Barclays Premier League: Opening Weekend Round-up
‘The Best League in the World’ returned to action this weekend as the 2013/14 season started with comfortable wins for the title favoruites.
Both sides of Manchester claimed easy wins for their new mangers, while Jose Mourinho returned with a win at Stamford Bridge.
Aston Villa claimed the early surprise win of the season away at Arsenal, but newly-promoted Cardiff sufferd away at West Ham. There was also wins for Southampton, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Fulham.
Swansea 1 – 4 Manchester United
Defending Champions Manchester United made the perfect start to their campaign with a crushing win against Swansea. New manager David Moyes claimed his first trophy last week, and followed that up with his first three points as United manager.
Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck scored twice for the Red Devils, while £12 million signing Wilfred Bony pulled one back for the Swans
Chelsea 2 – 0 Hull City
Oscar and Frank Lampard ensured Jose Mourinho’s second-coming at Stamford Bridge got off to a winning start with a pulsating first half display.
Oscar finished a neat move for the first after Lampard had a penalty saved. The England International did get his goal with a stunning 30-yard free-kick, which left Alan McGregor with no chance.
Manchester City 4 – 0 Newcastle
Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City reign got off to the perfect start as his side propelled themselves to the top of the table with a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle.
David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri sealed a convincing win, as Newcastle’s Steven Taylor was sent off. It was an appalling display by the Geordie side, although City were particularly impressive on the opening day.
Arsenal 1 – 3 Aston Villa
Perhaps the shock of the weekend came at the Emirates as the pressure mounted further on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The raft of players leaving the club and the failure to spend was at the forefront of the fan’s minds at full time.
Christian Benteke scored twice as Villa come from behind to stun the Gunners after Olivier Giroud had give Arsenal the lead.
New Villa signing Luna raced clear to seal Arsenal’s woe with a low strike.
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Tottenham
With the longest running transfer saga continuing to hang over Tottenham going into their opening weekend match, Gareth Bale missed the win over promoted Crystal Palace.
A handball in the box angered Palace manager Ian Holloway, but gave £26million forward Roberto Soldado his first goal from the spot in a lively but comfortable win. Spurs Boss Andre Villas-Boas refused to comment on Bale’s future after the game.
Liverpool 1 – 0 Stoke City
Brendan Rodger’s Liverpool began the new season with a win in the first match of the new Premier League season, but Luis Suarez continued to dominant talk before and after kick-off.
Daniel Sturridge continued his fine form in the red of Liverpool, but new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was the real hero, saving a late Jonathon Walters penalty.
Sunderland 0 – 1 Fulham
Martin Jol’s Fulham side made the perfect start to the 2013/14 season with a rare away win at The Stadium of Light.
Pajtim Kasami scored his first Fulham goal to earn all three points for the visitors.
The Black Cats, with five debutants, were the better team throughout but Kasami headed home from close range for the only goal in the second half.
West Brom 0 – 1 Southampton
England’s new hero Rickie Lambert continued to shine for his club with a dramatic late penalty at West Brom.
Luke Shaw was brought down late in the game as the match looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw. Lambert stepped up and duly dispatched the spot kick.
West Ham 2 – 0 Cardiff City
Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan scored in each half as West Ham United enjoyed a comfortable win over Premier League new boys Cardiff City at Upton Park.
It was Cardiff’s first top-flight game since 1962, but they failed to manage a shot on target. It doesn’t get any easier for City as they face Manchester City in their first home game.
Norwich 2 – 2 Everton
Norwich’s record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s superb header rescued a point in a thrilling opening-day encounter with Everton.
Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman looked to have given Everton all three points after Steven Whittaker’s opener for the hosts. Van Wolfswinkel, who cost £8.5m, nodded in Whittaker’s sliced cross for the equalising goal.