Portsmouth 2-1 Stoke City - report to come
Arsenal 0-2 Wolves - report to come
Newcastle United 1-1 Liverpool - report to come
Manchester Utd 2-2 Chelsea
Not the ideal opening fixture for either of these two teams but with injuries hurting United, Chelsea were the favourites to make a solid start to their title defence. The game started with intense speed which seemed to suit United who’s side were clearly looking to lay down an early marker. The opening goal took just 4 minutes when Ozil found Willian and he got to the byeline before firing a cross into the box which hit Boateng and wrong footed De Gea. Buoyed by the goal United look to keep attacking and early on their pressing was working, the second goal came when Gomes got passed Can and played the ball into the path of Ozil, his shot hit the post but Cavani reacted quickest to tap in. 2-0 up but the early pressing seemed to take a lot out of United and Chelsea began to take control of proceedings. As soon as their dominance of possession began you could see the United would struggle to hold on, Chelsea making excellent use of the wide areas where Ramsey and Willian struggled to contain Ricardo and Lahm, it also allowed Neymar and Sanchez to double up and then go 3 v 3 against Uniteds CBs with Aguero, they got one back before half time too courtesy of Aguero from a Ricardo cross. The second half was really all Chelsea and two subs furthered that, Chelsea bringing Dybala on for Can and United Felipe Anderson for Willian. As soon as those changes were made Chelsea were having 4 on 3s time and time again when they attacked from their right. The equaliser came through Neymar who tapped in after Dybala had a shot blocked and it could and should have been 3 points for Chelsea after that but somehow United held on for what on the balance of play seemed like a lucky point.
Man United goals: Boateng(OG) 4, Cavani 23
Chelsea goals: Aguero(Rodriguez) 44, Neymar 80
MOTM: Neymar da Silva - A real thorn in United’s side, most attacks came through him and he got Chelsea a point.
Birmingham City 3-2 Hull City
An end to end game to start the season between two teams who finished in the lower ends of the table last year and will be looking to climb their way up. Both more or less went for 4-4-2’s and they were pretty evenly matched, whilst Birmingham had a bit more pace to get in behind Hull, Hull used their technical ability to good effect to create chances. Hull were 2-1 up after goals from Vietto but disaster struck in the 38th minute when Verratti played a first time ball to release Vardy and Tah chose to bring him down, he was the last man and had to go. Down to 10 men, Welshy changed to a back 3 but this started to make defending difficult for Hull, with Konoplyanka and Mario getting a lot more joy in the game. In the second half the equaliser came when Mario cut back for Martens to fire in his second of the game. The introduction of Chicharito and Nolito won the game for Birmingham the pair combining for Chicharito to poach the winner against a helpless 10 man Hull who gave it everything but were undone by a moment of madness by their young CB.
Birmingham goals: Mertens(Verratti) 19, Mertens(Mario) 61, Hernandez(Nolito) 82
Hull goals: Vietto 10, Vietto(Geis) 27
Red Card: Jonathan Tah 38
MOTM: Dries Martens - A constant threat as he buzzed around in a free role.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Manchester City
Newly promoted Tottenham against a Manchester City side eager to write the wrongs of the last 3 seasons, fireworks were expected. In the end though the two defences and their midfield protection came out on top and whilst both sides have dangerous attacks, they are stronger at the back and it showed. Both managers looked relieved not to have lost at the end.
MOTM: Jose Fonte - The big Portuguese defender cleared every ball going up towards Harry Kane.
Aston Villa 1-1 Leicester City
Two of last seasons under achievers went head to head at Villa Park, both looking to challenge at the high end of the league this season, a good start would really lay down a marker. Leicester saw a lot more of the ball during this game with Villa happy to sit deeper and invite more pressure then counter and it means both sides had plenty of chances. Leicester edged the chances but both sides looked a little rusty in front of goal, it is only day one after all and in the end had to settle for a point. The first goal went the way of Leicester when Hazard found the overlapping Sandro and his cross was headed in by Ibrahimovic. Leicester continued to push for a second but couldn’t find one and Villa found an equaliser. De Bruyne’s free kick headed in by Smalling after Kroos had tripped Wijnaldum. Honours even at Villa Park.
Aston Villa goals: Smalling(De Bruyne) 64
Leicester goals: Ibrahimovic(Sandro) 39
MOTM: Alex Sandro - lively display at wing back, up and down the touchline, set up the Leicester goal and didn’t do too badly against Robben either.
season 9 results - week 1
Portsmouth 2-1 Stoke City - report to come