LONDON (AFP) Liverpool and Arsenal shared the points in the English Premier Leagues first heavyweight clash of the season on a weekend which saw champions Chelsea hand promoted West Brom a six-goal thrashing. Liverpool, with new manager Roy Hodgson at the helm for his first league outing at Anfield, shrugged off the sending-off of Joe Cole at the end of the first half to take a 46th-minute lead through French striker David Ngog. But an embarrassing, last-minute blunder by Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who spilled the ball over his own line, allowed Arsenal to leave with a point in a 1-1 draw. Arsene Wengers men also finished with 10 men after French defender Laurent Koscielny, who had been the victim of Coles red-card lunge, was dismissed in injury time for handball. On Saturday, Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Chelsea began the defence of the English Premier League title with a crushing 6-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge. Victory left Chelsea on top of the table after an opening day that saw Blackpool mark their first top-flight match in 39 years with a shock 4-0 win away to Wigan. Florent Malouda, who ended the goal spree in the 90th minute, started Chelseas rout with a sixth-minute goal after Baggies keeper Scott Carson spilled Drogbas tame free-kick. Chelsea doubled their lead in the 45th minute when Drogba scored a free-kick from 25 yards against a West Brom side managed by former Blues midfielder Roberto di Matteo. Ten minutes after the break, Drogba made it 3-0 when he forced home from close range after John Terrys goalbound header from a corner was cleared. England midfielder Frank Lampard added a fourth goal in the 63rd minute after good work by Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole. Ivory Coast striker Drogba, who ended the last Premier League season with a hat-trick against Wigan, completed his treble five minutes later with the aid of a shot deflected off Gabriel Tamas. I am very happy because we played a good game, we showed good football, said Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side came into this game on the back of a Community Shield final loss to Manchester United. Blackpool, promoted via the playoffs, have been widely tipped to go straight back down, but the Tangerines were 3-0 up before half-time, with former Villa striker Marlon Harewood scoring twice. They went ahead in the 16th minute at Wigans DW Stadium when Charlie Adam played in Harewood, whose cross was tapped in by Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Harewood then held off Antolin Alcaraz, before beating Chris Kirkland from more than 20 yards for his first Premier League goal in two-and-a-half-years. Two minutes before the break, Harewood tapped in after Elliot Grandins shot was parried. Then, 15 minutes before full-time, Alex Baptiste made it 4-0 when his cross beat Kirkland at the goalkeepers near post. I dont think any of us in our wildest, wildest dreams imagined we could come here and do something like that, said Blackpool manager Ian Holloway. Aston Villa showed there was life after Martin ONeill with a 3-0 win at home to West Ham just days after their former managers resignation. England goalkeeper Robert Green, playing his first senior match since his World Cup blunder, helped give Villa a 15th minute lead when his poor punch ultimately led to a goal from Stewart Downing. Villa made it 2-0 when Stiliyan Petrov headed in five minutes before half-time. And in what could be a parting gift to Villa fans, before his possible transfer to Manchester City, England midfielder James Milner made it 3-0 after shooting powerfully from Albrightons cut back in the 66th minute. England goalkeeper Joe Hart chosen by Roberto Mancini ahead of Shay Given produced several fine saves to help big-spenders Manchester City secure a point in a goalless draw at Tottenham. But Evertons United States goalkeeper Tim Howard gifted hosts Blackburn a 14th minute winner in a 1-0 victory when he somehow dropped a cross into the path of Nikola Kalinic, who duly scored. Birmingham came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against 10-man Sunderland while Wolves beat Stoke 2-1 after Kenwyne Jones, Stokes club record eight million signing, limped off injured after just 14 minutes at Molineux. Bolton and Fulham shared the points in a goalless draw. Manchester United, last seasons runners-up, face promoted Newcastle at Old Trafford on Monday. Meanwhile, Spanish goalkeepers Pepe Reina and Manuel Almunia came under fire as Liverpool and Arsenal fought out a 1-1 draw at Anfield. Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher refused to blame Reina for the late goal which gave Arsenal a point while Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lent his support to Almunia who allowed David Ngogs drive to beat him at his near post. With Roy Hodgson looking set to celebrate his first league match in charge with a victory, Reina bundled the ball into his own net under pressure from Marouane Chamakh. Id have to have a look at it again, but a lot of time you get a foul for that, said Carragher. I know they say theyre protected. But hes the best goalkeeper in the world and you saw that last year. Wenger refused to blame Almunia for Liverpools goal, even though the Spaniard was beaten at his near post. Its difficult to say it was his fault, said Wenger, who has been linked with a move for Fulhams Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer. Hes been beaten at the short corner but you give credit to Ngog. Hodgson praised his sides resilience as they almost held on to a 1-0 win with just 10 men. After Joe Coles first half injury time dismissal for a lunge on Laurent Koscielny, Liverpool took the lead courtesy of Ngogs fine strike just after the interval. They appeared destined to hold onto that advantage and claim the three points that would come with it but after earlier making two wonderful saves from Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott, Reina finally ran out of luck. In a dramatic conclusion, Koscielny was also dismissed for two bookable offences. I thought it was a fantastic effort but of course points are hard to come by in the league, said Hodgson. When you come so close, you cant avoid that feeling of disappointment. Maybe that second-half performance deserved all three. To lose it so close to the end was harsh on us. Every expert is saying this is going to be a tougher year than ever to win the league so it was good at least to show we have the spirit to do well this season. Cole, who was making his Premier League debut for Liverpool, was clearly upset to be sent off for the first time in his professional career and Hodgson hinted that Liverpool will try and get the red card rescinded. It would be a big loss if he is suspended, the Liverpool manager added. He was devastated because it was his debut in front of a fantastic atmosphere and he was desperate to do well. We will look at the video again, maybe find out from some refereeing experts if we have grounds for a case. Joe Cole has got an unblemished record in his career and he is not the guy who goes in for blood-curdling tackles. We might just be fortunate enough that an appeal would go in our favour. Meanwhile, Wenger said he was delighted to have signed a three-year extension to his Emirates contract on Saturday which will now keep him at the club until 2014. I love the club and I dont see myself going anywhere else, he said. I have one way only to show my commitment to the club. I didnt put the gun on anybodys head. I can only show one way how I want to do well for the club.