The new Premier League kicked off today, and as expected there were surprises. Arsenal lost at home to Aston Villa, Fulham won at Sunderland and Man United won 4-1 at Swansea.
Well maybe that last one was not a big surprise, but the way that the experts have been writing off United’s chances to repeat as champions this season, the way that David Moyes side took care of business in Wales has to make some people stand up and take notice.
Robin van Persie, who else, and Danny Welbeck each scored twice, and Wayne Rooney even made an appearance, assisting on two of United’s goals.
It was a nightmare start for Arsene Wenger as Arsenal suffered their first home defeat on the season’s opening day in 20 years. Christian Benteke, Villa’s top scorer last season with 19 goals, was the architect of Villa’s shock win scoring twice. Arsenal’s painfully small squad was dealt further blows as Gibbs, Sagna and Oxlade-Chamberlain allow went off injured while Koscielny was sent off to add to Wenger’s misery.
In the opening game of the Premier League season, Liverpool beat Stoke City 1-0 thanks to Daniel Sturridge’s first-half goal. Despite dominating possession and creating chance after chance, Liverpool needed summer signing Simon Mignolet to save Jonathan Walters’ late penalty in order to pick up all three points.
Elsewhere Rickie Lambert’s 32nd consecutive successful penalty was the difference between the sides as Southampton started with a win at West Brom.
Newly promoted Cardiff were comfortably beaten 2-0 at West Ham, while Fulham were the day’s other winners, beating Sunderland 1-0, and Everton shared four goals in a 2-2 draw at Norwich City.