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Premier League round-up - Man Utd fall foul, Newcastle triumph and Man City scrape through

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By Sion Cleaver

Tuesday 21 August 2012

The Premier League’s opening round of fixtures started where last season left off, with huge results and giant-killings galore.

Everton produced a shock 1-0 victory over a below-par Manchester United side on Monday evening. Marouane Fellaini scored the Merseyside outfit’s only goal, but his outstanding man of the match performance ensured they hung on to grab the win. Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie both made their Premier League debuts, with the latter coming off the bench late on.

Manchester City defeated newly promoted Southampton 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium, with the game producing regular reminders of the champions’ dramatic last day when they produced two late goals to win the league from behind. Carlos Tevez opened the scoring for the Blues just before the break, with Southampton equalising then going one ahead in the second half. Late goals from Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri ensured Roberto Mancini an opening day win against a very menacing Saints side.

Newcastle United emerged victorious against visitors Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday’s evening kick-off with a 2-1 home win. Demba Ba broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second-half before Jermain Defoe struck home in the 76th minute to equalise for Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs. Hatem Ben Arfa stepped up to take a penalty just minutes later and his coolly converted spot-kick sealed all three points for the home side.

Chelsea kicked off their top-flight campaign with a visit to Wigan’s DW Stadium. The Champions League winners produced a convincing 2-0 win over a very tricky Latics side courtesy of goals from Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic, which new signing Eden Hazard prove to be a huge help in the making of both efforts.

An impressive looking Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw against visiting Sunderland, while new boys Reading drew 1-1 with Stoke. West Brom produced a shock 3-0 romp over a poor Liverpool side at the Hawthorns, while West Ham kick-started their Premier League season in style with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

The opening round of matches saw two sides produce two mammoth results to cement themselves at the top of the league, if only for a week or so. Swansea racked up an impressive 5-0 result against a defensively poor QPR side, with new signing Michu hitting the back of the net twice for the Swans. Fulham also emerged 5-0 victors over a dreadful Norwich side, who failed to gain any momentum at Craven Cottage.

Chelsea return to top-flight action on Wednesday night with Reading paying a mid-week visit to Stamford Bridge.

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