We waited an entire summer for it, and that’s it. The opening round of Premier League fixtures are completed and it’s Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who top the Barclays Premier League.
Chelsea came from a goal down to win 3-1 at Burnley, with new signing Cesc Fabregas pulling all the strings in the middle of the park. BBC pundit Robbie Savage said that we were looking at the next champions – might be a bit premature that Robbie, considering there are still 37 games left to play!
Reigning Champions Manchester City opened their account with a 2-0 win away to Newcastle. The scoreline didn’t do the performance of the home side any justice, with Newcastle pushing Manchester City all the way until Sergio Aguero finished them off with a 90th minute goal.
Arsenal left it late to secure a 2-1 against managerless Crystal Palace. The Gunners, who were without their German contingent, needed a 90th minute goal from Aaron Ramsey to complete a comeback. Palace led through debutant Brede Hangeland before Laurent Koscielny equalised just before the break.
Liverpool will be hoping to build upon last year’s campaign without Luis Suarez. Brendan Rodger’s had suggested that a new system will replace the Uruguayan, rather than a new signing. Liverpool lined up 4-2-3-1 – a system that wasn’t used last season, seemingly designed to tighten them up at the back, and it paid dividends. Liverpool overcame Southampton 2-1, thanks to a 79th minute Daniel Sturridge strike.
It wasn’t the start Louis van Gaal would have hoped for, with his Manchester United side going down 2-1 to a well drilled Swansea City at Old Trafford. United fans will find some solace in the fact that there are still a couple of weeks left till the end of the transfer window, and that they were without a number of key players.
The same couldn’t be said for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. His side overcame a determined West Ham United at Upton Park thanks to an injury time winner from debutant centre-back Eric Dier. Dier latched onto a through ball, before rounding Adrian. Mark Noble missed a penalty and both sides were reduced to 10 men, with Kyle Naughton and James Collins both seeing red.
Premier League New-boys Leicester City secured a respectable 2-2 draw at home against Roberto Martinez’s Everton. Record signing Leo Ulloa opened the scoring for the Foxes on his debut, before goals from Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith turned the game on its head. Substitute Chris Wood, who recently told his manager he wanted to stay to fight for his place at the club, did his quest no harm by levelling the game with four minutes remaining.
Staying with newly promoted sides, Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers went down to Hull City by a goal to nil. James Chester headed home for the away side after out-muscling Rio Ferdinand. Charlie Austin had the chance to salvage a point for the home side, but saw his penalty saved by City keeper Allan McGregor.
The spoils were shared at the Hawthorns. Liam Cattermole gave Sunderland the lead after just five minutes, with what was his first goal in 2 years, before two goals from Saido Berahino looked like giving the home side the three points. However, Sebastian Larsson had other ideas. The Swede popped up in the 85th minute to ruin the Baggies’ day.
Finally, Aston Villa played Stoke City at Villa Park. Stoke were showcasing new signing Bojan, who recently joined from Barcelona. It looked like Mark Hughes was using his connections as a player to good effect, with Bojan very impressive. With Aston Villa still looking for a buyer, it was Andreas Weimann who powered home the winner on 50 minutes. The Austrian broke onto a loose ball in the box before firing viciously past Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
There is still plenty of games left to play this season, and plenty of time left in the transfer window for clubs to make some final tweaks to their squads. There’s no way of guessing how the table will look by May, but there’s no doubt that there will be much more drama throughout the season.
Check back throughout the season for more Premier League round-ups!