Manuel Pellegrini completed a trio of wins for new managers of the top three sides, as his Manchester City team romped to a 4-0 victory over 10-man Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.
The new manager appeared to have instilled a new breed of confidence into his players, as they looked in fine form and in total control against Alan Pardew’s out-of-sort Toon Army - who had Steven Taylor sent off for a needless raised arm.
Neighbours Manchester United ensured that David Moyes also got off to a winning start, as they swept Swansea City aside 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck scored twice with their second goals both absolute beauties, including an exquisite lob from the latter.
Over at Stamford Bridge, “The Special One” returned as Jose Mourinho saw his Chelsea side run out comfortable 2-0 winners over promoted Hull City, playing some crisp free-flowing football in the first game of his second spell in charge with Oscar and Frank Lampard on target.
Across London Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s problems have been called into question once again. Despite taking the lead at the Emirates through Olivier Giroud, they were torn apart by Aston Villa as a double from last season’s hero Christian Benteke sent Paul Lambert’s men on their way to a memorable 3-1 win. The Gunners also had Laurent Koscielny sent off.
The mood was different for their North London rivals who overcame Play-Off winners Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park by a single goal, as record signing Roberto Soldado opened his account for Andre Villas-Boas’ side who were once again without Gareth Bale.
Though the manager quickly claimed that last season’s PFA Player of the Year was injured, amid further speculation of a possible world-record transfer to Real Madrid before the window shuts.
Elsewhere England’s man-of-the-moment Rickie Lambert was once again the match winner for Southampton, following his debut goal with his first touch against Scotland last Wednesday. He put West Bromwich Albion to the sword this time with a late penalty at the Hawthorns, which preserved his perfect record of 32 successful spot kicks.
His boyhood club Liverpool also got off to a perfect start as Daniel Sturridge’s goal was enough to see off Mark Hughes’ Stoke City at Anfield, while rivals Everton under new boss Roberto Martinez earned a credible 2-2 draw against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Youngster Ross Barkley caught the eye in this game with a magnificent strike for his side, as they appeared unphased by the departure of Moyes, while producing some outstanding spells of possession along the way.
In other games, Championship winners Cardiff City were given a tough baptism to life in the top division, as goals from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan gave West Ham United a convincing 2-0 victory over the new boys at Upton Park. Their rivals Fulham also bagged three points as they beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light thanks to Pajtim Kasami’s first goal for the club.
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