Man United, Arsenal begin with wins

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Last year's champions and runners-up, Manchester United and Arsenal, started the new Premiership season with victories.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Manchester United and Arsenal started the new Premiership season where they left off today as last year's champions and runners-up opened their accounts with victories. But United were the more convincing of the two, thrashing Bolton 4-0 at Old Trafford while Arsenal had to grind out a 2-1 victory over Everton after Sol Campbell's first-half dismissal. Ryan Giggs was the hero for United, showing fans that he can fill in for the departed David Beckham in the free-kick department with a 30-yard screamer on 35 minutes to open the scoring. Giggs added a second goal from a 74th minute shot, while Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy completed the rout. To emphasise the point that Beckham is history following his move to Real Madrid, his replacement in the number seven short, Portuguese teenager Cristiano Ronaldo, impressed when he came on as a second-half substitute. Ronaldo even won a 71st-minute penalty, but the usually reliable Van Nistelrooy saw his effort saved brilliantly by Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Arsenal's win over Everton at Highbury was marred by the 25th-minute sending-off of England defender Campbell, whose suspension at the end of last season, manager Arsene Wenger believes, cost the Gunners the title. Campbell, who already faces a possible three-game ban for appearing to kick Manchester United's Eric Djemba-Djemba in last week's Community Shield, was shown the red card for fouling Thomas Gravesen when he was the last defender. (PTI)