Premier League round-up

Torres turmoil; Man Utd held; Balotelli boost; Arsenal advance

By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp.   Last Updated: 25/09/11 9:26am

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Fernando Torres was one of four Premier League players to see red but Chelsea were still too good for Swansea, while Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal also enjoyed victories.

Manchester United's 100 per cent record came to an end following a pulsating 1-1 draw with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium in the day's late game.

Demba Ba bagged a hat-trick for Newcastle as they stopped Blackburn in their tracks at St James' Park, Tottenham triumphed against Wigan and West Brom's meeting with Fulham ended in stalemate.

Torres' season continues to veer between joy and despair as the Chelsea striker opened the scoring in their 4-1 victory against Swansea before being sent off for an horrific two-footed challenge.

Just a week after his goal at Manchester United was immediately followed by a shocking miss, the Spain striker again found the target with a neat finish against the Swans.

Midfielder Ramires had made it 2-0 when Torres launched himself at Mark Gower, and while he failed to make any real contact, referee Mike Dean had no hesitation in producing a red card.

Ramires made it 3-0 after the break despite their numerical disadvantage, Ashley Williams headed in a late consolation for the visitors before Didier Drogba marked his return from a nasty facial injury with a neat finish.

Manchester United remain top of the table but dropped their first points of the season after being pegged back by Stoke.

Nani opened the scoring for Manchester United in the first half with a fine finish into the bottom corner following a slick one-two with Darren Fletcher, before David de Gea pulled off splendid saves from Andy Wilkinson and Jon Walters to keep Stoke at bay.

The Potters kept applying pressure after the interval, though, and were rewarded in the 52nd minute when Peter Crouch headed home a Matthew Etherington corner to score for a sixth different Premier League club.

Deadlock broken

Mario Balotelli and James Milner had earlier stepped off the bench to fire Manchester City temporarily back to the summit, with a 2-0 victory over Everton.

The Toffees looked set to frustrate Roberto Mancini's men at the Etihad Stadium until the deadlock of a largely turgid game was finally broken by a sweet finish from Balotelli in the 68th minute, albeit with the aid of slight deflection off Phil Jagielka.

And the visitors then shot themselves in the foot in the closing moments as Royston Drenthe gifted the ball to David Silva, who produced a delightful through ball to release Milner with the England man firing beyond Tim Howard.

Arsenal finally gave beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger something to smile about with a 3-0 victory over Bolton which dumped the Trotters to the foot of the table.

Wenger, who admitted before the game he was 'supposed to take the bullets and absorb them - like a polar bear', saw Robin van Persie score the opening goal of the game in the opening moments of the second half.

David Wheater saw red for pulling back Theo Walcott as he raced through on goal later in the half and the England international then set up captain Van Persie for a delightful second with 20 minutes to go before Alex Song's late third.

Emphatic

Liverpool returned to winning ways after back-to-back defeats with a 2-1 home triumph over Wolves, who have now lost three on the bounce in the league.

Roger Johnson could only divert Charlie Adam's wayward strike beyond his own goalkeeper for the opener before a sublime finish from Luis Suarez made it 2-0 before the break.

Steven Fletcher's emphatic finish after some slack home defending reduced the deficit early in the second period but Mick McCarthy's men were unable to repeat their Anfield heroics of last term, with the late introduction of Steven Gerrard a further boost for the hosts.

Tottenham extended their winning run to three Premier League games as goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale were enough to overcome 10-man Wigan.

The Dutchman needed just three minutes to open the scoring at the DW Stadium before Bale added the second in the 23rd minute when he headed beyond Ali Al-Habsi.

Mohamed Diame reduced the deficit at the start of the second period before any hopes of a Latics fightback were dashed when Steve Gohouri was dismissed for a horrible lunge on Bale which earned him a deserved second booking.

Newcastle striker Ba bagged a hat-trick as the Magpies continued their impressive start to the season and ended Blackburn's brief resurgence at St James' Park.

Alan Pardew's men have quietly put together an unbeaten run at the start of the season which now stands at six games following their 3-1 success on home turf.

Ba grabbed a quick-fire brace before the interval before completing his treble in the second period after Junior Hoilett had reduced the deficit for the visitors, while Martin Olsson was given his marching orders for two bookable offences.

West Brom boss Roy Hodgson was unable to get one over his former club Fulham, but the Cottagers are still searching for their first win in the Premier League under Martin Jol after a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns.

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