Premier League Results: Analysis for Sunderland vs. Arsenal and More
Premier League football returned with a bang on Saturday, and we've got all the action recapped for you in case you missed it.
The Mesut Ozil era began in style for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, but one contentious call at the Stadium of Light will dominate the headlines. There was controversy at Old Trafford too, while Manchester City dropped yet more points away to "lesser" sides.
Read on for a full report on the results.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
David Moyes secured his first win at Old Trafford by dispatching Crystal Palace to the tune of a 2-0 scoreline.
The Eagles held off a subdued home side extremely well for the first 40 minutes, but a questionable penalty call ended their resilience, and Robin van Persie slotted home just before halftime.
The placement of the foul—was it even a foul?—on Ashley Young was also disputed, as Palace believed it occurred outside the box. As a result of the call, Kagisho Dikgacoi was shown a straight red card.
Palace came out strongly after the break despite possessing one less man, and it wasn't until the final 10 minutes that three points were sealed with Wayne Rooney curling a free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.
Shots: United 20-4 Palace
Possession: United 60%-40% Palace
Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle
Newcastle claimed an impressive 2-1 victory at Villa Park on Saturday, dealing Aston Villa a third consecutive loss.
Paul Lambert's men started appallingly and deservedly fell behind to Hatem Ben Arfa's forced finish after good work from Loic Remy on the left-hand side.
The home side were booed off at halftime and responded well, drawing level via a mammoth Christian Benteke header from a corner halfway through the second period.
The resurgence didn't last long, however, as holes opened up by Villa's attacking philosophy allowed Ben Arfa to find space and shoot goalward. Brad Guzan got down well to make the save, but Yoann Gouffran was on hand to turn it home on the rebound.
Shots: Villa 10-17 Newcastle
Possession: Villa 55%-45% Newcastle
Fulham 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion bagged a valuable away point at Craven Cottage, drawing 1-1 with Martin Jol's Fulham.
The Cottagers took the lead midway through the first half as Steve Sidwell flashed a half-volley in after a corner, while Dimitar Berbatov converted a second but was ruled offside.
Bryan Ruiz struck the bar in the second half, but it was Gareth McAuley who rose the highest to head home a James Morrison corner to spoil the party.
Boos accompanied the Fulham side as it left the pitch, and some fans continue to question the presence of Jol in the managerial dugout.
Shots: Fulham 12-12 WBA
Possession: Fulham 56%-44% WBA
Hull City 1-1 Cardiff City
Two newly promoted teams matched each other at the KC Stadium as Hull City and Cardiff City drew 1-1.
Curtis Davies opened the scoring just before halftime, thumping a header into the back of the net following a great delivery from Tom Huddlestone.
Peter Whittingham levelled matters 15 minutes after the break, firing a left-footed effort past Allan McGregor from inside the penalty area.
Both sides have strengthened significantly this summer and looked every bit the Premier League quality requires, and Hull in particular may surprise a few.
Shots: Hull 18-10 Cardiff
Possession: Hull 46%-54% Cardiff
Stoke City 0-0 Manchester City
Stoke City more than matched Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, securing a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium.
Manuel Pellegrini's charges struggled for long periods with the Potters, who are playing some decent football and shocking many casual observers.
The best chances fell to the home side, with Jonathan Walters heading wide unmarked from six yards out and Joe Hart bailing the Citizens out on more than one occasion.
Stevan Jovetic had a quiet debut, with his fizzing volley coming the closest to a breakthrough for the away side.
Shots: Stoke 11-10 City
Possession: Stoke 42%-58% City
Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal
A controversial affair at the Stadium of Light featured Arsenal run out 3-1 victors over Sunderland.
Mesut Ozil bagged his first assist for the Gunners early on by slipping in Olivier Giroud for a near-post finish, but Laurent Koscielny foolishly hauled down Adam Johnson in the area, and Craig Gardner slotted home from the spot before halftime.
Aaron Ramsey picked up two goals in 10 minutes in the second half—the first a sumptuous volley from 16 yards, the second a slotted finish after great buildup play—but the real storyline is Jozy Altidore's disallowed goal.
The U.S. international was fouled but went onto score—only the referee failed to play the advantage and brought the game back for a foul. Retired legendary England striker Gary Lineker had a hard time believing the call.
"Shocking decision by the ref at Sunderland," he tweeted. "a) Not to allow advantage for Altidore goal. b) No red card. Needs to be seen to be believed."
Shots: Sunderland 18-14 Arsenal
Possession: Sunderland 31%-69% Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Norwich City
Norwich City were decimated by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, with the eventual 2-0 scoreline appearing extremely kind on the away side.
Gylfi Sigurdsson netted early on after a delightful assist from debutant Christian Eriksen, then doubled his tally in the second half by tapping home at the far post after Paulinho flashed a dangerous ball across the six-yard box.
Hugo Lloris was lucky to escape a red card after punching the ball clear outside the penalty area. There were very few positives for the Canaries here—at times it appeared to be Sebastian Bassong vs. Spurs.
Shots: Spurs 23-5 Norwich
Possession: Spurs 69%-31% Norwich
Everton 1-0 Chelsea
Steven Naismith scored the only goal as Everton achieved a notable scalp against Chelsea at Goodison Park.
The result represented Jose Mourinho's first Premier League defeat since his return to manage the Blues, while it also brought up Roberto Martinez's first Premier League win since he succeeded David Moyes at Everton.
Samiel Eto'o made his Chelsea debut, but the striker was found wanting when an early chance arrived to score.
Martinez, as per Everton's official Twitter feed, had this to say, "I thought we were unfortunate just to get one goal in the second half. It was very pleasing and as a manager you couldn’t be prouder."
Shots: Everton 11-22 Chelsea
Possession: Everton 43%-57% Chelsea