New West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola got off to a winning start on Saturday as fellow Italian new boy David Di Michele scored twice in a 3-1 home Premier League victory over a toothless Newcastle United.
Di Michele, making his first start after arriving on a year's loan from Torino, had West Ham 2-0 up by halftime then set up Matthew Etherington for the third to pile on the misery for managerless Newcastle, who got a consolation through Michael Owen.
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At Anfield Liverpool spent almost the entire match on the attack against Stoke City but could not break down the promoted side's defence in a goalless draw.
Liverpool still top the standings on 11 points but Arsenal, who play at Bolton Wanderers later on Saturday and Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Sunday, could both go above them with wins.
In Saturday's other games Sunderland beat Middlesbrough 2-0, courtesy a double-strike by Michael Chopra, and Blackburn Rovers beat Fulham 1-0.