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Big-spending Man City make confident start

  • Story Highlights
  • Emmanuel Adebayor and Stephen Ireland score in Manchester City win
  • Arsenal crush Champions League hopefuls Everton 6-1 at Goodison Park
  • Wigan shock Aston Villa on opening day, while West Ham win at Wolves
  • Rangers open Scottish title defense with victory, rivals Celtic also triumph
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(CNN) -- Manchester City's expensively-assembled team began their English Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, while Arsenal crushed Everton 6-1 in the late kick-off.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored on his Manchester City debut in the 2-0 victory at Blackburn.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored on his Manchester City debut in the 2-0 victory at Blackburn.

New signing Emmanuel Adebayor took just three minutes to pay off some of his massive transfer fee with home grown Stephen Ireland wrapping up three points in the closing moments at Ewood Park.

It was City's first win at Blackburn for six years.

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Mark Hughes' men have gone into the season with the heavy weight of expectation after spending a reported $153 million in the close-season transfer market to bring in the likes of striker Adebayor, fellow frontman Carlos Tevez and midfielder Gareth Barry.

They made a dream start when England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed for Togo star Adebayor to fire home.

Blackburn worked hard for an equalizer and Shay Given had to make fine saves from Christopher Samba and Jason Roberts.

Defensive signing Kolo Toure was impressive at the back for the Blues and Barry's influence grew as the game progressed.

Tevez, who came on as a second-half substitute, also caught the eye and Rovers keeper Paul Robinson denied him a debut goal but could do nothing to keep out Ireland after another assist from Wright-Phillips.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal team silenced critics who said the London team's squad was too weak following the departure of Adebayor and Toure, scoring three goals in each half away to shellshocked Everton.

Everton included Joleon Lescott, despite boss David Moyes' claims that Manchester City's continued pursuit of the England defender had unsettled his squad.

Brazilian midfielder Denilson fired Arsenal's opener from the edge of the penalty box before headers from new defender Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas stunned the home side, who had been hoping to break into the top-four this season after finishing fifth in 2008-09.

Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas capped a fine performance with two superb second-half goals before substitute Eduardo made it 6-0 from close range with two minutes to go after Andriy Arshavin's shot hit a post.

Everton finally hit back in injury-time as striker Louis Saha, who replaced midfielder Leon Osman in the second half, netted after Steven Pienaar's shot was blocked.

Aston Villa went into the campaign with a Champions League place in their sights, but suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Wigan with Roberto Martinez in charge of the visitors for the first time.

Hugo Rodallega's stunning strike and a second-half goal by Jason Koumas secured the points for Wigan, with Villa struggling to create chances in the opener.

West Ham condemned Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 2-0 home defeat in their return to the top-flight after a six-year absence.

Goals from midfielder Mark Noble and defender Matthew Upson in each half were enough for Gianfranco Zola's men.

There were also opening-day wins for Sunderland at Bolton, with new signing Darren Bent scoring the only goal, and Stoke City, who triumphed 2-0 at home to newly-promoted Burnley.

Fulham snatched a 1-0 win at cash-strapped Portsmouth thanks to a lucky goal from Bobby Zamora after Clint Dempsey's shot deflected in off the striker's back.

Champions Manchester United begin their campaign at home to Birmingham on Sunday, with Tottenham Hotspur at home to Liverpool.

In Scotland, Rangers began the defense of their SPL title with a comprehensive 4-1 victory at home to Falkirk.

Scotland striker Kenny Miller netted a double and Steven Naismith wrapped up the romp after Lee McCulloch's 14th-minute opener was canceled out by Carl Finnegan of Falkirk, who made a poor start under new manager Eddie May.

Rangers' Glasgow rivals Celtic also made a winning start, winning 3-1 away to Aberdeen as midfielder Aiden McGeady scored twice and Australia striker Scott McDonald added the third goal just before halftime.


In other games, Hibernian gave new manager John Hughes a winning start with a 2-1 victory at home to 10-man St Mirren, who had midfielder Steven Thomson sent off in the 17th minute.

New Motherwell boss Jim Gannon saw his young team twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with promoted St Johnstone, while former Scotland striker Kevin Kyle scored twice as Kilmarnock beat Hamilton 3-0 at home.

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