Arsenal goes top; Stoke holds Liverpool 0-0

Arsenal beat Bolton 3-1 to jump to the top of the Premier League on Saturday after Liverpool was held 0-0 at home by Stoke.

updated: September 21, 2008 18:09 IST
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Arsenal beat Bolton 3-1 to jump to the top of the Premier League on Saturday after Liverpool was held 0-0 at home by Stoke.

Although Kevin Davies headed Bolton into a 14th minute lead, the visiting Gunners scored twice in a minute through Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner to snatch the lead by the 27th minute and Denilson added a third in the 87th.

The victory gives Arsene Wenger's team 12 points from five games although Chelsea, which has 10 points, can still regain the lead by beating Manchester United on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard had a goal disallowed at Anfield as Liverpool, which beat Manchester United at home last week, moved to 11 points from five games.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was furious that Gerrard's free kick, which sailed into the net, did not count. The linesman had flagged for an offside against teammate Dirk Kuyt, who tried to head the ball but missed.

"The disallowed goal was a key decision," Benitez said. "If that had been allowed it would have been a much more open game. I have no idea why the goal was disallowed. The referee told Jamie Carragher that it had been his decision, not the linesman's. But it was a massive mistake. And nobody knows why the effort was ruled out."

West Ham beat Newcastle 3-1 in Gianfranco Zola's first game in charge in the Premier League on Saturday.

Zola was on the West Ham bench for the first time since the Italian replaced Alan Curbishley as manager, and he saw compatriot David Di Michele mark his first league start for the Hammers with two goals.

The first was a deflected eighth-minute shot. He netted the second in the 37th minute from close range after his first shot had been blocked by goalkeeper Shay Given.

Matthew Etherington added the third from Di Michele's mis-hit shot in the 53rd. Newcastle scored through Michael Owen's curling shot in the 67th for his third goal of the season and his ninth in eight matches against the Hammers.

"It means a lot to me and also the players," Zola said of his first victory. "It's a good result and the way that they got it is a great satisfaction. I am very pleased for them."

Two late goals by substitute Michael Chopra earned Sunderland a 2-0 victory over neighbor Middlesbrough after Stewart Downing had missed a penalty for Boro.

Blackburn edged Fulham 1-0 with Matt Derbyshire netting his third goal of the season in the 84th minute.

Five more games are being staged on Sunday, including the showdown between Chelsea, last season's runner-up, and defending champion Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

The other matches are West Bromwich Albion-Aston Villa, Hull-Everton, Manchester City-Portsmouth and Tottenham-Wigan.

In the League Championship, Wolves moved three points clear at the top of the standings after a 3-1 victory at Preston despite having two players sent off.

Striker Chris Iwelumo scored three goals, but was sent off near the end for head-butting an opponent. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was also shown the red card for giving away a penalty with his team 3-0 up.

Second-place Birmingham lost 1-0 at home to Blackpool.