West Bromwich beat Liverpool 3-0 and Swansea and Fulham both won 5-0 on the opening day of English soccer’s new Premier League season.
Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukuaku scored as West Brom gave Steve Clarke a win in his first game as manager today, spoiling Brendan Rodgers’s debut as Liverpool coach.
Rodger’s former team Swansea won emphatically at Queen’s Park Rangers and Fulham routed Norwich at home. Arsenal drew 0-0 with Sunderland, while both promoted teams earned points with West Ham beating Aston Villa 1-0 and Reading rallying for a 1-1 tie against Stoke. Newcastle beat Tottenham 2-1.
Gera put West Brom in front two minutes before halftime at the Hawthorns with a shot from outside the area. Liverpool’s Daniel Agger was shown a red card 12 minutes into the second half for a foul in the area on Shane Long, whose penalty attempt was stopped by Pepe Reina.
Odemwinge doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after Long was tripped by Martin Skrtl. Substitute Romelu Lukaku completed the scoring with a header.
“You work through a preseason and you want to get the focus on the first game,” Clarke told Sky Sports. “The players showed they were ready for this game.”
Miguel Michu and Nathan Dyer each scored twice and Scott Sinclair added one as Swansea made new coach Michael Laudrup a winner with the away rout of QPR.
Mladen Petric netted twice to lead Fulham past Norwich at Craven Cottage. Damien Duff, Alex Kacaniklic and Steve Sidwell also had goals for Fulham.
Arsenal dominated play at the Emirates Stadium but had to settle for the draw with Sunderland. It was the Gunners’ first match without former captain Robin van Persie, who signed a four-year contract with Manchester United yesterday.
After the game, Arsenal announced on its website it’s agreed to sell midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona. Song will sign a five-year contract after his 19 million-euro ($23 million) move, Barcelona said on its website.
Kevin Nolan’s goal in the 40th minute gave promoted West Ham the home win. Adam Le Fondre’s penalty kick in the final minute earned fellow newcomer Reading the draw with Stoke. Michael Kightly scored for Stoke, which had Dean Whitehead sent off for a second yellow card, resulting in Le Fondre’s penalty.
Hatem Ben Arfa scored with a penalty kick in the 80th minute to give Newcastle the home win over Tottenham. Demba Ba put Newcastle in front early in the second half and Jermain Defoe tied it for Tottenham in the 76th minute.
Manchester City opens its title defense against promoted Southampton and Chelsea visits Wigan in tomorrow’s games, while Everton hosts Manchester United in two days.
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