ches without defeat after Ghana’s Michael Essien scored from 25 yards to secure a 3-2 win over newly-promoted Birmingham.
Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager, made a triumphant return to club management as Manchester City won 2-0 at West Ham, while Sam Allardyce, another high-profile manager, returned with Newcastle to his former club Bolton and saw Nigeria’s Obafemi Martins score twice in Newcastle’s 3-1 success.
Zimbabwe’s Benjani Mwaruwari hit Portsmouth’s first goal in a 2-2 draw at newly-promoted Derby and another team new to the top flight, Roy Keane’s Sunderland, edged out Tottenham 1-0 in the North-East with substitute Michael Chopra’s injury-time strike.
Blackpool, back in the second flight after a 29-year gap, won 1-0 at Leicester, while Morecambe celebrated their first-ever League match by earning a 0-0 home draw with Barnet in the bottom division.
Lomana LuaLua, the Congo forward, has quit Portsmouth and signed a three-year deal with Olympiakos, the Greek champions.
In Scotland, title-holders Celtic came from behind to win 4-1 at Falkirk, scoring three times in the last 16 minutes.
BY JOHN HUGHES
MANCHESTER United, the Premier League champions, were held 0-0 at home by Reading on the opening day of the season and lost star striker Wayne Rooney with a hairline foot fracture. Reading played the last 17 minutes with 10 men.
Chelsea set a top-flight record of 64 home mat