The first day of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season has thrown up some interesting results as it always does.
A cracking strike from Zoltan Gera late in the first half was followed up by a Peter Odemwingie penalty and a Romelu Lukaku header as the home side ran over the Reds who were reduced to ten men inside the hour when Daniel Agger was sent off.
In London, Fulham kick-started their campaign with a devastating 5-0 home victory over Norwich City thanks to a double from debutant Mladen Petric. The Croatian striker was joined by Damien Duff, Alex Kacaniklic and Steve Sidwell on the scoresheet as the Cottagers enjoyed a big opening day win.
Staying in the capital, and there was another 5-0 scoreline but hosts QPR were on the wrong end of it as Michael Laudrup started his tenure in charge of Swansea City in great fashion. New signing Michu netted a double, along with Nathan Dyer, as Scott Sinclair put the icing on the cake for the Welsh club.
Top flight returnees West Ham United edged Aston Villa to record maximum points with a 1-0 home win thanks to Kevin Nolan’s 40th minute effort whilst fellow promotion winners Reading needed a late penalty from Adam Le Fondre to deny Stoke City full points after Michael Kightly’s opener in their 1-1 draw.
Arsenal looked mediocre up front in the absence of Robin van Persie as they stuttered to a 0-0 home draw with Sunderland whilst Newcastle United got a rare win over Tottenham with a 2-1 result at home. A brilliant Demba Ba strike and a Hatem Ben Arfa penalty book-ended Jerman Defoe’s close range finish as the Toon started the season with a vital win.
2012/13 Premier League scores
Newcastle United: 2 (Demba Ba 54’, Hatem Ben Arfa (p) 80’)
Tottenham: 1 (Jermain Defoe 76’)
Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 52,385
Yellow cards: NEW - Danny Simpson 14’, Yohan Cabaye 45+2’
TOT - Jake Livermore 17’, Sandro 19’
Queens Park Rangers: 0
Swansea City: 5 (Michu 8’/53’, Nathan Dyer 63’/71’, Scott Sinclair 81’)
Loftus Road, London – 18,072
Yellow cards: QPR - Samba Diakite 54’, Fabio 58’
SWA - Jonathan de Guzman 41’, Angel Rangel 62’
Reading: 1 (Adam Le Fondre (p) 90’)
Stoke City: 1 (Michael Kightly 34’)
Madejski Stadium, Reading – 23,973
Yellow cards: REA - Kaspars Gorkss 45’, Mikele Leigertwood 72’
STO - Dean Whitehead 18’/89’, Matthew Etherington 76’, Ryan Shawcross 90+2’, Asmir Begovic 90+3’
Red card: STO - Dean Whitehead 89’
West Bromwich Albion: 3 (Zoltan Gera 43’, Peter Odemwingie (p) 64’, Romelu Lukau 77’)
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich – 26,039
Yellow cards: WBA - Marc-Antoine Fortune 75’
LIV - Glen Johnson 42’, Luis Suarez 45+3’, Lucas 57’, Andy Carroll 90+3’
Red card: LIV - Daniel Agger 58’