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United draw, Spurs thrash QPR

The second week of the new EPL season promised some exciting wins and some shocking draws.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and his assistant Ryan Giggs. Picture: Official Manchester United Facebook page.

LONDON - Manchester United laboured to a ponderous 1-1 draw at Sunderland on Sunday that delivered a first Premier League point for Louis van Gaal but laid bare their dire need for reinforcements and exposed frailties at both ends of the pitch.

United's problems were there for all to see as Juan Mata's opening goal on 17 minutes proved a unique scoring opportunity while their lack of a commanding centre half was exploited by an unmarked Jack Rodwell for Sunderland's equaliser.

They now find themselves five points adrift of early Premier League pace-setters Tottenham Hotspur, who were Sunday's big winners with a 4-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers that ensured Harry Redknapp suffered a second straight defeat and a miserable return to his former club.

In Sunday's other game, Hull City played most of the match with 10 men and came within six minutes of holding on for victory over Stoke City, but were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.

With the transfer window edging towards a close, United were handed another reminder that nothing but significant investment in a squad that lacks depth and strength will spark an improvement in their fortunes after last season's woes.

They lacked penetration in attack with little pace or incision and while Mata tapped home following a driving run and fizzing cross from Antonio Valencia, the Spaniard was largely ineffective as a central playmaker.

EXPENSIVE PATCHWORK

Goals were not in short supply at White Hart Lane where players condemned as costly mistakes last season starred in a 4-0 victory.

Nacer Chadli, among the expensive patchwork of players recruited when Gareth Bale left for Real Madrid, scored Tottenham's first and third while record signing Erik Lamela was pivotal in a playmaker role.

Eric Dier profited from a Lamela corner to net Tottenham's second, scoring for the second time in two weeks, and Emmanuel Adebayor rounded off the scoring with a crisp low finish.

For Redknapp, sacked by Spurs in 2012 after leading them to fourth in the Premier League, an experiment with three central defenders backfired spectacularly with Tottenham scoring three times inside the opening 37 minutes.

"We didn't play well. We got what we deserved, which is nothing. We didn't play with enough energy and I thought we were in awe of Tottenham a little bit," Redknapp said.

GUNNERS SALVAGE DRAW

Arsenal showed the resilience that could underpin a Premier League title challenge when they scored twice in the closing minutes to draw 2-2 at Everton after the home side largely dominated the match on Saturday.

Aaron Ramsey tapped in after 83 minutes and substitute Olivier Giroud planted home a header in the 90th to cancel out the lead Everton held after a first-half header from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith's second on the stroke of halftime.

Chelsea, who beat Leicester City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge with goals from home debutant Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, and Swansea City, who sank Burnley 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium, head the early season standings with six points.

Arsenal stayed third with four points from two games, although their run of six successive league victories, which started after they lost 3-0 at Everton in April, came to an end.

In Saturday's other matches, West Ham United won 3-1 at managerless Crystal Palace, while the games between Aston Villa and Newcastle United and Southampton and West Bromwich Albion ended goalless.

Champions Manchester City and runners-up Liverpool, will meet on Monday night.

RESULTS

SUNDAY

Sunderland 1 - 1 Man Utd

Hull 1 - 1 Stoke

Spurs 4 - 0 QPR

SATURDAY

Everton 2 - 2 Arsenal

Chelsea 2 - 0 Leicester

Crystal Palace 1 - 3 West Ham

Southampton 0 - 0 West Brom

Swansea 1 - 0 Burnley

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Newcastle

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