Agony for Mourinho as Chelsea lose
On a day of debuts, Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal fans a glimpse of his creative talents.
LONDON - Jose Mourinho's Chelsea homecoming party turned sour as a 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday condemned them to their worst start to a Premier League season during the big-spending era of owner Roman Abramovich.
Steven Naismith celebrated his 27th birthday by heading the winner in first-half injury time before the hosts clung on to secure manager Roberto Martinez's first victory and inflict Chelsea's maiden defeat of the campaign.
On a day of debuts, Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal fans a glimpse of his creative talents in a comfortable 3-1 win at Sunderland and Chelsea handed a first start to Samuel Eto'o, but the Cameroonian fluffed a host of chances.
It was a similar story for Manchester City, whose costly attacking recruits misfired in a goalless draw at Stoke City.
Champions Manchester United laboured to a 2-0 win over 10-man Crystal Palace at Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur's Gylfi Sigurdsson netted twice as they beat Norwich City by the same scoreline.
Newcastle United's mercurial talent Hatem Ben Arfa grabbed one goal and created another in a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa. Hull City against Cardiff City and Fulham against West Bromwich Albion both ended 1-1.
Arsenal top the table with nine points, ahead of Tottenham and Liverpool, who play Swansea City on Monday, on goals scored. Manchester City, United and Chelsea are fourth, fifth and sixth respectively on seven points.
It is Chelsea's worst opening to the season since Abramovich assumed control of the club in 2003 and since they took six points from their opening four matches in 2002-03.
Mourinho began his first spell in West London in 2004 with four consecutive wins, so will not relish seeing points go begging as easily as chances did at Everton.
Eto'o had been drafted in from Anzhi Makhachkala as a trusted frontman, having helped the Portuguese cement his reputation as one of the world's best coaches at Inter Milan with Champions League success in 2010.
Mourinho may have expected more, however, from the man he chose to be his attacking spearhead.
Eto'o wasted three good chances on a profligate evening for both him and Chelsea, who were undone when Naismith headed in from close range.
"Yes, he needs matches," Mourinho said of Eto'o on Sky Sports. "But it is not just him, (Andre) Schuerrle missed three big chances to score, Samuel was the same, other players had chances."