Finally, the Premier League has returned. The top division in England football has geared up for yet another season of excitement. This season promises to be the closest yet with more top managers and top players than ever before.
We round up the weekend’s results…
Hull City 2-1 Leicester City
The odds were well and truly against newly-promoted Hull City in their clash against reigning champions Leicester. The Tigers are managerless and had just 13 senior players fit for the game against the Foxes. However, Hull took a surprise lead just before half-time. Kasper Schmeichel could only parry Curtis Davies’ header towards Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande who acrobatically converted for the first goal of the season. However, PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, equalised from the penalty spot just 14 seconds into the second half. Just ten minutes later Hull regained the lead when Robert Snodgrass drilled home following some poor defending.
Everton 1-1 Tottenham
Ronald Koeman got his Everton career underway with a respectable draw against Tottenham Hotspur. Everton were the brighter of the two sides and found themselves in front just five minutes into the game when Ross Barkley converted a sweetly struck free-kick. The Toffees manager admitted his side were only 70% fit before the game and performance levels dropped in the second half. This allowed Tottenham to equalise through Erik Lamela who met Kyle Walker’s cross to snatch the Lilywhites a point at Goodison Park.
Southampton 1-1 Watford
Watford also came from behind against Southampton to secure a point in Walter Mazzarri’s first game with the Hornets. It was Watford who broke the deadlock in the ninth minute when French midfielder, Etienne Capoue, converted from a knockdown from Troy Deeney. The Saints had new signing Nathan Redmond, who returned to the Premier League following his move to Norwich, to thank as he followed home to equalise; giving Claude Puel a point in his first game. Watford’s Ben Watson received the first red card of the season for a foul on Shane Long in the latter stages of the game.
Middlesbrough 1-1 Stoke City
Stoke City earned a point against Middlesbrough thanks to their talisman Xherdan Shaqiri. It was Boro who took an early lead as new signing Alvaro Negredo marked his return to the Premier League with an early goal. Gaston Ramirez looked threatening but Aitor Karanka’s side could not add to their goal tally. Stoke had their equaliser in the second half when Shaqiri bent a free-kick past Victor Valdes to give the Potters a point.
Crystal Palace 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
Tony Pulis got his side off to the best possible start as the Baggies secured a narrow victory over Crystal Palace. Alan Pardew handed a debut to Andros Townsend and Yannick Bolasie took his place on the bench despite speculation regarding a move to Everton. The only goal of the game came late in the second half when Salomon Rondon headed home to give his side all three points at Selhurst Park.
Burnley 0-1 Swansea City
Burnley were not able to win their first game back in the Premier League as Swansea netted a late goal to give Francesco Guidolin all three points. Both sides fielded strong line-ups with both Andre Gray and Fernando Llorente starting the game. Burnley had the better chances during the game but Lukasz Fabianski was in inspired form. Leroy Fer scored his first goal for the club when Tom Heaton spilt Jefferson Montero’s cross which sealed the victory for the Swans.
spilt Jefferson Montero’s cross which sealed the victory for the Swans.
Manchester City 2-1 Sunderland
Pep Guardiola scraped a victory in his first game as Manchester City manager thanks to a late own goal at the Etihad Stadium. After dropping Joe Hart from the starting eleven, City took an early lead when Raheem Sterling was downed in the penalty area and Sergio Aguero converted from the spot. David Moyes had Jermain Defoe to thank for his side’s equaliser as the former England international latched on to a loose ball and finished in trademark style. However, Moyes’ decision to substitute Defoe for new signing Paddy McNair soon backfired as the former Manchester United defender put the ball into his own net gifting the Citizens a win.
Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United
Manchester United made a flying start to the season with a big victory over Bournemouth on Sunday. The title favourites were in fine form and the Cherries could not cope with the United attack. Juan Mata opened the scoring for the Red Devils when his shot, fortunately, rebounded back into his path to slot home. Wayne Rooney added to the scoreline in the second half with a clever header which beat Artur Boruc and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted on his Premier League debut with a drilled drive from 25 yards out. Bournemouth defender, Adam Smith, got one back just minutes later but the damage was done as Jose Mourinho’s side secured all three points.
Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool
Even so early in the season, Arsenal’s meeting with Liverpool may well be remembered as the game of the campaign next May. Liverpool had a wretched record at the Emirates and almost fell behind when Alberto Moreno fouled Theo Walcott only for the winger to miss the subsequent penalty. Walcott finally got his goal just minutes later following a lapse in concentration from Moreno again. Jurgen Klopp’s side started to gain a foothold in the game and equalised just before half-time when Philippe Coutinho struck a beautiful free-kick past Petr Cech. The Reds started the second-half in top gear and found themselves in front when Adam Lallana converted following a lovely move. Coutinho added his second of the game from another free-flowing passing move; which resulted in Nathaniel Clyne finding space down the right-hand side and delivering a perfect cross to the Brazilian to guide home. £34m signing, Sadio Mane¸ added Liverpool’s fourth of the game with a magnificent solo run which ended with a sweetly struck left-foot finish. Arsenal pegged two goals back through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers to create a nervy ending but Klopp’s side managed to hold on for a memorable win.
Don’t miss next weekend’s Premier League round up!