United off to winning start, Real, Barca draw level


Manchester United began the defence of their English Premier League title with victory while Barcelona and Real Madrid drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
ENGLAND: Manchester United started their defence of the Premier League title with a 2-1 win at West Brom, while new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stoke. At the Hawthorns, Wayne Rooney gave United a 13th-minute lead before new goalkeeper David de Gea gifted Albion an equaliser when he allowed a Shane Long drive to squirm beneath him.
But United sealed the win when Ashley Young whipped in a cross in the 81st minute that Steven Reid deflected into his own net. United suffered a blow when defender Rio Ferdinand suffered a hamstring injury and will be sidelined for six weeks. At the Britannia Stadium, Chelsea were denied a win when Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic denied John Obi Mikel, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou. Arsenal had debutant striker Gervinho sent off for a slap on Joey Barton in the 0-0 draw at Newcastle, while Liverpool surrendered the lead in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Anfield.
Luis Suarez missed an early penalty before making amends with a headed goal, but Sebastian Larsson’s superb second-half volley rescued a draw for Sunderland.
SPAIN: Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Mesut Ozil gave Real a 13th-minute lead before David Villa and Lionel Messi put Barcelona ahead at the break.
The Spanish and European champions celebrated their interval advantage by announcing that they had finally agreed a deal with Arsenal to end their long-running pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.
But Real took a little shine off the news when Xabi Alonso levelled the tie nine minutes into the second half.
GERMANY: Unfancied Mainz, who beat Freiburg 2-1, and Hanover, thanks to a 2-1 victory against Nuremberg, lead the way with six points from two games. Defending champions Borussia Dortmund crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Hoffenheim thanks to a ninth-minute strike from Bosnia striker Sejad Salihovic.
Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath demanded the introduction of video replays to correct referee blunders after his side lost to Bayern Munich with Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo scoring in injury time.