Wayne Rooney dropped vs. Everton

Updated: September 11, 2010, 10:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LONDON -- Manchester United conceded two stoppage-time goals to draw 3-3 at Everton, while Chelsea maintained a perfect start to its title defense by beating West Ham 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

United led 3-1 in the 90th minute even without Wayne Rooney, who was given a day off against his former team amid newspaper reports about his private life. But Tim Cahill sparked Everton's comeback with a headed goal and Mikel Arteta had time to score an equalizer.

Chelsea won its fourth straight with little resistance at West Ham, which is still without a point after four matches. Michael Essien netted Chelsea's first goal after two minutes and headed in its third in the 83rd.

Arsenal is two points behind Chelsea in second after routing Bolton 4-1, while big-spending Manchester City was held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn to collect only one point from its last two matches.

Rooney has been the subject of lurid headlines after a prostitute claimed in several papers last Sunday that he repeatedly cheated on his then-pregnant wife Coleen last year.

The Rooneys, who married two years ago, issued a statement Friday that referred to "many inaccurate and intrusive stories" as they appealed for privacy to "resolve any issues."

By dropping the 24-year-old Rooney from United's squad on Saturday, Ferguson spared him the hostile reception he was likely to receive at Everton, the Premier League rival he left in acrimony six years ago.

"We made the decision simply because Wayne gets terrible abuse here and we're not going to subject him to it," Ferguson said. "We have got a fantastic squad so we are using it. Wayne will play against Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday."

Tottenham was held 1-1 by West Bromwich, as was Sunderland at Wigan, while Blackpool won its second match since being promoted, prevailing 2-0 over fellow newcomer Newcastle.

Fulham's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton came at a cost, with Bobby Zamora breaking his right leg in a hard challenge by Karl Henry, an injury that will sideline the English forward for at least four months.

Everton goalie Tim Howard had made two excellent saves in the first half. After diving one way, the American lifted his trailing leg to knock away a deflected shot by Paul Scholes in the 32nd minute, then five minutes later used a wrist to tip a 12-yard effort by Ryan Giggs over the crossbar.

"The first half we dominated and we should have went in 1-0," Howard said. "Obviously they got the goal and in the second half they were powerful and went over the top of us. But we had spirit and we had fight and we got the point, which was important."

In Fulham's win, American forward Eddie Johnson replaced Clint Dempsey in the 83rd minute, Johnson's first Premier League appearance since last Oct. 4.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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