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BEARDSLEY SCORES 2 IN 500TH MATCH

An own goal and a penalty helped Newcastle maintain its perfect record in the English Premier League Sunday in a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Highbury.

The high-scoring Magpies, averaging more than three goals per game, took an early lead when Arsenal defender Martin Keown directed the ball into his own net.Peter Beardsley, playing his 500th league game, made it 2-1 when he converted a penalty in the final minute of the first half. He then set up Ruel Fox for the clincher in the 74th.

Newcastle, with six victories in six games, has 18 points to lead both second-place Blackburn and third-place Nottingham Forest by four points. Blackburn remained unbeaten after a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in Sunday's other game.

Newcastle, which also defeated Royal Antwerp 5-0 in the first round of the UEFA Cup on Tuesday, has scored 22 league goals this season for a per-game average of 3.66.

Arsenal, on the other hand, scored its first goals in the league since netting three against Manchester City on opening day. The Gunners had gone four league games without putting the ball in the net before Tony Adams' equalizer in the ninth minute. Ian Wright added a second with two minutes to play in the game.

Arsenal, the reigning European Cup Winners Cup champion, has now lost three of six league games and sits in 15th place in the 22-team league.

Both Newcastle goals in the first half came on the counterattack.

At Rome, Dino Baggio and Fernando Couto, who were acquired during the offseason, scored off headers in the first half as Parma beat Cagliari 2-1 Sunday and moved into sole possession of first place in the Italian League.

Parma, the only team to win its first three games, has a two-point lead over three-time defending champion AC Milan, AS Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria of Genoa and Juventus of Turin.

At Parma, Baggio scored in the 30th minute when he redirected Gianfranco Zola's free kick. Couto scored 13 minutes later but Luis Oliveira scored with five minutes left.

AC Milan, coming off Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Ajax Amsterdam in the European Champions Cup, beat Lazio of Rome 2-1 at home on a last-minute goal by Ruud Gullit.

Gullit scored in the 78th minute off a pass from Dejan Savicevic but Alen Boksic tied the score 10 minutes later off a pass from Giuseppe Signori. AC Milan was without four injured regulars: defender Alessandro Costacurta, midfielder Marcel Desailly and fowards Marco Simone and Daniele Massaro.

At Rome, AS Roma beat Genoa 3-0 as Abel Balbo scored twice and Daniel Fonseca scored once.

At Florence, Gabriel Batistuta scored twice, increasing his league-leading total to four, and Daniele Carnasciali scored once as Fiorentina beat Cremonese 3-1. Andrea Tentoni scored twice for Cremonese.