Premier League round-up
Hull claim debut victory; Baggies and Stoke are beaten
Hull made a dream start to life in the Premier League, but fellow newcomers Stoke and West Brom were both beaten.
The Tigers, tasting top-flight football for the first time in their history, came from behind to defeat Fulham at a packed and passionate KC Stadium.
But Stoke were made to pay for two defensive lapses as they were beaten 3-1 by Bolton, while brave West Brom went down 1-0 to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
Paul Ince’s first game in charge of Blackburn ended in a 3-2 victory over Everton and Middlesbrough enjoyed a 2-1 triumph against Tottenham.
Dean Ashton grabbed an early double in front of watching England boss Fabio Capello as West Ham defeated Wigan 2-1 at Upton Park.
The evening game saw Sunderland entertain Liverpool and The Reds started their title challenge on a winning note courtesy of Fernando Torres’ late winner.
Hull were all at sea in the opening moments against Fulham, and it was no surprise when Seol Ki-Hyeon was given space between the centre-backs to flick Jimmy Bullard’s cross into the bottom corner.
But the Tigers recovered from their early wobbles, with Geovanni firing home an excellent equaliser before the break following a superb run and shot from outside the box.
And Folan made sure his name will forever be remember in Hull as he stroked home the winning goal nine minutes from time after Paul Konchesky’s error gifted the ball to Craig Fagan.
Samir Nasri’s early goal was enough for Arsenal as they held out against West Brom to secure a 1-0 victory at Emirates Stadium.
A typical flowing move from the Gunners saw Denilson cut the ball back for the £12million summer signing to slot beyond Scott Carson.
The Baggies improved after the break and came close to equalising only for Johan Djourou to clear Paul Robinson’s shot off the line.
Stoke’s jubilation at their top-flight return evaporated in the opening 45 minutes as Bolton cruised into a 3-0 half-time lead.
The Potters fell behind to a freak goal from Gretar Steinsson in the 34th minute, when his cross-shot from out on the right wing somehow flew into the top corner of the net.
Then poor marking at two set-pieces before the break allowed Kevin Davies and new signing Johan Elmander to head home.
Ricardo Fuller pulled one back in the second half, but it was all in vain for Tony Pulis’ side.
Andre Ooijer’s last-gasp strike secured victory for Paul Ince in his first Premier League game in charge of Blackburn at Everton.
Ince did not have to wait long to celebrate Rovers’ first goal of his management, with David Dunn showing quick feet to create space on the edge of the box before beating Tim Howard all ends up.
But Mikel Arteta’s clever free-kick caught new arrival Paul Robinson napping as he whipped the ball in at the near post to level matters before the interval.
Everton then edged in front when Arteta escaped down the left and delivered an inch-perfect cross to the far post for Yakubu Aiyegbeni to head home.
But the lead was short-lived as Stephen Warnock found Roque Santa Cruz in behind the home defence and the big striker slotted home before Ooijer had the final say.
Middlesbrough enjoyed an impressive opening day victory over big-spending Tottenham.
David Wheater, who had a goal ruled out in the first half, scored with 19 minutes remaining from point-blank range after Spurs failed to clear a corner and Afonso Alves’ initial shot fell to the defender at the back post.
And Mido made it 2-0 with time running out as he deflected Gary O’Neil’s shot beyond Heurelho Gomes, before Robert Huth’s late own goal.
West Ham striker Ashton sent a message to watching England coach Capello with two early goals against Wigan.
Ashton’s first was a stunning strike, as he turned Paul Scharner and lashed a fearsome shot beyond Chris Kirkland from the edge of the area, before adding a close-range second when Wigan failed to deal with a corner from the left.
Amr Zaki gave the Latics hope after the break with another excellent finish, volleying home after Emile Heskey had flicked on a long throw into the box, but the Hammers held on.
Liverpool left it late at Sunderland, but kicked off their Premier League with a 1-0 win thanks to Torres’ winner.
Chances were at a premium at the Stadium of Light with neither side creating any first half chances of note.
Both sides had opportunities to forge in front, but with the game scoreless entering the last ten minutes of play a draw looked on the cards.
However, the visitors did not read the script and Xabi Alonso picked out Torres with a neat through-ball with the Spain international striker dispatching a pin-point right-footed shot past the helpless Craig Gordon to snatch all three points.