Sunderland beat Spurs, debut win for Eriksson

August 11, 2007

LONDON -- Sven-Goran Eriksson made a winning start in the Premier League on Saturday, guiding Manchester City to a 2-0 victory at West Ham.

On the season's opening day, two of Eriksson's eight signings, Rolando Bianchi and Geovanni, scored the two goals at Upton Park. Another addition, Elano, played a standout game on the right wing.

"I am delighted, of course, with the way we have started," said Eriksson, who was considered a flop as England's coach by failing to get the national team past the quarterfinals of two World Cups and a European Championship.

"England is history for me today," he added. "I don't think I had a player like Elano with England. We are playing a different way with Manchester City. It is a big club and the aim is to make it much better."

"The owner (former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra) has not asked me to win the Premier League -- not this season anyway -- or get into Europe, but we will see where we are when the squad is fully ready.''

Liverpool's Rafa Benitez has spent even more than Eriksson but relied on veteran Steven Gerrard to capture a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa. After Gareth Barry's penalty shot tied it for Villa in the 85th minute, Gerrard fired home a 25-yard free kick for the winner two minutes later.

Newcastle's Sam Allardyce enjoyed a good day at Reebok Stadium, where he used to manage Bolton. The Magpies beat Bolton 3-1, racing to a 3-0 lead inside 27 minutes with Obafemi Martins scoring twice.

Promoted Sunderland upset Tottenham 1-0 thanks to a goal in the third minute of injury time by Michael Chopra. Derby County, which gained promotion through the playoffs, tied 2-2 with Portsmouth.

Blackburn came from behind to win 2-1 at Middlesbrough but needed a last-minute save from U.S. goalie Brad Friedel, who blocked a powerful header from David Wheater. Everton edged Wigan 2-1.

Germany
BERLIN -- Miroslav Klose scored twice and set up the other for another new signing Luca Toni as Bayern Munich began its Bundesliga season with a 3-0 victory over Hansa Rostock.

Bayern, the big title favorite, lost the championship to VfB Stuttgart last season. It lined up five new players after a Bundesliga record spending spree of $97 million on new players. That included Klose from Werder Bremen, which tried hard to keep the 2006 World Cup's top scorer.

"I'm relieved at the win, the expectations are huge," Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said. "We weren't really challenged. That will happen next week against (Werder) Bremen. There will be some hate in that game."

In other games, it was: Leverkusen 0, Cottbus 0; Hamburg 1, Hannover 96 0; and Frankfurt 1, Hertha Berlin 0. On Friday, defending champion Stuttgart drew 2-2 against Schalke.

Scotland
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Defending champion Celtic came back from conceding an early goal to beat Falkirk 4-1.

Held 0-0 at home by Kilmarnock on the opening day last week, Gordon Strachan's team appeared in trouble when Michael Higdon's header gave Falkirk the lead at Westfield.

But the Hoops struck back with three goals in five minutes from Kenny Miller, Shunsuke Nakamura and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink after Kenny Milne's own-goal had tied the score. Celtic has four points from two games.

Rangers scored a 2-0 victory over St. Mirren and has yet to concede a goal. DaMarcus Beasley provided the run and pass that set up Daniel Cousin's second goal in the 79th minute after Barry Ferguson scored the first in the 52nd.

Rangers have a maximum six points and are even with Hibernian, which came from two goals down to beat promoted Gretna 4-2. Motherwell edged Inverness 2-1.