Premier League 2017-18 opened with a cracking early kick-off game where Arsenal edged out 2015-16 league champions Leicester City in a 4-3 thriller. Their London rivals, Chelsea, encountered a shocking defeat at the hands of Burnley as the nine-man side went down 3-2 in their season opener.
Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City
Following their FA Community Shield win last Sunday, North London giants Arsenal came from behind yet again as they overcame a highly charged Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger needed two very late goals from Welshman Aaron Ramsey and French international Olivier Giroud to break the curse of his opening game loss.
The seven-goal fiesta started when new Arsenal recruit Alexandre Lacazette headed home his first goal just after two minutes of the game. Shinji Okazaki cancelled it out three minutes later before the mercurial Jamie Vardy fired the Foxes 2-1 up from a Marc Albrighton cross.
Though Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck equalized in the first half stoppage time, Vardy was it again in the 56 minute as he headed past Petr Cech from a corner. Ramsey and Giroud scored twice in a span of two minutes to give Arsenal the 4-3 lead that remained until the end.
Chelsea 2-3 Burnley
Chelsea started their Premier League defence in the worst way possible as a determined Burnley side beat them 3-2 at Stamford Bridge with manager Antonio Conte seeing two of his players sent off. Skipper Gary Cahill received a straight red card as early as in the 14 minute, following a dangerous tackle on Burnley midfielder Steven Defour. Burnley took advantage of their superior number as forward Sam Vokes gave them the lead ten minutes later from Mathew Lowton’s volley.
Things turned from bad to worse for Chelsea in no time as Stephen Ward and Vokes tripled the lead even before the first half ended. The Blues came back fighting in the second half with new arrival Alvaro Morata getting his debut goal from Willian’s cross, but Cesc Fabregas’ second yellow card reduced them to nine men staging a comeback tremendously difficult. Although David Luiz added a late goal in the 88 minutes, it ended up just being a consolation as Chelsea lost the game 3-2.
Watford 3 - 3 Liverpool
Liverpool didn’t see a great start to their campaign either as Watford snatched a very late equalizer to deny them all three points at Vicarage Road. The Hornets took an early eighth-minute lead through Stefano Okaka and Liverpool took 20 minutes to find an equalizer as Sadio Mane finished clinically following a one-two.
Watford responded almost instantly taking advantage of Liverpool’s scrappy defence as Abdoulaye Doucoure tapped home three minutes later. Ten minutes into the second half and Liverpool’s new signing Mohamed Salah was brought down in the box by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes as Roberto Firmino converted from the spot.
The same duo was involved for Liverpool’s third goal as Salah tapped the ball in from Firmino’s failed lob. Liverpool
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2Manchester City
Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield Town
Everton 1-0 Stoke City
Southampton 0-0Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Bournemouth
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