LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Everton player Marouane Fellaini (r) holds off the challenge of Jonas Gutierrez of Newcastle during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 17, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Premier League, Week 4: Everton, Newcastle Draw; Officials Lose

Everton will feel robbed after being denied two completely legitimate goals during a 2-2 draw against Newcastle United.

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Everton Vs. Newcastle: Final Score 2-2 After Controversial Match

A controversial match at Goodison Park saw Newcastle and Everton split the points with a 2-2 draw. It was an exciting game -- four goals will do that -- but beyond the goals there were plenty of close calls and enough poor refereeing decisions that Everton fans are completely justified in complaints that they'd been well and truly robbed.

The hosts got off to a flying start, with Nikica Jelavic turning in a rebound in the second minute, but his goal was disallowed for offside and the Croatian managed to injure his knee against the post in the process of not-scoring. No matter (apart from for poor Jelavic, who'd eventually have to leave the game) -- Leighton Baines would give the Everton a deserved lead shortly there after, the left back combining with Steven Pienaar to slot past Steven Harper in the 15th minute.

The Toffees were dominating and should have added to their lead. Phil Jagielka hit the post, and Leon Osman, Pienaar and Kevin Miralles might all have done better with shots that fizzed just wide of goal. But Newcastle had their chances too -- Papiss Cisse sent a sizzling volley that shaved a coat of paint off Tim Howard's right hand post, and Baines was forced to clear off the line from a Vernon Anita effort.

And then things got crazy in the second half. Demba Ba came on at the interval, and immediately made an impact, beating Jagielka for pace before sending a low shot towards Tim Howard's goal. It should have been a relatively easy stop, but the goalkeeper was wrong-footed and allowed the effort to roll into the bottom corner. 1-1.

Everton then scored twice, only to be denied by the officials. Marouane Fellaini, his usual imperious form all match, was robbed by the linesman's flag, and then Victor Anichebe saw a header hit Harper, the crossbar and then Mike Williamson -- in the process crossing the goalline -- completely ignored by the refereeing crew.

It looked as though Anichebe would win the game anyway after the striker turned and fired home from a Pienaar feed, but an absolutely fantastic last-minute finish from Ba, who managed to nutmeg a leaping Howard with an exquisite bouncing shot, enabled the Magpies to emerge from Goodison with a 2-2 draw. That was, all in all, a very watchable game.


Reading Vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Final Score 3-1, Spurs Run Riot

Tottenham Hotspur have earned their first win of the 2011/12 Premier League season with an emphatic 3-1 victory against newly-promoted Reading. Coming off a loss to Newcastle and two disappointing draws, Andre Villas-Boas desperately needed the three points in order to fend off increasing media pressure, and he got them in style. Jermain Defoe got Spurs started, latching onto a cutback from Aaron Lennon to fire past debutant Alex McCarthy in the 18th minute.

The pressure didn't stop there. Gylfi Sigurdsson had a shot cleared off the line after bizarre goalkeeping from McCarthy allowed Defoe free reign of the penalty box, and Reading were in serious risk of being well and truly overrun. Second half adjustments helped momentarily, but the hosts were put in an impossible hole when Gareth Bale scuffed home from eight yards, and Defoe added a third with a deft finish past poor McCarthy to make it 3-0.

Spurs have been prone to conceding late goals, however, and that bugbear bit them once more when Hal Robson-Kanu grabbed a consolation strike just before stoppage time. Scoring twice more in four minutes proved far too big an ask, however, and in truth the final margin of victory should have been higher.


Reading Vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Lineups

Jermain Defoe and Brad Friedel start for Tottenham, with Hugo Lloris, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Clint Dempsey on the bench. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kebe fails to come back from injury in time to make the Reading lineup.


Fulham Vs. West Bromwich Albion: Final Score 3-0; WBA's Impressive Run Ends

The Premier League's got its groove back. By which I mean Dimitar Berbatov. The funnest player who never played, Berbatov was finally granted his freedom by Manchester United with a transfer to Fulham, and the striker marked the return of Berbarotica with a debut brace for the Cottagers. Yes, we're unabashedly pro-Berbatov. You should be too, if you want to pretend to have any taste whatsoever.

West Bromwich Albion fans can be excepted from the above rule, though. They'd have been riding a high after two goals and a draw to start their Premier League campaign, but they were absolutely battered at Craven Cottage. It took a superb performance from Ben Foster in goal to keep the score to 3-0 as the hosts threatened to run rampant in the second half.

By then, Fulham were already 2-0 and a man up. Berbatov opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark with a neat curling effort from near the penalty spot, and earned his brace a few minutes later from a penalty proper after Alex Kacaniklic was fouled by Billy Jones. Between those goals, Peter Odemwingie had been shown a straight red for kicking Sascha Riether, making the visitors' task virtually impossible.

The Baggies scratched and clawed for a goal, but to no avail, opening themselves up for several clear-cut Fulham chances. Foster saved them all until a rebound fell to Steve Sidwell in the 89th minute. At point blank range, he could hardly give up the opportunity to wrap up an emphatic win. Moussa Demwho?


Aston Villa Vs. Swansea City: Final Score 2-0 As Villa Mark Return To Playing Actual Football

Aston Villa earned their first win of the young season with an impressive performance against Swansea City. Paul Lambert's supposed revolution had seen a return of just one point from his first three matches in charge, and that included a comprehensive home defeat to Everton. Michael Laudrup's Swansea, on the other hand, had been a completely different story, playing lovely football and earning themselves seven points from nine to start the season.

Not too many, in other words, were expecting Villa to cruise. Yet cruise they did. Brad Guzan kept the visitors out whenever they threatened, and a superb strike by Matt Lowton, his first at senior level, gave Villa the lead in the 16th minute. The second half saw Lambert's side even go so far as to dominate possession, leaving Swansea looking rather flummoxed, and the points were secured when an Ashley Williams error allowed new signing Christian Benteke to notch on his debut.

If Villa keep playing like that, we're going to have to revisit the 'relegation candidates' narrative.


Arsenal Vs. Southampton, 2012 Premier League: Final Score 6-1 To Gunners In Rout

Southampton got a bit screwed over by drawing Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City in the first month of the Premier League season, but that doesn't exactly excuse their defense. Giving up three to City and United is understandable, but they were truly abysmal in giving up six to the Gunners, as Arsenal defeated the Saints 6-1 at the Emirates.

That's not to discredit Arsenal, who played their best match of the season and might have scored three or four goals against a respectable defense on Saturday. Jos Hooiveld opened the scoring in the 11th minute by putting the ball into his own net. With an early lead, Arsenal didn't have to worry about breaking down their opponent and Southampton couldn't bunker. That was a bad combination.

Lukas Podolski doubled Arsenal's lead with an absolutely beautiful free kick in the 31st minute, which started Southampton's downright implosion. Gervinho netted his first of the season in the 35th minute, and that was followed up by a Nathaniel Clyne own goal two minutes later that effectively ended the contest.

Danny Fox scored just before the stroke of halftime, assisted by Wojciech Szczesny, who hilariously flapped at a cross and missed, allowing Fox to head home. That goal didn't do much for Southampton, even though Szczesny looked shaky for the rest of the game and gave them every chance to find the net. Gervinho scored again in the 71st minute, and Theo Walcott completed the rout with an 88th minute goal.


Stoke City Vs. Manchester City: Final Score 1-1, Late Chances Come To Nothing For Champions

Manchester City never have the best of luck against Stoke City, particularly at the Britannia Stadium, and the curse continued with a lively 1-1 draw. It was a game that, on the whole, the visitors will feel like they should have won, but Peter Crouch's rather controversial 15th minute goal, which saw him lurch his way through a packed defence (possibly with the aid of his left arm, although there was no definitive evidence one way or another) then slot past Joe Hart from close range, put them in a hole that they couldn't easily get three points from.

Debutante Javi Garcia managed to get the champions back on level terms before halftime, nodding home a very Stoke-y goal from a free kick. It wasn't enough, and the hosts enjoyed a strong second half in which they intermittently threatened to retake the lead. The visitors, of course, were always going to subject the Potters to a late onslaught, and they nearly snatched a winner twice in the last two minutes, with Asmir Begovic somehow tipping another Garcia header onto the post before Ryan Shawcross cleared an absolutely delightful dink by Edin Dzeko off the line with the last kick of the match. More dropped points for Manchester City...


Manchester United Vs. Wigan: Final Score 4-0 As Red Devils Blow Latics Away In Second Half

Manchester United produced an excellent second-half display to put Wigan Athletic to the sword, with Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell both scoring debut goals.


Manchester United Vs. Wigan Athletic: Half-Time Score 0-0 As Both Sides Struggle In Scrappy Game

Javier Hernandez had a penalty saved as Manchester United and Wigan fought to a stalemate in the first half at Old Trafford.


Queens Park Rangers Vs. Chelsea: Lineups

John Terry and Ashley Cole both shake off injuries to start for Chelsea, while QPR start Julio Cesar, Esteban Granero, and welcome Alejandro Faurlin back from injury.


Stoke City Vs. Manchester City: Lineups

Manchester City have handed surprise starts to new signings Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair, and Maicon, while Michael Owen begins his Potters career on the bench.


Arsenal Vs. Southampton: Lineups

Gervinho starts as a lone striker for Arsenal, as Gaston Ramirez starts on the bench for Southampton.


Manchester United Vs. Wigan Athletic: Lineups

Manchester United hand a debut to Alexander Buttner, while Robin Van Persie, Antonio Valencia, and Shinji Kagawa are all on the bench.


QPR Vs. Chelsea 2012, Premier League Week 4: Game Time And TV Schedule

League leaders Chelsea look to continue their perfect start against QPR, but of course, everyone is too busy taking about handshakes.


Arsenal Vs. Southampton 2012, Premier League Week 4: Game Time And TV Schedule

Arsenal look to continue their solid start to the season against struggling promoted side Southampton

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