scored in injury time to secure the result.

Schalke let a one-goal lead slip by conceding twice in three minutes to lose to Hannover 2-1.

Also Saturday, promoted Cologne could only draw 0-0 with visiting Hamburger SV on its return to the Bundesliga after two seasons in the second division.

Haris Seferovic's 15th-minute goal on his Bundesliga debut was enough for Eintracht Frankfurt to beat Freiburg 1-0. Werder Bremen came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home.
Defending champion Bayern Munich kicked off the season Friday with a 2-1 win over visiting Wolfsburg.

Marseille beats Guingamp

Marseille beat Guingamp 1-0 in the French league Saturday to earn its first win of the season under Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Andre-Pierre Gignac volleyed home a cross from Dimitri Payet in the 46th minute.

Marseille has four points from its first three games. It showed more defensive tightness and better fluidity in its passing game than in the 2-0 loss to Montpellier last weekend. — Agencies


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