Premier League Review: Match Day 1

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Courtois sees RED

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham

Manchester United started the new season with a lacklustre win against Spurs courtesy of an own goal from Kyle Walker in the 22nd minutes. The major headline before the game was the exclusion of David de Gea by the manager due to lingering doubts about his future  at the club. In his absence, Sergio Romero was given his first start in club football since January and his manager would have been delighted with his performance as he ensured his side took all 3 points following a late onslaught from the North London side.

AFC Bournemouth 0-1 Aston Villa

Premier league newcomers Bournemouth were made to pay for their profligacy as Aston Villa began life without Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph on a positive note. The Cherries were punished for squandering a host of chances when debutant Rudy Gestede’s 72nd minute header clinched all 3 points for Villa. Tim Sherwood’s side then put up a majestic rearguard action to preserve the lead and the points. They will hope to continue on this note to avoid a repeat of last season’s relegation battle.

Everton 2-2 Watford

Substitute Arouna Kone’s late goal earned the Everton a 2-2 draw against newly promoted side Watford. Watford were hoping to mark their return to the premier league with a win. Miguel Layun put Watford in front when he rifled in a shot after the Everton defence had failed to clear their lines in the 14th minute. Everton improved as the 2nd half went on and were duly rewarded when Ross Barkley got the equalizer in the 76th minutes. However, the confidence of the home side was soon deflated when Nigerian Odion Ighalo put the visitors back in front in the 83rd minute. The drama was far from over though as a good combination between Lukaku and Kone enabled the Ivorian to score a dramatic late equalizer. It was Kone’s first Premier League goal since December 2014.

Leicester City 4-2 Sunderland

Claudio Ranieri’s tenure as Leicester city boss began with a wonderful opening day victory over Sunderland. Leicester produced a majestic first half display and went into the break with a 3-0 lead. Jamie Verdy’s header started the show before Ryad Mahrez added a brace to give the Foxes a 3-0 half time lead. Jermain Defoe gave Sunderland hope of staging a comeback but such fanciful thoughts were quickly extinguished when Marc Albrighton restored Leicester’s 3 goal lead. Steven Fletcher then scored what turned out to be a consolation making the scoreline a respectable 4-2. Sunderland will be worried about how easily their defence capitulated as they were opened up repeatedly throughout the game.

Norwich City 1-3 Crystal Palace

Cameron Jerome’s goal was controversially disallowed as Palace beat newly promoted side Norwich 3-1. Wilfred Zaha and Damien Delaney put Palace ahead after scoring in the 39th and 49th minute respectively. Nathan Redmond pulled one back for City in the 69th minute. The key moment of the game however came with 15 minutes left when Jerome thought he had equalised but was ruled out for a high boot. Star signing Yohan Cabaye then sealed the points for Palace after been put through by James McArthur.

Chelsea 2-2 Swansea City

Thibaut Courtois was sent off as the Champions held on to claim a point in an unconvincing win. Diego Costa was declared fit enough after missing the community shield with Arsenal and the friendly defeat against Fiorentina. Oscar scored a free kick midway through the first half to put the Champions in front. Swansea however were not going to go down without fighting and debutant Andre Ayew duly converted a rebound after Courtois had saved a header from Gomis. Chelsea response was immediate as they retook the lead one minute later through a Fernandez own goal. Courtois was then sent off after bringing Gomis down and the Frenchman made no mistake from 12 yards.

Arsenal 0-2 West Ham

The Gunners were brought down to earth as West Ham capitalised on uncharacteristic goalkeeping errors from Petr Cech to win 2-0. The Czech goalkeeper was brought in for his Arsenal premier league debut but it was one to forget as he misjudged Dimitri Payet’s freekick allowing Kouyate to head the Hammers ahead just before half time. Arsenal tried to get into the game and just as they were building some form of momentum, West Ham delivered the sucker punch. A hesitation in defence was duly punished as Zarate took advantage to rifle home a low strike from outside the area. The hammers then defended valiantly and made the introduction of Alexis and Walcott insignificant.

Newcastle 2-2 Southampton

Shane Long’s goal prevented Steve McClaren from claiming all the points on his premier league return against Southampton. Pelle opened the scoring for the away side after powering in a header. Papiss Cisse restored parity in the 42nd minute and Newcastle’s new signing Wijnaldum, who put in a magnificent display, put Newcastle in front in the 48th minute. Newcastle United gave an entertaining display but it wasn’t enough to maintain their lead as Long equalised in the 79th minute.

Stoke 0-1 Liverpool

The post Steven Gerrard era began for Liverpool as they were looking to banish memories of a humiliating 6-1 defeat on the same ground on the final day of last season. The match was heading to a goalless stalemate before Coutinho unleashed a characteristic thunderbolt from 25 yards in the 86th minute. Stoke didn’t have enough time to respond and went down 1 nil at home in their season opener.

West Brom 0-3 Manchester City

Manchester City made an emphatic statement of intent on Monday night by spanking West Brom 3-0. David Silva orchestrated a comprehensive victory against the host. Bony started the game for City as Aguero had to settle for a spot on the bench following his participation at the Copa America. Toure scored a brace in the first half as City went in at half time with a 2 goal lead. The win was completed in the second half by Kompany in the 59th minute. Pellegrini will be convinced by his team’s performance as they face Chelsea next weekend.

RESULT

Man United          1-0          Tottenham

Bournemouth       0-1          Aston Villa

Everton                2-2          Watford

Leicester City       4-2          Sunderland

Norwich City         1-3          Crystal Palace

Chelsea                2-2          Swansea City

Arsenal                 0-2          West Ham

Newcastle             2-2          Southampton

Stoke                    0-1          Liverpool

West Brom            0-3          Manchester City

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