Chelsea win London derby, Everton rout Liverpool
LONDON, Sep 9 (Reuters) Champions Chelsea beat their bogey team Charlton Athletic 2-1, Everton trounced Liverpool 3-0 in the Merseyside derby but Arsenal could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Middlesbrough in today's Premier League action.
On a difficult day for pre-season title favourites, Chelsea only secured victory with a deflected Ricardo Carvalho header and needed a potential equaliser for Charlton by Marcus Bent to be ruled offside.
Liverpool were cut down to size by England striker Andrew Johnson, who scored twice for Everton, while a faltering Arsenal were heading for another defeat before Thierry Henry converted a penalty, soon after a red card for Boro's George Boateng.
It somehow finished 0-0 between Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers despite three penalties being awarded, Fulham came from behind for a 2-1 win at Newcastle United and Gary Speed converted a stoppage time penalty to give Bolton Wanderers a 1-0 win over Watford.
Portsmouth went top with a 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic, though Manchester United could return to the summit in their 1615GMT kickoff against Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea will be glad just to have taken three points off a side who caused them trouble last term.
Charlton, the only side to deny Chelsea a home league win last season and who also dumped them out of the League Cup, were constantly on the back foot after Didier Drogba gave the champions a sixth-minute lead.
But Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, a close season signing from Middlesbrough after being a Chelsea man from 2000-04, took advantage of some lax defending to equalise in the 54th minute.
FANS SINGING Chelsea, whose fans had been singing the Dutchman's name before kickoff at Stamford Bridge, gave a big welcome soon afterwards for left back Ashley Cole, making his debut as a substitute after his move from Arsenal.
There was more to celebrate in the 63rd minute when Carvalho's header from a Frank Lampard corner was deflected in for Chelsea's winner, while Charlton had Bent's effort disallowed for handball.
The visitors had better luck in the closing stages when keeper Scott Carson pulled off a brilliant save to deny Lampard with a penalty on a bad day for spot-kicks.
''We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at the end of the first half and with the game in our pocket,'' Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports News.
''But the reality was 1-0 and that in the second half they were stronger than us and they equalised -- they deserved that.
''We went 2-1 up and had the chance to kill the game with a penalty and we couldn't.
''After that, they were stronger than us again and if they'd scored a late goal, it wouldn't have been a big surprise.'' Defensive blunders were to blame for Liverpool's downfall at Goodison Park, where Australia midfielder Tim Cahill opened the scoring for Everton.
Johnson pounced on a mis-cued interception by Jamie Carragher to make it 2-0 and then on a last-minute goalkeeping howler by Jose Reina to score his fourth goal in four games since joining in the close season from Crystal Palace.
Arsenal were trailing to a 22nd strike by James Morrison and only made the breakthrough after a red card for Boro midfielder Boateng in the 64th minute.
Three minutes later, Henry converted a penalty for a foul by England winger Stewart Downing on defender Emmanuel Eboue but Arsenal's intense pressure failed to deliver a winner.
Arsene Wenger's side are now a lowly 17th in the table, with just two points from three games.
Zimbabwean striker Benjamin Mwaruwari got the winner for Portsmouth, who have yet to concede a goal in their four games and have rattled up 10 points.
Everton are second on 10, with Manchester United, on nine points, just ahead of Chelsea on goal difference.
REUTERS SBA RAI2319