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Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009

Adebayor preserves City's perfect start to new season

LONDON (AP) 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 the club 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."

Adebayor joined City from Arsenal in July as part of owner Sheikh Mansour's $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. The United Arab Emirates businessman wore a replica jersey and mixed with the fans, but manager Paul Hart said he would not have much money to spend before the transfer window closes Tuesday.

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

Also Sunday, Everton got off the mark, collecting its first points of the season by rallying to beat Wigan 2-1. Leighton Baines scored from a 90th-minute penalty against his former club after striker Jo was fouled by Emmerson Boyce.

Wigan had taken the lead in the 57th through Paul Scharner's diving header, but five minutes later Louis Saha nodded Everton level.

Aston Villa followed up its victory at Liverpool by beating 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 scored himself in the 59th with a fierce 20-yard strike.

Diego makes mark

MILAN , Italy (AP) Two goals from Diego helped Juventus to a 3-1 win away against AS Roma at Rome's Olympic Stadium, while Fiorentina followed up its midweek qualification for the group stages of the Champions League by beating Palermo 1-0.

The Brazilian struck in each half to secure Juventus' second win of the season before Felipe Melo scored in second-half injury time to kill off any hopes Roma may have had of a late rally.

The result sent Roma to the bottom of the table with no points.

"It was as hard as we thought it would be," Diego said, "but you have to work hard to get anything against a side of this quality. There is a great atmosphere here at Juventus and with coach Ciro Ferrara and all the players, it has allowed me to settle into the team quickly."

Daniele De Rossi scored his first of the season in the 35th minute to tie it for Roma, before Diego gave Juve the lead again and Melo sealed it late.

Stevan Jovetic was rewarded with a starting place for Fiorentina after he had come on and turned the match around on Wednesday against Sporting Lisbon, and scored in the 29th minute.

"He's an excellent player and he put himself about for the team today," coach Cesare Prandelli said. "He can develop more with us and tonight he provided a tonic for Fiorentina for at least an hour.

Elsewhere, two strikers strengthened their cases for inclusion in Marcello Lippi's Italy squad for the upcoming matches with Georgia and Bulgaria.

Fabio Quagliarella scored twice for Napoli in its 3-1 win over Livorno, while Giampaolo Pazzini opened the scoring for Sampdoria as it beat Udinese 3-1.



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