Bolton Wanderers sit atop the English Premier League after they thrashed newly promoted Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at Loftus Road. It was a rude introduction to the Premier League for QPR who finished with 10 men after Clint Hall’s late sending off for a headbutt.
After a promising start, in which striker DJ Campbell’s had a goal disallowed for offide, QPR conceded a goal right on the stroke of half-time when Bolton defender Gary Cahill fired the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. Bolton got its second in the 67th minute when QPR defender Danny Gabbidon turned the ball into his own net. That second goal seemed to demoralize QPR and late goals by Ivan Klasnic and Fabrice Muamba gave Bolton a comprehensive victory.
Arsenal made a controversial start to their Premier League season as new signing Gervinho was sent off on his debut in a scrappy 0-0 draw at Newcastle United. Gervinho dove looking for a penalty, a act that prompted Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton to grab his shirt and pull him up. Gervinho reacted by slapping Barton in the face, which is a red card offense around the world.
Another potential top-four contender Liverpool, also struggled on opening day as they drew 1-1 at home to Sunderland. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez missed an early penalty but redeemed himself a couple of minutes later with his first goal of the season. But despite coming close on several occasions, Liverpool failed to get a second goal and that allowed Sunderland to stay in the game. Liverpool’s ineffectiveness in front of goal came back to haunt them when a great volley by winger Sebastian Larsson in the 57th minute gave the visitors a share of the points.
In other action, newly promoted Norwich City drew 1-1 at Wigan Athletic while Aston Villa picked up a point at Craven Cottage as they drew 0-0 with Fulham. Finally Wolverhampton Wanderers came from behind to win 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers. Three big points for Wolves who will be around the relegation zone all year and an early indication that Blackburn will be right alongside them.