Arsenal 0 - 0 Sunderland
Arsenal and Sunderland played out a goalless draw in the Gunners’ first game without Robin van Persie. New signing Santi Cazorla looked strong, however he was not able to penetrate the Black Cat’s defence.
Fulham 5 - 0 Norwich City
Fulham begun the new season with a convincing victory over the Canaries at Craven Cottage. Damien Duff opened the scoring with a timed run and tap past John Ruddy who did get a touch on it as it went past him into the bottom-left corner of his net. New-boy Mladan Petric made it 2-0 with a header which definitely crossed the line, no matter what any Norwich fan may say. Petric scored what looked to be the goal of the day, however it took a large deflection on the way through. It was then 4-0 when debutant Kacaniklic slotted home. The final nail was hammered into the yellow coffin when Sidwell blasted a penalty past John Ruddy’s right ear.
Newcastle United 2 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Cisse was inches away from opening the scoring after deflecting a Demba Ba shot. Jermain Defoe then hit the post for Spurs and the ball was inches away from falling to Gylfi Sigurdsson for a tap in. Gareth Bale rattled the bar with a header before the break. After it, Demba Ba scored a curling effort from about 16 yards out. When Bale was seen to control a ball which seemingly went off, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was sent to the stands for pushing the linesman. Jermain Defoe equalised when his header was deflected back to his feet from ‘keeper Tim Krul. Almost instantly, at the other end, Hatem Ben Arfa was fouled by Aaron Lennon and Rafael van der Vaart in the box and Ben Arfa converted the kick to give the Magpies an opening day victory.
Queen’s Park Rangers 0 – 5 Swansea City
The gulf between two of the 2011 promoted teams was clear to see. New boy, Michu, capitalised on a static Rob Green to open the scoring for the Swans. The formidable figure of Michel Vorm and poor finishing were the only things between QPR and an equaliser in the early going. At the other end, the bar was doing more work than Green to prevent more Swansea goals. In the second half, Michu doubled his tally when he was granted free passage through the QPR defence before Nathan Dyer scored a fairly simple chance. Dyer then scored another when he broke the offside trap of a dozy-looking QPR. Want-away Scott Sinclair finished the rout with a powerful left-footed striker across the face of Rob Green’s goal. QPR may struggle from here. Swansea, however, have nothing to lose and will be looking possibly for European football towards the end of the season.
Reading 1 -1 Stoke City
Walters almost broke the deadlock with a glancing header which narrowly missed Federici’s right-hand post. The Reading ‘keeper was then embarrassed by a shot by Michael Kightly which squirmed underneath him. Dean Whitehead saw red for a second yellow offence, leading to a penalty which Adam Le Fondre converted to equal the scoreline. Ian Harte went close with a free-kick towards the end of the game which was tipped over by Federici.
West Bromwich Albion 3 – 0 Liverpool
The Baggies tore through Liverpool’s lacklustre defence, as Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku slotted home for a priceless 3 points in Steve Clarke’s first game. Daniel Agger was sent off in the 58th minute for a last-man tackle and the resulting penalty was missed by Shane Long with a terrible penalty. Brendan Rodgers will be looking for better from their next few games, which involve Manchester City, Arsenal, Sunderland, Manchester City and two games against Hearts in the Europa cup.
West Ham United 1- 0 Aston Villa
Kevin Nolan scored the only goal of the game, and it was a controversial one. The goal was given when the referee judged that the header through to offside Ricardo Vaz-Te was off an Aston Villa head, thus playing him onside. Vaz-Te then played the ball across to Nolan who tapped it home. West Ham will be looking to re-establish themselves as a Premier League team.