The Most Valuable Point Of The Season For Newcastle?

Last updated : 18 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

Sir Alex played it down saying "it is only one game" ... but it was far more than that.

We didn't take the hiding many predicted, and KK showed his patched up team IS good enough to take something out of a season that many had already written off.

Season ticket sales are well down on last term, just as they have been each year since we had a 17,000 waiting list.

This club needs an injection of something ... and a major signing would light up the place.

KK said at the end of last season that we would not split the top four in the next four years, and it has been all doom and gloom as we waited for a superstar signing.

But Sunday brought us hope ... and that in itself is a starting point!


Luiz Felipe Scolari made the perfect start to his Chelsea reign as they easily overcame Portsmouth 4-0 in their Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Joe Cole, Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard (penalty) and Deco all netted as the Blues made short work of the FA Cup holders to top the early standings.

Chelsea played with more freedom than under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant, and were in front inside 12 minutes.

Cole provided the breakthrough, racing onto an excellent Michael Ballack pass to fire confidently past David James.

The Blues doubled their advantage on 26 minutes when new boy Deco's looping effort drifted over the head of James and the impressive Anelka headed home from close range.

By now Chelsea were rampant, and they virtually made certain of victory in first-half injury time.

Sylvain Distin handled Joe Cole's cross and Lampard easily beat James from the spot.

The second half was a stroll in the sunshine for the home side, though Pompey did provide more threat in attack.

It was Chelsea who eventually did find another goal, when Deco capped a fine Premier League debut with a superb swerving long-range effort a minute from time.

Gabriel Agbonlahor bounced back from his England snub with a stunning seven-minute hat-trick as Aston Villa beat Manchester City 4-2 at Villa Park.

Agbonlahor was left out of the England squad by Fabio Capello for Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic - but took out any disappointment on City, in devastating fashion.

He netted on 69,74 and 76 minutes to give Villa a 4-1 advantage and assure them of three points.

John Carew had fired Martin O'Neill's side in front early in the second half but his strike was cancelled out by Elano on 64 minutes.

Vedran Corluka got City's second - a consolation effort a minute from time.

It was a miserable afternoon all round for Mark Hughes' Blues, who lost Valeri Bojinov before kick-off. He snapped his Achilles during the warm-up and is now facing six months on the sidelines.

Hull celebrated a Premier League victory at the first time of asking with a 2-1 win over Fulham at the KC Stadium.

It was an inauspicious start for the new boys as Seol Ki-hyeon put the visitors ahead in the eighth minute from Jimmy Bullard's cross.

But Geovanni had already forced Mark Schwarzer into a good save and he beat the Australian with a fizzing left-footer (22) to level matters.

The former Manchester City man turned villain at the start of the second half, however, missing an open goal, but Caleb Folan ensured it would be Hull's day after Craig Fagan robbed Paul Konchesky (81).

Arsenal kicked off the season with a 1-0 victory over promoted West Brom at the Emirates Stadium.

Gunners new boy Samir Nasri opened his account after only four minutes, finding the bottom corner following a lay-off from Denilson.

The home side could easily have extended their lead with Emmanuel Adebayor missing a one-on-one and having a goal disallowed for offside midway through the second half.

Fernando Torres fired Liverpool to a scarcely deserved 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The striker was anonymous for much of the evening as his partnership with £20m new boy Robbie Keane continued to stutter, but he produced a vicious drive eight minutes from time to claim the points.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for a Sunderland side who had enjoyed the best of the play and all but negated the return of the Reds' fit-again skipper Steven Gerrard.

Dean Ashton did his chances of being included in Fabio Capello's England squad to face the Czech Republic on Wednesday no harm with two goals for West Ham in a 2-1 victory against Wigan.

He opened the scoring after only three minutes at Upton Park, latching onto Julien Faubert's cross before turning and smashing a shot into the top corner.

He had a much easier task seven minutes later after Calum Davenport's hook towards goal left the former Norwich man with a tap-in.

Two minutes into the second half, Latics debutant Amr Zaki smashed in Emile Heskey's flick-on to give the visitors hope, but they could not find the equaliser.

Andre Ooijer piled the pressure on Everton boss David Moyes with a last-gasp winner for Blackburn in a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park.

David Dunn turned away from Phil Jagielka before curling a brilliant shot into the corner (22) to put Blackburn ahead.

But Moyes, who has been unable to bolster his squad this summer, was smiling on the stroke of half-time as Mikel Arteta beat Paul Robinson with a 20-yard free-kick.

The home fans were celebrating again when Ayegbeni Yakubu headed home Arteta's cross to put them ahead (64), only for Blackburn to draw level through Roque Santa Cruz two minutes later. And Ooijer stabbed home the winner after Ryan Nelsen hit the post

Newly-promoted Stoke were brought down to earth with a bump at the Reebok Stadium.

They found themselves behind thanks to a stroke of fortune for Bolton defender Gretar Steinsson, whose cross flew over Thomas Sorensen and into the top corner (34).

The Trotters' second goal was a lot more conventional, Kevin Davies outmuscling two defenders and heading in a long ball (41), and the Potters' Premier League bow was certain to end in defeat when Johan Elmander grabbed a debut goal (45) to make it 3-0.

Ricardo Fuller gave the Potters something to smile about with an injury-time goal.

Tottenham will be hoping for a better start than last season but their opening match ended in defeat as Middlesbrough recorded a 2-1 win at the Riverside.

David Wheater had a header harshly disallowed in the first half so it was fitting the defender should open the scoring from close range after Afonso Alves' effort came off the bar. Mido then sealed matters four minutes from time.

However, there was still time for Robert Huth to halve the deficit by heading a David Bentley free-kick into his own net (90).

Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who is rumoured to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, came on as a substitute.