It’s as it if never left, the Premier League started in the same emphatic style in which in ended last season. There were goals, drama, upset and endless talking points.
Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland
Arsenal kicked off their season at home to Sunderland but could not manage to break down the Black Cats. Despite the home side’s dominance of ball possession they failed to convert it into goals. The Gunner’s will be disappointed with the draw but should be in a positive mood as their new signings looked impressive. Santi Cazorla was very much involved in creating goal-scoring opportunities and almost registered his first assist of the season when he slipped in Olivier Giroud late on into the game but the Frenchman shot wide. Sunderland were very resilient and conservative in their approach to the game, they had Cattermole man-marking/hustling Cazorla to limit his creativity and all-in-all achieved what they set out to do. Arsenal were ultimately left frustrated once again, they had 23 shots on goals but only 4 were on target where as Sunderland did not even have a shot on goal in the second half. The two sides shared the points in the only fruitless game of the opening week.
Fulham 5 – 0 NorwichDespite there being no goals in North London only a few miles away in West London there plenty to make up for it. Fulham put five past Norwich with new boy Mladen Petric bagging a brace in front of his new home crowd. The Cottagers dominated play from the off and after 26 minutes they broke through with a goal from Damien Duff. Petric then added his two goals either sides of the halves which was followed up by another two from Kacaniklic and Steve Sidwell from the spot. Fulham‘s five star performance was unexpected but very happily received by fans.
QPR 0 – 5 Swansea
Queens Park Rangers hosted Swansea. QPR have high hopes this season and have added very experienced players to their ranks to help stabilise and boost their position in the Premier League. Despite their new signings QPR were helpless against The Swans as they hammered in five goals against the home side. Their new signing Michu was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga last season and played just off Graham on Saturday. His debut in the Premier League was excellent, he scored two goals ans hit the cross-bar. If Michu would have scored a third he would have joined a very elite few who have managed to score a hat-trick on their first game of the season. Scott Sinclair also scored along with Nathan Dyer who netted twice against a weak-looking QPR side.
Reading 1 – 1 StokeOn Reading’s return to their top flight they welcomed Stoke City and managed a draw against The Potters with a penalty in the 90th minute. It was a tough battle, there was 6 yellow cards and also a red in game. Reading’s goalkeeper had a nightmare welcome to the Premier League as he suffered a case of “butter fingers” as he let the ball just slip in for Stoke’s opening goal. He, of all people, would have been delighted to see Reading pick up what could be a vital point in the long-run of the season.
West Ham 1 – 0 Aston Villa
West Ham’s umpteenth return to the Premier League was a joyous occasion as they beat Aston Villa at home 1-0. Skipper Kevin Nolan scored a scrappy goal for The Hammers just before the break. Once the lead was established West Ham were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure and were nearly rewarded for their defensive resilience as in the final minutes of the game Maiga broke away, rounded Shay Given and went to slot home but his shot was cleared off the line. A great start for Sam Allardyce and West Ham.
West Brom 3 – 0 Liverpool
West Brom faced Liverpool and could not have wished for a better result as they beat The Reds 3-0. A scoreline which was the biggest surprise of the weekend, it left new manager Brendan Rodgers with much to think about. The Baggies opened the scoring very late in the first half with a monstrous strike from Zoltan Gera. In the second half Shane Long saw his poor penalty effort saved by Pepe Reina but only shortly after they were awarded with another penalty. This time, Odemwingie stepped up and converted. Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku came on as substitute for Long and opened his scoring account in the Premier League. West Bromwich will be delighted with their opening day win whereas Liverpool are probably still in shock from their opening day defeat.
Newcastle 2 – 1 Tottenham
The afternoon fixture saw Tottenham travel to Newcastle. Spurs were arguably the better side but a lovely curling effort from Demba Ba and a penalty scored and won by Ben Arfa took the points for The Magpies. Tottenham‘s squad looks thin at the moment and they will be working very hard this week to bring in much needed quality up front as well as another midfielder to replace the imminent departure of Luka Modric.
Cheslea 2 – 0 Wigan
Sunday saw Chelsea and Manchester City in action. Chelsea played first and faced Wigan, who narrowly escaped relegation last season thanks to a miraculous run in their closing games. The Blues did not hang around, Eden Hazard was rampant and in the opening 7 minutes he had assisted a goal and drawn the foul for a penalty. Ivanovic scored the first and Lampard scored his 39th penalty in the Premier League. Once a comfortable lead was established Chelsea did not press on, they were comfortable and saw the win out, they face Reading on Wednesday and will want to be fresh for that fixture.
Manchester City 3 – 2 Southampton
League champions Manchester City were in action on Sunday afternoon against Southampton. Many predicted a one-sided affair but The Saints had other ideas. After going down 1-0 to a Tevez goal they pulled two goals back through Lambert and Davis. City replied very soon with levelling just four minutes later and ten minutes before the end Eden Dzeko, who replaced the injured Sergio Aguero, scored the winner. Three points for City but a very impressive performance overall from Southampton who will have many positives to take out of the game.