|Rio Ferdinand in an aerial tussle with Victor Anichebe,
at Old Trafford, on Saturday. (Reuters)
London: Manchester United suffered more misery when they lost 1-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in their worst start to a Premier League season with the champions in the bottom half of the table after six games.
Morgan Amalfitano and Saido Berahino scored for the visitors either side of a Wayne Rooney leveller at Old Trafford to leave United in 12th place a week after they suffered a crushing defeat at local rivals Manchester City.
City also suffered a surprise reverse at Aston Villa, who scored three second-half goals to win 3-2, leaving Tottenham Hotspur top of the standings after their 1-1 draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane earlier on Saturday.
John Terry headed a second-half equaliser for Chelsea as the managerial battle between Portuguese managers Jose Mourinho and his former apprentice Andre Villas-Boas ended in stalemate.
Arsenal held on to top spot in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Swansea City. Their good run continued as they went two points clear at the summit with second-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey before a late consolation from Swansea’s Ben Davies.
Southampton’s watertight defence held firm as they climbed to fourth with a 2-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace, Hull City won 1-0 against visiting West Ham United and Cardiff City triumphed 2-1 at struggling Fulham.
Manchester United might have thought they had exorcised last weekend’s crushing 1-4 reverse at City by beating arch rivals Liverpool in the League Cup third round in midweek, but the demons returned against West Brom. The defeat will heap further pressure on manager David Moyes, whose every decision has been under the microscope since he replaced Alex Ferguson in the close season.
“You’re always going to have bad results,” Moyes. “It is how you deal with them. There are lots of games to come and it’s about how you deal with them, so we look forward to them.”
West Brom had not won at Old Trafford since 1978 and the result ensured United made their worst start to a top-flight campaign after six games since 1989-90.
There was small consolation for United in the fact that rivals City were undone at Aston Villa.
Villa had won one and lost five of their last seven home league matches but twice dragged themselves back from a goal down to beat City and deny them a return to the top of the table.
City, who are still waiting for their first away win of the season, went ahead thanks to Yaya Toure’s volley on the stroke of halftime and Edin Dzeko headed them back into the lead in the 56th after Karim El Ahmadi had levelled from close-range.
Villa equalised for the second time through Leandro Bacuna’s 73rd minute free-kick and grabbed the winner when Andreas Weimann poked in two minutes later.
Tottenham’s clash with Chelsea was billed as a battle between Villas-Boas and Mourinho and the encounter turned on the latter’s decision to introduce playmaker Juan Mata at halftime.
Spurs had looked comfortable after taking the lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose low finish ended a flowing move involving Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado. Mata’s introduction swung the momentum in Chelsea’s favour and the Spaniard’s curling free-kick was headed in by Terry 20 minutes after the interval following a spell of intense pressure from the visitors.
Chelsea looked favourites to take all three points until referee Mike Dean’s controversial decision to send off their Spain striker Fernando Torres 10 minutes from time.