LONDON: Newly-promoted Portsmouth went top of the English Premier League after a hat-trick by Teddy Sheringham helped them to a 4-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.
Sheringham, 37, started his scoring spree with a 57th-minute header and then struck twice in the last three minutes, the second a penalty, as Harry Redknapp's Pompey demolished Bolton at Fratton Park.
A superb solo strike by teenage forward Wayne Rooney in the 72nd minute earned Everton a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic after Jason Euell had converted two penalties for the hosts.
Leeds United were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton and there was another goalless deadlock in Leicester City's home game with Middlesbrough, for whom new signing Gaizka Mendieta made his debut.
Portsmouth have seven points from three games and lead second-placed Manchester City on goal difference. Champions Manchester United and Arsenal, who both play on Wednesday, and Chelsea have six points.
Though pleased with the outcome, Redknapp was still ruing the fact that his side conceded a 90th-minute equaliser in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.
“We really could have had nine points,” he told Sky Sports. “We were one minute away from winning at Manchester City – and that would have been a fantastic start. But to have seven points has been a great start for us.”
As for the recipe for Portsmouth's success, the former West Ham manager said: “We've got good spirit here, the lads all work hard for each other and we've got terrific support – they (the fans) make a big difference.
“They're going to be so vital to us at home this year.”
Sheringham, offloaded by Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season after captaining the north London club, said: “To score four goals against any Premiership club is brilliant and I think we fully deserved it.”
By contrast, Bolton boss Sam Allardyce was seething at his side's performance, saying: “They have a responsibility to do more than what they're doing. They get paid well, they get looked after well. They have to show a lot more determination.
“Sometimes the game isn't about playing pretty football, it's about rolling your sleeves up and digging in and our defenders at the moment aren't that good at doing that.
“They're more interested in playing pretty little balls in to Jay-Jay Okocha, instead of heading balls out of defence,” said the Bolton boss. – Reuters