The 2016/17 Premier League season got off to a thrilling start as champions Leicester City were defeated 2-1 in the very first game by managerless and injury ravaged Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
The Tigers took a surprise lead on the stroke of half-time in bizarre fashion, as Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande both attempted bicycle kicks and combined to find the back of the net, with Diomande awarded the goal.
The Foxes were level almost immediately in the second-half, after Tom Huddlestone was adjudged to have fouled Demarai Gray in the area and Riyad Mahrez stepped up to convert the penalty.
However shortly before the hour mark the home side retook the lead as a clearance fell kindly for Robert Snodgrass on the edge of the box and he drilled in a tidy finish. That goal turned out to be the winner and defeat meant Leicester became the first champions to be defeated on the opening day in the Premier League era.
Liverpool and Arsenal played out the game of the weekend as the Reds came away from the Emirates Stadium with a stunning 4-3 win. The Gunners led in the first-half when Theo Walcott finished before Phillipe Coutinho whipped in a stunning free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors then produced a stunning spell to take a 4-1 lead 18 minutes after the break, with Adam Lallana putting them ahead, Coutinho added his second and Sadio Mane produced an incredible solo strike on his debut.
The home side pulled one back immediately through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lone effort, before Calum Chambers nodded in another, but they could not prevent a third opening day defeat in the last four seasons for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Life under Jose Mourinho started brightly for Manchester United as they cruised to a 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Juan Mata was gifted the opening goal after two errors from Simon Francis allowed him to tap-in, before Wayne Rooney nodded in a second after the break. Zlatan Ibrahimovic drilled in the third from distance on his league debut, before Adam Smith added a consolation for the Cherries.
Manchester City needed a late own goal to take victory in Pep Guardiola’s first game in charge as they beat Sunderland 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero put City ahead after just four minutes from the penalty spot, after Raheem Sterling was brought down by Patrick van Aanholt.
David Moyes’ men stayed in the game though and were rewarded for their efforts when Jermain Defoe coolly slotted past Willy Caballero with twenty minutes remaining. Yet with just three minutes left on the clock, City grabbed a winner as substitute and debutant Paddy McNair could only divert a Jesus Navas cross into his own net.
On Monday night it took a late winner to ensure Antonio Conte made a winning start as Chelsea boss as they beat West Ham United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard gave the Blues the lead from the penalty spot after Cesar Azpilicueta was fouled by Michail Antonio.
James Collins fired in an equaliser for the Hammers, but they were denied a point two minutes from the end as Diego Costa netted the winner.
Everton were denied a win in their first game under Ronald Koeman as Tottenham came from behind to grab a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. The home side led after just five minutes when Ross Barkley’s free-kick sailed over everyone and into the far corner. Erik Lamela would prove to be the man to ensure the points were shared as he headed in from Kyle Walker’s cross.
Middlesbrough secured a point on their return to the Premier League in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City at The Riverside. Alvaro Negredo put the hosts ahead on his debut after just 11 minutes when he bundled in Gaston Ramirez’s header. Boro were denied an opening day win though when Xherdan Shaqiri whipped in a free-kick midway through the second-half.
Burnley were the only newly promoted side not to gain a point on the opening weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by Swansea City at Turfmoor. Leroy Fer’s tap-in eight minutes from the end, after Tom Heaton had saved Fernando Llorente’s header, proved to be enough for the visitors.
Southampton and Watford shared the points under their new bosses at St Mary’s in a 1-1 draw. Etienne Capoue smashed the Hornets in front after 10 minutes from a Troy Deeney knock-down. Debutant Nathan Redmond equalised for Saints after the break with a calm finish before substitute Ben Watson saw red for the visitors shortly after coming on after hauling down Shane Long when he was last man.
West Brom got their season off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Salomon Rondon netted the only goal of the game when he headed in from James McClean’s free-kick 15 minutes from the end to continue Palace’s dismal run in the league in 2016.
Player of the Weekend: Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Team of the Weekend: Hull City
Goal of the Weekend: Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool – First goal)