PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Arsenal beaten, Man Utd cruise and Chelsea off the mark

The 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season kicked off on the weekend and will be concluded on Monday night when Manchester City host Newcastle United.

To get things started on Saturday, Liverpool made a winning beginning with a 1-0 victory over Stoke City thanks to Daniel Sturridge’s 37th minute strike.

The Reds were lucky not to be held to a draw, having new keeper Simon Mignolet to thank, as he kept out an 89th minute penalty from Jonathan Walters.

Manchester United kicked off life under new manager David Moyes with a 4-1 triumph at Swansea City. Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck lead the way with two goals each – the Dutchman opening the scoring in the 34th minute with an acrobatic side volley after controlling neatly with his chest.

Welbeck added a second just minutes later when he steered home Antonio Valencia’s drive from close range before van Persie made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute with a thunderous strike from outside the area on his trusty left boot.

Swansea signing Wilfried Bony got one back in the 82nd minute with a neat side-footed finish but Welbeck put the nail in the coffin with a deft chip over Michel Vorm in injury time.

Arsenal’s season began dreadfully as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Aston Villa despite scoring the opening goal inside seven minutes through Olivier Giroud who swept home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross from the left.

However, it was all downhill from there as Christian Benteke levelled in the 22nd minute, fortuitously heading home the rebound after Wojciech Szczesny had kept out his penalty which came after the Polish gloveman had felled Gabby Agbonlahor in the area.

Benteke edged Villa ahead just after the hour-mark when he was able to convert from the spot after Agbonlahor had won another penalty although this one was questionable as Laurent Koscielny appeared to take all ball in his challenge. Koscielny was sent off not long after for a second bookable offence before Villa rubbed salt into the Gunners wounds with a late goal from new signing Antonio Luna.

Norwich City managed to score late to force a 2-2 draw with Everton at Carrow Road after going ahead early in the second half through Steven Whittaker. Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman got the Toffees ahead not long after the hour-mark but summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel hit the back of the net for the home side in the 71st minute.

Pajtim Kasami scored the only goal of the game as Fulham travelled to Sunderland to get a 1-0 victory whilst Southampton were gifted a late penalty, converted by Rickie Lambert, to edge West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at The Hawthorns.

West Ham United spoiled Cardiff City’s first Premier League outing, winning 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan.

On Sunday, Chelsea gave Jose Mourinho a winning return to English football by beating Hull City 2-0 at home thanks to first-half goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard – the second a stunning free-kick – whilst Tottenham got the better of top flight returnees Crystal Palace 1-0 courtesy of a 50th minute penalty from record signing Roberto Soldado.

Liverpool: 1 (Daniel Sturridge 37’)
Stoke City: 0 (penalty miss: Jonathan Walters 89’)
Anfield, Liverpool – 44,822

Arsenal: 1 (Olivier Giroud 6’, red card: Laurent Koscielny 67’)
Aston Villa: 3 (Christian Benteke 22’/(p) 61’, Antonio Luna 85’)
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,003

Norwich City: 2 (Steven Whittaker 51’, Ricky van Wolfswinkel 71’)
Everton: 2 (Ross Barkley 61’, Seamus Coleman 65’)
Carrow Road, Norwich – 26,824

Sunderland: 0
Fulham: 1 (Pajtim Kasami 53’)
Stadium of Light, Sunderland – 43,905

West Bromwich Albion: 0
Southampton: 1 (Rickie Lambert (p) 90’)
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich – 25,927

West Ham United: 2 (Joe Cole 13’, Kevin Nolan 76’)
Cardiff City: 0
Upton Park, London – 34,977

Swansea City: 1 (Wilfried Bony 82’)
Manchester United: 4 (Robin van Persie 34’/72’, Danny Welbeck 36’/90+2’)
Liberty Stadium, Swansea – 20,733

Crystal Palace: 0
Tottenham: 1 (Roberto Soldado (p) 50’)
Selhurst Park, London – 28,235

Chelsea: 2 (Oscar 13’, Frank Lampard 25’, missed penalty: Lampard 6’)
Hull City: 0
Stamford Bridge, London – 41,374

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