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Stoke holds City for fourth straight draw

Stoke-on-Trent, England (Sports Network) - Peter Crouch scored as Stoke City held defending champion Manchester City, 1-1, on Saturday at Britannia Stadium for its fourth straight draw to open the English Premier League season.

Crouch scored just 15 minutes into the match and Javi Garcia provided the lone goal for City in his debut for the Manchester club 10 minutes before halftime.

Stoke tied Reading, Arsenal and Wigan in its first three games, and is the one team with four draws in as many matches to open the season.

Crouch opened the scoring with a bit of controversy, as he needed a touch with his hand and a deflection off Garcia before he could direct a shot from just a few yards out to the lower-right corner.

City answered the deficit when Carlos Tevez sent a cross to Garcia, who turned a header from the edge of the six-yard box to the left post for his first goal in the Premiership.

Manchester pushed for the winner, but Samir Nasri and Garcia both were denied by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic late in the match.

Stoke introduced Michael Owen in the closing minutes, but the former England striker could not mark his debut with a dramatic winner.

While Stoke has four points from four games, City was held for the second time against two wins in four matches and sits two points off the pace of Chelsea.

Manchester United 4, Wigan 0

Manchester, England - Paul Scholes scored in his 700th match for Manchester United, sparking his club to a 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday at Old Trafford in the English Premier League.

Javier Hernandez missed a penalty just six minutes into the match, but Scholes sparked United when he hammered home a rebound six minutes after halftime for his 155th goal for the club.

Hernandez atoned for his penalty kick miss in the 63rd, and Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell added goals later in the second half as United rolled to its third straight win.

United started the season with a shock 1-0 loss at Everton, but downed Fulham and Southampton in its last two matches. United hosts Galatasaray on Wednesday to begin Champions League play.

Manchester is just one point off the pace of first-place Chelsea, while Wigan lost for the second time against a win and a draw and is six off the top.

QPR 0, Chelsea 0

London, England - Chelsea dropped points for the first time this season in the English Premier League on Saturday as the European champions settled for a 0-0 draw against QPR at Loftus Road.

Chelsea opened with wins over Wigan, Reading and Newcastle, but failed to post its fourth straight win on the eve of the Champions League.

The match was highlighted by the pregame meetings between QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole, who did not shake hands. Terry was accused of racial abuse against Ferdinand last year.

The London squads did little to upstage the pregame show, as both struggled to create chances. Chelsea will turn its attention to Juventus on Wednesday, when the clubs open Champions League play.

QPR earned its second point of the season.

Arsenal 6, Southampton 1

London, England - Gervinho scored a brace and Arsenal benefited from two own goals to beat Southampton, 6-1, on Saturday at Emirates Stadium in the English Premier League.

Jos Hooiveld's own goal in the 11th minute gave Arsenal the early lead, and a free-kick goal from Lukas Podolski gave the Gunners a two-goal cushion after the half hour.

Gervinho added his first in the 35th and a second own goal through Nathaniel Clyne in the 37th left little doubt about the result before half. Gervinho and Theo Walcott scored in the second half.

Daniel Fox scored for Southampton just before half, but it was far from enough to keep the promoted club from losing its fourth straight to start the season.

Arsenal remained undefeated with two wins and two draws, and allowed its first goal this season. The Gunners are two points off the summit.

Sunderland 1, Liverpool 1

Sunderland, England - Luis Suarez scored 19 minutes from time as Liverpool was able to avoid its third loss with a 1-1 tie against Sunderland on Saturday at the Stadium of Light in the English Premier League.

Steven Fletcher scored his third goal of the season in the 28th minute to give the hosts the lead, but Suarez responded in the 71st minute as Liverpool got its second point.

Fletcher began the scoring when he directed the ball in from the center of the six-yard box, but Suarez was the beneficiary of a lucky deflection late and he tucked a shot just inside the right post from close range.

Liverpool is still winless after four matches, but has ties in two of its last three matches. Sunderland is also winless, but also remained unbeaten with its third draw from as many matches.

Aston Villa 2, Swansea City 0

Birmingham, England - Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke scored on each side of half and Brad Guzan earned a shutout as Aston Villa beat Swansea City, 2-0, on Saturday at Villa Park for its first win in the English Premier League.

Villa started with consecutive losses to West Ham and Everton under new coach Paul Lambert, but it tied Newcastle in its last match and earned three points against previously unbeaten Swansea.

Lowton struck a volley from 20 yards to open the scoring in the 16th minute as Villa took an early lead and Benteke sealed three points two minutes from time for Villa.

Guzan made three saves to post the clean sheet, his first of the season.

Swansea opened with consecutive wins, but has now been held to a draw against Sunderland and lost to Villa. Swansea is three point off the summit.

Fulham 3, West Bromwich 0

London, England - Dimitar Berbatov scored twice as Fulham rolled to a 3-0 win over West Bromwich on Saturday in the English Premier League to remain perfect at Craven Cottage.

Berbatov joined Fulham from Manchester United late in the transfer window, and opened his account for the London club just after the half-hour mark and added his second from the spot in first-half stoppage time.

Steve Sidwell added his second goal this season late for Fulham against 10-man West Bromwich, which lost for the first time this season.

Fulham downed Norwich City, 5-0, in its home opener, and has outscored its two opponents in London, 8-0.

Norwich City 0, West Ham 0

Norwich, England - West Ham added a road point to its two home wins with a 0-0 draw against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday in the English Premier League, as the newly-promoted side continued its strong start.

Neither side impressed in the early-season match and Norwich remained winless, as it settled for its third draw straight. Norwich lost its opening match.

While West Ham solidified its place in the upper half of the table for another week, Norwich is stuck in the bottom half through four matches.