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English Premiership

Barca hold Real, Man U win

PARIS, France, August 15- 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.

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.

Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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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.

In 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.

Marseille’s uncertain French Ligue 1 start continued as they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Auxerre. Loic Remy and Andre Ayew were on target before Alain Traore and substitute Roy Contout ensured a share of the spoils.

Champions Lille lost 1-0 at Montpellier who now share the lead with Toulouse.

Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain were left frustrated after Jonathan Pitroipa’s late strike earned Rennes a 1-1 draw.

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Dutch Champions Ajax Amsterdam have six points from two games after a 5-1 rout of Heerenveen and lead the table on goal difference from Feyenoord, who beat Roda 3-0, and FC Twente who clinched a 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Toby Alderweireld, Derk Boerrigter, Miralem Sulejmani and Gregory van der Wiel were all on target for Ajax.

Motherwell are top of Scottish Premier League after Tom Hateley scored in stoppage time to give them a 1-0 win over St Mirren, but they have played a game more than the Celtic who defeated Dundee United 5-1.

Old Firm rivals Rangers remain two points behind after second-half goals from Nikica Jelavic and Maurice Edu helped them to a 2-0 win away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in a game which saw both sides end with ten men.

In Portugal, Champions Porto began the new season with a 1-0 win at Vitoria Guimaraes thanks to a 45th-minute penalty from top scorer Hulk. Rivals Benfica were held 2-2 at Gil Vicente.

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