Big teams struggle while Fulham and Swansea impress
Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland
A resolute defensive performance ensured Sunderland travelled back to the north-east with a clean sheet and a point, after a battling display at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal had the majority of the chances, with new signing, Santi Cazorla, in particularly impressive form.
However, breaking the Black Cats’ resistance proved too hard a task for the Gunners, with striker Olivier Giroud wasting the home side’s best chance after he sent his right-foot shot wide.
Fulham 5-0 Norwich
Two goals from debutant Mladen Petrić helped Fulham cruise to victory in a comfortable display over visitors Norwich.
Damien Duff opened the scoring on 26 minutes, before Petrić’s double had the Cottagers well on their way to victory.
Alex Kacaniklic slotted home a fourth before Steve Sidwell converted a late penalty to send Martin Jol’s side to the top of the league.
QPR 0-5 Swansea
A dominant away display from Swansea ensured the Welsh side left Loftus Road in high spirits with QPR left to sort out a disastrous defensive display.
Swans’ new boy, Michu, and winger Nathan Dyer scored two goals apiece, giving Rob Green in the Rangers’ goal a nightmare first game for the London side.
Scott Sinclair added a fifth late goal to complete the rout, giving new boss, Michael Laudrup a dream start to life in the Premier League.
Reading 1-1 Stoke
A late Adam Le Fondre penalty marked Reading’s return to the top flight of English football, with the game ending in a draw with Tony Pulis’ Stoke.
The Potters were gifted the lead when Royals’ goalkeeper, Adam Federici, failed to deal with Michael Kightly’s effort.
However, once Garath McCleary was bundled over by Potters’ midfielder, Dean Whitehead, resulting in second yellow for the 30-year-old, Le Fondre dispatched his spot-kick expertly into the corner, sending the home fans wild.
West Brom 3-0 Liverpool
In a tale of two new managers, Steve Clarke, against his former side, prevailed over Brendan Rodgers sending Liverpool to a heavy defeat at the Hawthorns.
After Reds’ striker, Luis Suarez, missed a number of glorious chances, the Baggies’ capitalised and Zoltan Gera scored a sumptuous first goal past a helpless Pepe Reina.
The visitors were then reduced to ten men as Daniel Agger was given a straight red for clipping Shane Long in the box. The striker, however, failed to score with the resulting kick, though they were given another chance from 12 yards after Long was knocked down by Martin Škrtel.
Peter Odemwingie made no mistake in dispatching the penalty, and Romelu Lukaku added a deserved third with a far-post header.
West Ham 1-0 Aston Villa
West Ham marked their return to the Premier League with a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa.
It also marked Paul Lambert’s first game in charge of his new club. However, he may have plenty of work left to do if his new club are to reach as high as sixth on the table, like they did for three seasons running, not too long ago.
Kevin Nolan scored the only goal of the game after forward, Ricardo Vaz Tê, pulled the ball back for the captain, who side-footed his shot past Shay Given.
Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
A Hatem Ben Arfa penalty with ten minutes remaining gave Newcastle all three points in a game between the sides who finished fifth and sixth in last season’s campaign.
Despite Spurs hitting the woodwork twice, it was the Magpies who went in front, with Demba Ba curling in a beautiful shot past Brad Friedel.
Jermain Defoe levelled for the visitors, before Hatem Ben Arfa won, and converted to ensure Andre Villas-Boas suffered defeat in his first game as Tottenham boss.
Wigan 0-2 Chelsea
Two goals in the first seven minutes at the DW Stadium gave Chelsea all three points in a show starring their new signing, Eden Hazard.
The Belgian turned and set up the Blues’ opener with defender, Branislav Ivanovic side-footing home past Ali Al-Habsi.
The midfielder, bought from Lille during the summer, was then fouled just five minutes later, allowing Frank Lampard to score from 12 yards, securing the game early on for Roberto Di Matteo’s men.
Manchester City 3-2 Southampton
Manchester City began the defence of their title in dramatic style with a late win over a very organised Southampton side.
Concerns for City began early on, when last season’s top goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, was stretchered off with just 14 minutes gone.
The cries around the Etihad Stadium grew louder as home fans saw their talisman, David Silva, miss a penalty after Carlos Tevez was fouled by Jos Hooiveld.
However, they did take the lead just before half time, when Tevez fired low past the goalkeeper, to beat him at his near post.
Two Saints substitutes saw the visitors reply in the best way possible, with Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis silencing the blue side of Manchester.
However Edin Dzeko, and a Samir Nasri winner, ten minutes from full-time gave City the three points.
Everton 1-0 Manchester United
Everton shocked title hopefuls, Manchester United, with a resolutely committed display, that could not be matched by the Red Devils.
Marouane Fellaini headed in the only goal of the game for the Toffees, capping off a stunning display from the Belgian after he dominated the makeshift centre-half pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick.
The Red Devils went close through Tom Cleverly, but not even their new £24-million-man, Robin Van Persie, could do anything to prevent David Moyes’ side from taking a well-deserved three points.
Derek Baker, football correspondent