Welcome to the new season. Not the most taxing match, but Chelsea will be keen to get the new-season jitters out of their system.
We've already seen Manchester City fight and fluke their way into a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur, with young goalkeeper Joe Hart the hero; a flurry of stunning first half goals keeping City in the match while the most defensive 4-3-3 ever to be fielded failed to provide him with any protection whatsoever. Spurs looked very impressive and exquisitely fluid, especially down the left side with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Gareth Bale combining nicely all game. Jermaine Defoe, Tom Huddlestone, and Bale all might have scored, but alas for Spurs, it was not to be, with Bale in particular missing a sitter towards the end of the first half.
Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing opened up the scoring for the season with an (offside) tap-in against West Ham as the Villans won 3-0; Lee Cattermole of Sunderland providing a first of his own with a sending off before half time against Birmingham, Sunderland eventually losing a two-goal advantage to draw the match 2-2. The shock result of the day so far has to be Blackpool absolutely hammering Wigan Athletic 4-0 in the DW Stadium. I'd still tip them for relegation, but credit to the Tangerines for coming out of the gates hard and fast. Blackburn stunned Everton thanks to comedy goalkeeping by Tim Howard, and Stoke new boy, £8M Kenwyn Jones hit the bar in his debut only to be taken off injured after 10 minutes. Bolton and Fulham played out a 0-0 bore-draw.
Now it's our turn. Let's do this!
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