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September 1, 2009

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Portsmouth's losing streak reaches four

EMMANUEL Adebayor scored his third goal in as many Premier League matches to give Manchester City a 1-0 win at Portsmouth on Sunday, maintaining the club's perfect start to the season.

The Togo international headed in Gareth Barry's corner from close range in the 30th minute to earn City's second away win - as many as achieved all last season.

"My confidence is very high," Adebayor said. "(City) believed in my strength, they believed in my ability. At the moment I'm just working hard for the team and for the club.

"We have played three games and won three games so we're very happy. We want to keep on going and keep on enjoying ourselves on the pitch."

Also Sunday, Everton collected its first points of the season by rallying to beat Wigan 2-1 and Aston Villa beat Fulham 2-0.

Pressure from Gabriel Agbonlahor forced Fulham defender John Pantsil to head into his own net for the opening goal after three minutes. Agbonlahor then scored in the 59th.

Adebayor joined City from Arsenal in July as part of owner Sheikh Mansour's US$200 million spending-spree since May. It is paying off, with City now only three points behind league leaders Chelsea and Tottenham with a game in hand.

The frontman for City's takeover 12 months ago, Sulaiman Al-Fahim, was at Fratton Park having bought Pompey last week. However, manager Paul Hart said he would not have much money to spend before the transfer window closes today.

That's unlikely to please fans, with Pompey having sold many of its best players. The club is at the bottom of the standings after losing its first four matches.

After a slick move that saw Carlos Tevez release City strike partner Craig Bellamy down the flank with a reverse ball through Niko Kranjcar's legs, Richards found the net but it was ruled out for offside.

"Clearly Micah was on side," City manager Mark Hughes said. "That is something we were a bit aggrieved about."

Richards limped off after an hour with his left leg hurting.

In Liverpool, Leighton Baines scored from a 90th-minute penalty for Everton after striker Jo was fouled by Emmerson Boyce.

Wigan had taken the lead in the 57th when Paul Scharner arrived unmarked on the far post to send a diving header from Charles N'Zogbia's cross past Tim Howard. But five minutes later, Louis Saha leveled for Everton when he headed in a corner from Baines.

"The penalty decision could be key to the way our season goes," Everton manager David Moyes said. "We could not afford to go into the international break without a victory."


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