Premier League round-up
Wenger woe as Rovers roar; top flight new boys show their quality; stalemate in the Midlands; super-subs strike for Toffees
Last Updated: September 18, 2011 2:34pm
One swallow doesn't make a summer but Steve Kean will no doubt feel Blackburn's 4-3 victory over Arsenal in what was a remarkable game at Ewood Park is a perfect riposte to those supporters who protested pre-match about his continued presence in the dugout.
Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1
Bolton 1 Norwich 2
Everton 3 Wigan 1
Swansea 3 West Brom 0
Wolves 0 QPR 3
All three promoted sides recorded maximum hauls while elsewhere Everton left it late before seeing off Wigan and Aston Villa and Newcastle played out a stalemate in the Midlands.
Kean is not the only Premier League manager under pressure. Arsene Wenger faces a long evening of solitude as he contemplates the latest disaster, which included two own goals, in what has been a season he could not have envisaged even in his darkest moments.
For the best part of half an hour they looked back to their old selves as Gervinho's excellent first time finish from Alexander Song's cute through ball left Paul Robinson flat footed to give Arsenal a deserved lead. It looked to be a question of how many Arsenal would score but the home side dug deep and found a leveller when Yakubu Aiyegbeni marked his debut with a goal as he matched Gervinho's invention in using the outside of his boot smartly to register from Junior Hoillet's pass.
It was to be a day of debut goals as Mikel Arteta got off the mark for his new side before half-time courtesy of a searing finish into the top corner after Aaron Ramsey had pulled the ball back into his path. It was to be the highlight of Arsenal's afternoon as after the break they put in a defensive shift which was no less than shambolic.
Yakubu's second of the afternoon restored parity just four minutes after the interval as he prodded in Steven N'Zonzi's lashed cross, from what looked to be an offside position, after Arsenal had failed to clear a corner.
An Achilles heel of not being able to defend set-pieces then flared yet again as Blackburn forged ahead when Song diverted Ruben Rochina's nothing free-kick from the right flank past his own goalkeeper.
Anything Song can do Laurent Koscielny can match. With Wenger's side chasing a leveller Blackburn broke down the right with real menace with just over 20 minutes left to play. Martin Olsson's rampaging run culminated in his cross being converted by Koscielny in a comical fashion that will exasperate his manager to the point of despair.
Substitute Marouane Chamakh gave his side hope with an exquisite towering header from Robin van Persie's cross with five minutes left, but Blackburn were able to hang on despite intense pressure from an Arsenal side who squandered numerous chances late on.
Given Swansea's last top flight goal was scored by Bob Latchford back in 1983 the tension inside the Liberty Stadium was understandably palpable when they were awarded an early penalty after West Brom defender Paul Scharner had rashly lunged in on Joe Allen. Scott Sinclair was the coolest man in the ground though as he was a model of composure in slotting confidently past Ben Foster.
The Swansea faithful had barely sat back down when Leroy Lita doubled their advantage as he headed home after Sinclair had nodded a corner in his direction.
There was to be no respite for the Baggies after the interval as Nathan Dyer made it three when he was played through by Lita's flick to finish through the legs of Foster.
Aston Villa got off to a flyer in their home game with Newcastle as they forged ahead early on through Gabriel Agbonlahor, as he got to Barry Bannon's cross in front of Fabio Coloccini before firing in from close range.
Newcastle improved after half-time and deservedly won a point when Leon Best beat Shay Given from close range at the second attempt after the Irishman had repelled his initial header.
QPR raced out of the blocks away to Wolves as they silenced Molineux with two goals within ten minutes. The opener will go down as Joey Barton's first in a QPR shirt but it's unlikely to be his best as a scuffed finish just about found the far corner from Shaun Wright-Phillips' equally mishit cross.
The second was decidedly better as Alejandro Faurlin dispatched from the edge of the box with a low drive after Wolves were guilty of some shoddy defending.
Gloss was put on a polished display in the final few minutes when DJ Campbell tapped home following a darting run and cross from Armand Traore.
Anthony Pilkington was on target for Norwich as they took the lead away to Bolton with a tap-in from close range after Steve Morison had turned the ball goalwards from a corner.
Set-pieces proved a problem for Bolton all afternoon as the Canaries doubled their advantage before half-time when Bradley Johnson planted a firm header beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen from a whipped in free-kick from the right.
Bolton's frustration over a miserable first half was exacerbated further when Ivan Klasnic saw red following an off-the-ball clash with Morison.
Owen Coyle's rally call at half-time clearly made some kind of impression as Martin Petrov dispatched from the penalty spot after David Ngog was upended by Leon Barnett but Norwich held on for the spoils.
Franco Di Santo's bright start to the season continued against as he gave Wigan a lead at Goodison Park with a stunning angled strike that beat Tim Howard all ends-up, albeit courtesy of a deflection off Tony Hibbert.
It was a lead they were unable to hold onto though as Phil Jagielka restored parity before the break after Tim Cahill's towering header from a corner had fell to him after coming off the crossbar.
The current gloom at Goodison Park was lifted at the death when new boy Apostolos Vellios came off the bench to brilliantly head in Tony Hibbert's devilish delivery from wide right, before fellow substitute Royston Drenthe slotted in confidently in the game's dying embers as Everton broke with purpose.