Sam Allardyce got off to a flying start as manager of Blackburn Rovers when the Premier League strugglers beat Stoke City 3-0 on Saturday to claim only their second home victory of the season.
Allardyce, who replaced Paul Ince in midweek after the Lancashire club had managed only three wins in 17 league games, must have been pinching himself as two goals by Benni McCarthy and one for Jason Roberts settled it inside the first half-hour.
Bolton Wanderers were even quicker out of the blocks as they scored twice in the first three minutes en route to a 2-1 home win over Portsmouth while Fulham beat Middlesbrough 3-0 and Sunderland triumphed 4-1 at Hull City.
None of the top three were in action on Saturday while Aston Villa, in fourth, were at West Ham United later.
Leaders Liverpool visit Arsenal on Sunday while second-placed Chelsea travel to Everton on Monday. Manchester United are in Japan on World Club Cup duty.