United back on track

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CHAMPIONS Manchester United bounced back to winning ways at Charlton as Arsenal dropped their first points of the season after being held at home by unbeaten Portsmouth.

Moneybags Chelsea survived a late scare to continue their fine record with victory over London rivals Tottenham while Liverpool overcame ten-man Blackburn and Newcastle were denied their first win of the season after a controversial draw at Everton.

Wolves remain rooted to the foot of the table after losing at Southampton while Bolton notched their maiden win of the campaign with a comfortable triumph over Middlesbrough.

After a tepid first half at The Valley, title holders United sprang into life when Ruud van Nistelrooy fired the ball home on 62 minutes.

Moments later, Charlton were reduced to ten men when Jason Euell was sent off for a second bookable offence and van Nistelrooy wrapped up the points when scoring from close range inside the final ten minutes.

Arsenal were unable to break down Pompey's stubborn resistance at Highbury despite a second half bombardment on the visitors' goal.

Teddy Sheringham put Pompey ahead on 26 minutes, only for a disputed penalty, which was converted by Thierry Henry, to give The Gunners a draw.

Chelsea omitted several of their summer signings for the cross-city visit of Spurs but still proved too strong for their North London foes.

Freddie Kanoute poked Spurs ahead on 25 minutes but Chelsea were in the ascendancy at half-time courtesy of goals from Frank Lampard and Adrian Mutu.

Romanian marksman Mutu poached his second goal of the contest with a quarter of an hour remaining before Kanoute sparked Spurs' hopes of a fightback with his second goal on 87 minutes.

But any thoughts of salvaging a point were extinguished in injury-time when Dutch international Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink finished from close range.

Liverpool took the honours at Ewood Park after a stormy encounter against Blackburn Rovers, for whom goalkeeper Brad Friedel was in sparkling form.

Rovers were in front on eight minutes through Matt Jansen but Michael Owen quickly levelled from the penalty spot after El Hadji Diouf was fouled by Vratislav Gresko.

The hosts were then reduced to ten men following Lucas Neill's horrendous challenge on Jamie Carragher.

Owen was repeatedly denied by Friedel in the second half before the Liverpool talisman finally beat his old team-mate midway through the period and Harry Kewell's injury-time effort sealed the win.

Newcastle are still scrambling for their first three points of the season after conceding a last-gasp equaliser at Goodison Park in a tempestuous tussle.

Controversial French winger Laurent Robert was sent off just before the interval for a second bookable offence but on 59 minutes Everton were reduced to ten men when Gary Naysmith saw red for a professional foul on Kieron Dyer.

Alan Shearer dispatched the resulting penalty only for Tomasz Radzinski to bundle home an equaliser midway through the half.

With eight minutes remaining, Shearer scored from the spot again after Joseph Yobo was adjudged to have fouled Olivier Bernard. But there was still time for a third penalty when Jermaine Jenas brought down Radzinski for Duncan Ferguson to slam home the spot kick late on.

Wolves' resolute performance on the South Coast failed to earn them any points as Southampton's extra touch of class earned them the spoils at St Mary's.

James Beattie put The Saints in the driving seat on 37 minutes with a penalty and the England international's blistering strike early in the second half settled the contest.

Middlesbrough's woes continue after they produced an uninspired performance at The Reebok Stadium.

Kevin Davies's powerful header on 23 minutes put Bolton in command and Bruno N'Gotty grabbed the second in the last ten minutes.

Click below for an individual match summary:
Arsenal 1-1 Portsmouth
Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Liverpool
Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Middlesbrough
Charlton Athletic 0-2 Manchester United
Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Everton 2-2 Newcastle United
Southampton 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers