The Premier League kicked off last weekend and it’s like it has never been away. There were shocks, great goals and thrilling games with loads of stories as a result.
Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa
Villa started their season with a surprise 3-1 win over Arsenal. After a shaky year last time around this win is just the boost they need to push forward and start their rise back up to the higher positions that they were used to. This is Arsenal’s first opening day defeat in 20 years. Obviously they have only played one game but it still is a worrying sign of things to come. The Gunners face London rivals Fulham next weekend and the outcome of that could set the tone for the season. Villa have Liverpool up next in the third game of a very tough start to the season. They should be very happy no matter what the outcome of that match having got three unexpected points against Arsenal.
Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City
A thrilling game worthy of being the first of the year. Sturridge scored the first goal of the season and it was enough to earn them three points against Stoke who had Mark Hughes in charge for the first time. The Reds relied heavily on new keeper Simon Mignolet to seal the win, fortunately for them he got the job done with a late penalty save. Liverpool will be happy with a good win to start off what they will hope is going to be a successful season and Stoke will take confidence from their strong performance, despite not getting anything from the game.
Norwich City 2-2 Everton
A gripping encounter at Carrow Road ended with the points shared. Roberto Martinez took charge of The Toffees for the first time and his style is already starting to show. Everton played neat, stylish football but there were signs of the poor defending that cost Wigan dearly last year. Norwich should come away pleased with the result. Their new signing, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, is off the mark and showed why The Canaries paid £8.5 million.
Swansea City 1-4 Manchester United
The reigning champions got off to a flying start, with a comfortable win over The Swans. Robin Van Persie picked up where he left off at the end of last season, scoring a brace, and Danny Wellbeck scored the other two. There was one positive note for Swansea to take from the game; Wilfried Bony scored a debut goal but it was nothing more than a consolation.
Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle United
Man City leapt to the top of the table after beating Newcastle 4-0 in the first Monday Night Football match of the season. Four different players got on the score sheet for The Citizens who successfully proved that they won’t miss Carlos Tevez. Man City started two of their new signings, Navas and Paulinho, and Negredo was subbed on in the 80th minute but Jovetic didn’t even make the bench. Newcastle were unable to play Loic Remy due to an injury.
Chelsea 2-0 Hull City
Mourinho’s return to Chelsea was successful with a comfortable opening day win against promoted side Hull. Chelsea bossed the first half an hour and looked like they would go on to score six or seven. Hull got themselves back in the game however and looked much better in the second half. That should give them a lot of confidence going into next week’s match against Norwich. Chelsea have Manchester United up next. It will be the first real test of their title credentials.
West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton
Southampton clinched victory thanks to Ricky Lambert’s last minute penalty. The striker scoring just a few days after getting a goal on his England debut. The penalty was the only action in a scrappy match but it was all The Saints needed to grab the three points. Anelka earned his first start for Albion but couldn’t provide the breakthrough they were looking for. Good start for Southampton, not so good for The Baggies.
Sunderland 0-1 Fulham
Fulham kicked off the season with three points. Pajtim Kasami scored a header in the 53rd minute and it was enough to see off Sunderland. The home side created some good openings but failed to convert any of them, Ji Dong Wong headed wide in the final minute to seal their fate. There were plenty of new signings on show at The Stadium Of Light however the day had a sour end for Fulham’s new goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg, who went off injured after a collision with another new player, Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore.
West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City
The Hammers got off to a great start beating newly promoted Cardiff 2-0. Kevin Nolan and Joe Cole were the scorers in an impressive win. West Ham’s strike force seemed to be firing on all cylinders despite the lack of Andy Carroll; Cole, Maiga and Jarvis played well and created some brilliant chances. In the end, it came down to the quality of finishing to decide the result and Nicky Maynard firing a shot over the bar from six yards out was not a good sign.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Palace had the smallest losing margin of the three promoted sides but rarely threatened. Tottenham cruised to victory thanks to new signing Roberto Soldado’s penalty and looked very comfortable all match, even without Bale in the team. They were unlucky not to score more but should ultimately be pleased with the result. Palace will have to play a lot better if they want to compete with some of the bigger teams in the division.
In a midweek match, rearranged due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Super Cup, Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-1 to go top of the table however there were some questionable decisions in Paul Lambert’s opinion.
So, the first week has drawn to a close, plenty of goals, red cards and excitement, and it’s only just getting started. There were European matches in midweek to tide us over until another instalment of the best league in the world this weekend.
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