Everton move into safety zone

2010-10-02 18:12

London - Everton moved off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone as they won 2-0 away to Birmingham City for their first English Premier League victory of the season on Saturday.

The Toffees' long-awaited success, allied to Wigan's 2-0 win over Wolves, saw Merseyside rivals Liverpool, 18-times English champions, drop into the bottom three ahead of their match against top-flight new boys Blackpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur ended Aston Villa's winning run under Gerard Houllier with a Rafael van der Vaart double inspiring a 2-1 come from behind victory while West Ham and Fulham shared the points in a 1-1 London derby draw.

Manchester United, who would go level on points with leaders Chelsea if they won away to Sunderland, saw the kick-off in their match at the Stadium of Light delayed by 20 minutes after a burst pipe above the visitors' dressing room caused the ceiling to collapse.

Villa, who'd won both their two previous league matches under French boss Houllier, took a 16th minute lead at White Hart Lane after Marc Albrighton tapped in Emile Heskey's cross at the far post.

But Spurs were back on level terms shortly before half-time when van der Vaart headed home at the far post after Roman Pavlyuchenko's cross was nodded back across goal by Peter Crouch.

And the Netherlands midfielder, who scored and was sent-off in Tottenham's midweek Champions League win over Dutch club FC Twente, fired Spurs into the lead 15 minutes from time.

At the other end of the table, Everton scored their first away goal of the season when Leon Osman's cross was turned into his own net by Birmingham defender Roger Johnson in the 54th minute.

Australia's Tim Cahill sealed Everton's victory when he headed home in the 90th minute.

Clint Dempsey, who embarrassed England's Robert Green at the World Cup with a shot that squirmed under the goalkeeper in a 1-1 draw in South Africa, put Fulham in front away to West Ham at Upton Park with a 12-yard strike that gave the Hammers shot-stopper no chance in the 33rd minute.

But West Ham equalised in the 51st minute when Frederic Piquionne headed in Victor Obinna's cross.

Jon Walters gave Stoke a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, the club where he began his professional career as a trainee, when he curled home his first Potters league goal in the 48th minute at the Britannia Stadium.

Johan Elmander put Bolton into a 64th minute lead away to West Brom when he shot past Scott Carson at the Hawthorns before James Morrison headed the Baggies level with 12 minutes left in a 1-1 draw,

Earlier, Wigan climbed out of the bottom three with a victory that plunged Mick McCarthy's men into the relegation zone following second-half goals from Jordi Gomez and Hugo Rodallega.

Sunday also sees champions Chelsea face Arsenal in a London derby while Manchester City, who beat the Blues last week, play Newcastle.