Crouch strikes to frustrate United

Premier League

Manchester United dropped their first Premier League points of the season after Peter Crouch's first goal for Stoke secured a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

United had looked on course to maintain their 100 percent start to the season -- and a two-point lead at the top of the table -- after Portuguese winger Nani fired them ahead on 27 minutes yesterday.

But former Tottenham striker Crouch soared high to head home a corner on 52 minutes as battling City deservedly secured their first ever Premier League point against Manchester United.

The result left United top of the table on goal difference from arch-rivals Manchester City, with both clubs on 16 points after six games.

"I was pleased with the performance from the lads they battled really hard and played like real champions," United manager Sir Alex Fergsuon told MUTV.

"A draw is probably a fair result. It's a difficult place to come to."

Ferguson had to leave out England striker Wayne Rooney who was suffering from a hamstring injury which will also sideline him from Tuesday's Champions League clash with Basel at Old Trafford.

Manchester City had earlier maintained the pressure at the top of the table after second half goals from substitutes Mario Balotelli and James Milner gave them a 2-0 win over Everton at Eastlands.

In other results Saturday, Fernando Torres was sent off for the first time in his Premier League career as Chelsea bounced back from defeat at Manchester United with a 4-1 win over Swansea.

Torres, who was widely ridiculed after his open goal miss at Old Trafford, looked to have banished the blues after rifling home a superb opener to put Andre Villas-Boas's side ahead at Stamford Bridge.

The 50 million striker had a hand in Chelsea's second goal scored by Ramires on 36 minutes but then saw a promising display take a disastrous turn when he was given a straight red for a two-footed lunge on Swans midfielder Mark Gower.

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