Oktoberfest Premier League round-up

The 'Pod' has made a fast start to life in London. Photo wikimedia/Ronnie Macdonald

As millions of visitors descend on Munich for the world's most popular beer festival, Michael Mould makes sure football lovers get the latest from arguably the world's most popular football league.

German star Lukas Podolski built on an encouraging start to life in the English Premier League with an excellent goal in a thumping 6-1 victory for Arsenal over a woeful Southampton side reeling after a difficult start to life back in the top division.

Podolski's 25 yard free kick was the pick of the bunch as Arsenal raced into a 4-0 lead inside 38 minutes, the other goals included two own goals from Nathaniel Clyne and Jos Hooiveld as well as a near post strike from the impressive Gervinho.

Yet Southampton were to see one of their players put the ball in the right net, Daniel Fox capitalising on Wojiech Szczesny's spill to notch what would turn out to be little more than a consolation goal.

An injury to Hooiveld added to a rotten day for Southampton coach Nigel Adkins that was to get worse still, Gervinho scoring his second following a rebound in the 71st minute and substitute Theo Walcott rubbing salt into the wound just ten minutes later to wrap up the result.

Arsenal's North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur finally got their season off and running as Jermain Defoe scored twice and Gareth Bale another to give Andre Villas-Boas his first win in charge of Spurs. Robson Kanu notched a late consolation strike for Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

There was a big win for Manchester United too as Paul Scholes celebrated his 700th Manchester United appearance by scoring his 155th Manchester United goal in a 4-0 win over a disappointing Wigan side at Old Trafford.

Injury worry Robin Van Persie was left on the bench following his return from international duty but the Red Devils did fine without him, other goals coming from Javier Hernandez, Alexander Büttner and Nick Powell as United moved to within a point of leaders Chelsea.

The Blues themselves dropped their first points of the season as poor finishing led to a 0-0 draw away to Queens Park Rangers in front of a hostile crowd at Loftus Road with Anton Ferdinand refusing to shake hands with John Terry or Ashley Cole following the race saga last season.

Fellow title challengers Manchester City had to make do with a draw at the Britannia Stadium as Stoke City ground out a 1-1 result with Peter Crouch notching for the Potters before Francisco Javi Garcia scored with a free header on his debut.

Another player making his debut was Stoke's Steven N'Zonzi while Charlie Adam also got his first home start for the club. New Stoke signing Michael Owen appeared late on as a sub but with too little time to make an impact.

With the game tied and time running out for the visitors dogged resistance from Stoke saw another Garcia effort tipped on to the post and Ryan Shawcross clear off the line late on as the Premier League champions went for the win but it wasn't to be.

Liverpool also had to make do with a point, 1-1 the result against Sunderland at the end of an emotional week for the club. The Reds had the better of the play at the Stadium of Light but struggled to break down an organised Sunderland side that took the lead against the run of play with a third goal in two games from Steven Fletcher.

After the break Raheem Sterling continued to cause Sunderland problems with his trickery and pace and played a key part in Liverpool's goal, turning Black Cats debutant Danny Rose before sending a cross into the box which Luiz Suarez eventually fired home 19 minutes from time to salvage a point for the Merseysiders.

Aston Villa eased the pressure on new boss Paul Lambert by beating a lacklustre Swansea 2-0 at home to notch their first points of the season, goals from new signings Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke ending Swansea's unbeaten start to the season.

Meanwhile Dimitar Berbatov shone at Craven Cottage, the Bulgarian grabbing a brace on his home debut in a 3-0 demolition of West Bromwich Albion, a side that had been unbeaten going into the game but were always struggling after Peter Odemwingie saw red for violent conduct after just 35 minutes.

The early kick-off between Norwich and West Ham finished goalless as the Canaries continue to search for their first win of the season.


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