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Man United Win But Chelsea Held To A Draw

Manchester United began defence of their Premier League crown with a late 2-1 victory at West Brom, while title rivals Chelsea were being held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke.

United began the match strongly and took a 13th-minute lead when Wayne Rooney latched onto an Ashley Young pass and drove a shot on the turn past Ben Foster. Nani twice missed great opportunities to put this game beyond West Brom before Albion equalised. There seemed little danger when Shane Long fired in a shot, but David De Gea dove over the ball and the match was tied. That is two consecutive weeks that De Gea has given up bad goals as he tries to adjust to life in the Premier League.

When both centre-backs Nemanja Vidić and Rio Ferdinand limped off to injury in the second half, it looked like United would once again be held to a draw away from home. But with less than 10 minutes to go, Ashley Young drove to the touchline and his low cross was deflected into his own goal by Reid.

After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson announced that Ferdinand will be out six weeks with a hamstring injury and that Rafael will be out 10 weeks after hurthing his shoulder in training last week. An early injury crisis at Old Trafford.

Earlier in the day André Villas-Boas first official match in charge of Chelsea got off to a disappointing start as his side was held to a goalless draw at Stoke. One bright spot for Chelsea was the play of Fernando Torres. Torres was picked over Drogba, and this was his best performance in a Chelsea shirt.

So three of the title contenders; Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, all dropped points on the opening weekend of the season. Manchester City will be looking to keep up with United and also establish an early two-point lead over those other title contenders when they play Swansea on Monday.