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Premier League roundup

The opening day promises a competitive season ahead

By | 13th August 2011

The Barclays Premier League returned to households around the world this weekend and aside from one extremely lopsided fixture, the matches played on Saturday were very competitive.

Two of the aforementioned fixtures ended in goalless draws as Aston Villa drew away to Fulham and Arsenal experienced the same outcome against Newcastle at Tyneside.

Shay Given’s phenomenal performance in Villa’s goal helped Alex McLeish’s men walk out of Cravel Cottage with a valuable point but there was hardly a hero to be found in the clash between the Gunners and the Magpies.

Alex Song survived a sending off following a stamp on Joey Barton. The controversial Magpies midfielder subsequently lost his cool and attacked Arsenal new boy Gervinho when the latter was on the ground appealing for a penalty.

Chaos ensued in the aftermath of the incident as Gervinho slapped Barton and was handed a red card immediately. Believe it or not, the sad part is that this was perhaps the most exciting sequence of events in an otherwise uninspiring game.

In the day’s other draws, there were also those of the 1-1 variety. Newly promoted Norwich City salvaged a point away to Wigan when Wesley Hoolahan cancelled Ben Watson’s penalty midway through the first half.

However, the clearly more high-profile 1-1 draw of the day saw new-look Liverpool held by Sunderland at Anfield.

Following an early penalty miss, Luis Suarez bounced back with a clinical header to give the Reds a slender 1-0 advantage.

Unfortunately for Liverpool’s hopeful fans, there was no happy ending as Sebastian Larsson equalized 12 minutes into the second half with a brilliant volley that can very well end up as the goal of the season.

Moving on to Saturday’s only well-fought win, one must credit Wolverhampton Wanderers for emerging 2-1 winners against the Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Debutant Mauro Formica put the visitors ahead 20 minutes following the kick-off but Steven Fletcher equalized merely two minutes later.

Speaking of two minutes, it took the Wolves exactly that much time into the second period to earn a penalty that Kevin Doyle missed. However, Stephen Ward followed up to put the ball in the back of the net and secure the advantage for the visitors.

Last, but not least, let’s briefly addressed this evening’s only fixture that lacked competitiveness. Bolton Wanderers destroyed the Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at Loftus Road with goals from three different Trotters.

Arsenal target Gary Cahill opened the scoring half way through the game before a second half rout that included an own goal from Daniel Gabbidon, as well as strikes from Ivan Klasnic and Fabrice Muamba.

As a reminder, Tottenham Hotspur’s opener at home to Everton was postponed by the Premier League, restricting Saturday to a total of six fixtures.

Defending champions Manchester United will visit West Bromwich Albion tomorrow while challengers Chelsea will be away to Stoke City.

On Monday, Swansea could receive just as humbling a reception to the top flight as QPR did when they visit the powerful Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.



Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. Charles says:

    What a wonderful saturday. QPR must wake up so as not to go back to where they just came from.

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