Barclays Premier League Week 1:Liverpool’s great start, United still same, Arsenal’s first week victory, report all matches highlights / EPL News Video

Liverpool continues from the point where leave, Manchester United did not win the Van Gaal, Arsenal got more quality this year.


Liverpool  continues from the point where leave, Manchester United did not win the Van Gaal, Arsenal got more quality this year.

Liverpool 2 Southampton 1:Who need Suarez anymore ?

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers bounded from his technical area as Daniel Sturridge’s winning goal dribbled into the corner of Southampton’s net, the Liverpool manager all fists pumping and beaming smile as he tore on to the Anfield turf.

If the reaction felt more in keeping with an end-of-season title decider rather than an opening weekend encounter, the raw emotion of his actions betrayed the underlying importance of this victory.

There was to be no miserable hangover from last season for his players, no setback to anchor the mood early on. Liverpool may have used up some of the good fortune to which Luis Suarez had referred in his early morning text message to Rodgers ahead of the game, but life without their erstwhile talisman began in victory.

The SAS even remained on the score-sheet with Raheem Sterling conjuring the breakthrough in the first half before Nathaniel Clyne’s thumping finish imbued Southampton with a sense of hope which Sturridge was to extinguish from close range.

Sturridge’s goals earned Liverpool 20 points last season and the faintest of touches he applied to Sterling’s header with 11 minutes remaining brought two more his team-mates did not look like eking out other without his timely intervention.

Just as crucial is that the result offers momentum for Rodgers’s side to grow into their campaign and work on the rat-a-tat-tat passing moves and off-the-cuff invention so prevalent in everything they attempted last term before falling at the last.

Suarez made Liverpool unplayable and the fact new signings Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic were injured and that an exhaustive search for striking reinforcements has yet to yield a solution, means grit may have to replace guile at times while a layer of rust is cast off.

Yet finding a way to win is all-important and visiting manager, Ronald Koeman, was left to bemoan his own side’s inability to grasp the moment after Clyne’s blistering effort had left the force with them.

Should Southampton perform with the ingenuity and tenacity which embodied their efforts in the second half, then the notion this summer’s player drain from St Mary’s will send them hurtling through the Premier League trapdoor can feel flawed.

Certainly, Koeman will have been heartened by his players’ response to falling behind to a goal fashioned by two players England will be seeking to rely upon as they endeavour to clamber out of their post-World Cup stupor.

Jordan Henderson won duels with Dusan Tadic and then Morgan Schneiderlin before threading an exquisite pass with his left foot for Sterling who had invaded the space casually left between Jose Fonte and right-back Clyne.

Such was the majesty of the ball that the Liverpool attacker did not even have to take a touch before dispatching the chance with his right instep beyond the exposed Fraser Forster.

Expect Sterling to emerge as one of the top flight’s best performers, the calmness he showed in front of goal allied to a relentless work ethic that makes him the complete package.


Yet the visitors were emboldened after the interval. The exciting James Ward-Prowse started finding space between the lines, though it was a sublime touch from Tadic, an £11m recruit from Vitesse Arnhem, which pointed the way back into the contest.

The Serbian international held off Dejan Lovren, booed every time he touched the ball as he faced his former club and produced a clever back heel which doubled as a one-two with the rampaging Clyne whose run was not tracked. The full-back battered a shot beyond Simon Mignolet.

Had Steven Davis not shot straight at Mignolet soon after following more impressive build-up from Ward-Prowse and Tadic, then Liverpool would have been searching for an equalising strike of their own.

Instead, when Sterling rose unchallenged above Davis to turn Victor Wanyama’s poor clearing header towards goal, Sturridge was perfectly positioned to provide a poacher’s touch.

Just three minutes earlier Rickie Lambert, another St Mary’s old boy, had been introduced by Rodgers as Plan B was unveiled.

Lambert’s touches were minimal, in truth, although his presence perhaps played on the minds of his team-mates. Even then Morgan Schneiderlin thrashed a shot that Mignolet brilliantly tipped on to the crossbar, the ball bouncing down and out rather than over the line, with substitute Shane Long sending a header wide from four yards when pressured by Glen Johnson.

Whether this was the good luck Suarez had flagged up or not, Liverpool held firm.

Liverpool vs Southampton Match Stats


Liverpool (4-3-2-1): Mignolet 7.5; Manquillo 7, Skrtel 7, Lovren 7, Johnson 5.5; Henderson 7, Gerrard 7, Lucas 5 (Allen 63, 6), Sterling 8, Coutinho 5 (Lambert 76), Sturridge 6.5. Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Sakho, Can, Ibe.

Goals: Sterling 23, Sturridge 79.

Booked: Manquillo. 

Southampton: Forster 6.5; Clyne 7, Fonte 7.5, Yoshida 6.5, Bertrand 7; Wanyama 7.5, Schneiderlin 8, Ward-Prowse 8, S Davis 6 (Isgrove 82); Tadic 8 (Long 73, 5), Pelle 5. Subs: K Davis, Taider, Cork, Hooiveld, Stephens.

Goal: Clyne 56. 

Booked: Schneiderlin, Davis. 

Man of the match: Raheem Sterling. 

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Liverpool 2 Southampton 1 Match Video

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Manchester United 1 Swansea 2 Gylfi Sigurdsson finished Van Gaal’s gerat expectations


New boss Louis van Gaal’s side hit the rough against Swansea whose young manager Garry Monk celebrated his 10th anniversary at the club in spectacular style.Open champion McIlroy could have chosen a better day to drop in on the club he has supported from boyhood.At times he was watching a complete shambles with United a million miles away from being realistic Premier League title contenders.Infact without reinforcements they won’t even make the cut for the top four. Surely even last season’s seventh placed finish will even be beyond this motley crew?The future isn’t orange, it’s red for danger. And as for the much feted three at the back policy which served Van Gaal so well for Holland in the World Cup finals forget it, the players look uncomfortable and the fans distinctly unimpressed.The next fortnight is critical. It’s time for executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to deliver and avoid a repeat of the transfer fiasco which undermined David Moyes’ reign from the start.United claim to be one of the biggest clubs in the world – now is the time to prove it with bank busting moves for the likes of Mat Hummels, Angel Di Maria and Arturo Vidal if they are to regain their membership of the elite.Van Gaal can rightly point out that injuries and world cup recovery time deprived him of big performers like Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia.

It will also endorse his view that United’s tour of the USA which was a success in terms of every game was won was a gruelling commercial exercise which sucked the energy from his squad.Yesterday was the real thing as they crashed to their first ever opening day defeat at Old Trafford since 1972.For Swansea it was an afternoon to savour, especially for 35-year-old rookie boss Monk who exactly 10 years ago was making his bow as a player for the South Wales side.South Korean international Ki Sung-Yeung brought back to the Liberty Stadium after a season on loan at Sunderland and the subject of interest from Spurs and Aston Villa rose above the hype of the occasion to stamp his mark along with another returnee Gylvi Sigurdsson.Van Gaal couldn’t wait for half-time to address the mess he had witnessed, squirming in the dug-out – his only respite the odd sip of water.The agony had intensified with Ki’s first ever goal for Swansea. United’s uncertainty at the back was exposed when Nathan Dyer headed down to Sigurdsson, who neatly setting up Ki to steer low past David de Gea.

Four minutes earlier Jesse Lingard’s surprise debut had ended in agony, having to eventually hobble off following a bone jarring collision with Swans skipper Ashley Williams.It was also the cue for Van Gaal to abandon his three at the back formula while an ineffective Javier Hernandez was also removed during the break allowing Wayne Rooney greater licence to threaten the oppositiona.With Adnan Januzaj spurting forward down the right following his entrance for the unfortunate Lingard it looked like Van Gaal had delivered especially when Rooney, ordered to “fly” by his manager after being made captain, grabbed a spectacular equaliser.A Juan Mata corner was flicked on by
Phil Jones into the six yard box for Rooney to launch an overhead kick – not quite of the Manchester City vintage – but with the same result.United teams of the past would have then steamrollered Swansea aside and although Rooney struck the angle with a free-kick it was Swansea who grew in stature.Substitute Bafe Gomis worried the life out of a hesitant United defence with his powerful running but it was another replacement, Jefferson Montero who contributed to Swansea’s winner.His jink down the left and cross was miscued by Wayne Routledge but it fell neatly for Sigurdsson who finished crisply despite De Gea’s flailing hand.New boy Tyler Blackett suddenly discovered Rooney is a demanding skipper after receiving a finger pointing rebuke for his part in the goal.In truth more than Blackett had been well and truly bunkered.Manchester United vs Swansea Match StatsMan-Utd-1-Swansea-2-Van-Gaal

Man Utd (3-4-1-2): De Gea 5.5; Jones 6, Smalling 5.5, Blackett 6.5; Lingard 6 (Januzaj (24min, 7), Fletcher 6.5, Herrera 6 (Fellaini 67, 6), Young 5.5; Mata 6; Hernandez 5 (Nani 46, 6), Rooney 6.5. 

Subs: Kagawa, Michael Keane, Amos, James.

Goal: Rooney 53. 

Booked: Blackett, Young. 

Swansea (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6.5; Rangel 6.5, Amat 7, Williams 7.5, Taylor 5.5 (Tiendalli 53, 6); Ki 7, Shelvey 6.5; Routledge 6.5, Sigurdsson 8; Dyer 6.5 (Montero 67, 6.5), Bony 7 (Gomis 77). 

Subs: Tiendalli, Montero, Tremmel, Bartley, Richards, Sheehan.

Booked: Dyer, Taylor, Shelvey, Ki.

Goals: Ki 28, Sigurdsson 72. 

Man of the match: Gylfi Sigurdsson. 

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Manchester United 1 Swansea 2 Match Video

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Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 1:Arsenal brocken the Palace’s door

Arsenal 2 - 1 Crystal Palace - Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey got this one just when it seemed brave, managerless Palace had weathered the storm.

A frantic goalmouth scramble, Mathieu Debuchy’s desperate effort was parried by Julian Speroni and Ramsey – and Arsenal – couldn’t believe their luck.

Up until then battling Palace had proved a point in more ways than one.

They showed Tony Pulis that he was wrong to fear that some of them wouldn’t be able to cut the mustard at this level with a dogged display that deserved more than it got.

They also showed Arsene Wenger – and new boy Alexis Sanchez as well – that they still have work to do to justifyb their tag as one of the title favourites.

Everyone was feeling a bit sorry for Palace at first. And probably even more so later.

It’s tough enough starting the season away to Arsenal. To do it two days after your manager has walked out in a huff must have been a bit like staring at the summit of Everest wondering how on earth you’re going to get to base camp!

You hand to hand it to stand-in boss Keith Millen, though. Starting with Fraizer Campbell and former Arsenal man Marouane Chamakh up front showed rather more courage than you would have expected under the circumstances.

And with a touchline-based Millen urging his men to get up and at ’em at every opportunity things didn’t pan out quite the way the pundits had predicted,

In fact, for the first half hour Speroni in the Palace goal had only one real bother ball from Jack Wilshere to deal with.

Arsenal, it seemed, were far from comfy with the close attention they received. And for all their pretty patterns Yaha Sanogo – surprisingly preferred to Olivier Giroud – sometimes cut a lonely figure up front.

Palace by contrast were adventurous and without fear and they got their reward – and a deserved one it was too – on 34 minutes.

Brede Hangeland, on debut after a free transfer from Fulham, got his head to a corner from man of the match Jason Puncheon and the ball fairly flew into an unguarded net.

Why was Debuchy not guarding the back post you had to ask?

Palace fans chanted “who needs a manager?” after that, but they didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

Their defenders were just as sloppy on the stroke of half time as Arsenal had been earlier – and paid the price.

They were guilty of ball watching when Laurent Koscielny crept up to meet Alexis Sanchez’s free kick and head home an equaliser the Gunners barely deserved.

That was the £33million Chilean’s only significant contribution to a first half which must have been a real eye opener for him. Life in north London looks like being a whole lot different to Barcelona.

Not that his new teammates were all that much different after the break than what they were before it.

Sure, they had a lot more possession and the pressure was at times fierce. But generally speaking Palace held them at bay. And that has to be a worry for Arsene Wenger.

To be fair Arsenal should probably have had a penalty when Hangeland appeared to wrestle substitute Giroud to the ground. But referee Jon Moss somehow saw it differently.

It looked as though Millen’s men had done enough, but then up popped Ramsey, bang on cue, to break brave Palace’s hearts.

But at least whoever does take over from Pulis now knows he is inheriting a tean of real fighters. A team to be proud of.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Match Stats

Arsenal 2 - 1 Crystal Palace - Koscielny-Goal

Arsenal: Szczesny 6, Debuchy 5.5, Chambers 6.5, Koscielny 7, Gibbs 6 (Monreal 53), Arteta 5.5, Wilshere 7 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 69), Ramsey 6.5, Cazorla 5.5, Sanchez 6, Sanogo 5 (Giroud 62) 

Substitutes not used: Rosicky, Martinez, Campbell, Coquelin

Scorers: Koscielny 45; Ramsey 90

Booked: Chambers, Cazorla

Crystal Palace: Speroni 6.5, Kelly 6.5, Hangeland 6, Dann 7 (Delaney 74), Ward 6.5, Puncheon 6, Jedinak 7, Ledley 7, Bolasie 6 (O’Keefe 90), Chamakh 7.5, Campbell 6.5 (Gayle 85) 

Substitutes not used: McCarthy, Hennessey, Murray, Bannan

Scorer: Hangeland 35

Booked: Puncheon, Kelly, Chamakh

Sent off: Puncheon 

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 59,962

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 1 Match Video

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Barclays Premier League Match Week 1 Results

Saturday, 16 August

Man United 1 Swansea City 2

West Brom 2 Sunderland 2

Stoke City 0 Aston Villa 1

Leicester City 2 Everton 2

QPR 0 Hull City 1

West Ham 0 Tottenham 1

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 1

Sunday, 17 August

Liverpool 2 Southampton 1

Newcastle 0 Man City 2

Monday, 18 August

Burnley FC 20:00 Chelsea



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