Five opening-day shocks in Premier League

Sports Mole takes a look at five shocks that have occurred on the opening day of the Premier League since its creation in 1992.

The 23rd Premier League campaign gets underway on Saturday as clubs throughout the division look to get their season off to a positive start.

For some, three points will be seen as imperative ahead of a pursuit of the league title but the newly-promoted teams will be intent on avoiding defeat. However, things haven't always gone to plan when teams have returned to action after the summer break.

Below, Sports Mole looks back through the history of the Premier League to select five of the more surprising results that have occurred on the opening day of the season.

1. Coventry City 2-1 Chelsea (1998-99)

After ending the previous season in fourth place and adding the likes of Marcel Desailly and Pierluigi Casiraghi to their squad during the summer, Chelsea were expected to begin the 1998-99 season in positive fashion when they made the trip to Highfield Road to play Coventry City.

However, the West Londoners were humbled inside the first 16 minutes as Dion Dublin and Darren Huckerby found the back of the net to provide the Blues with a rude awakening ahead of what would prove to be their strongest challenge for a Premier League title.

Gus Poyet halved the deficit for his side but Coventry hung on for the three points, but this defeat, which was one of just three that Chelsea suffered all season, proved to be costly as they narrowly missed out to Manchester United and Arsenal at the end of the year.

2. Everton 1-6 Arsenal (2009-10)

Just one place had separated these two teams during the previous season, but Arsenal soon delivered a statement of intent at the start of 2009-10 by trouncing the Merseyside outfit at Goodison Park.

Denilson and Thomas Vermaelen netted twice to give their side a comfortable advantage before William Gallas and Cesc Fabregas scored either side of half time to earn the Gunners a 4-0 lead after 48 minutes.

Eduardo Da Silva of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Emmanuel Eboue after scoring his team's sixth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009© Getty Images

Fabregas scored his second midway through the second half, with Eduardo completing the scoring for the North London outfit with two minutes remaining of normal time.

Louis Saha provided Everton with a consolation goal in added-on time, but Arsenal's Premier League rivals had been notified that they had improved considerably since the disappointment of finishing 18 points off top spot.

3. Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool (2010-11)

Blackpool had caused one of the biggest surprises in recent years by earning promotion to the Premier League but their stay in the top flight wasn't expected to be a lengthy one as they were widely tipped to finish bottom of the table.

However, on the first Saturday of the new season, the Seasiders, under the guidance of Ian Holloway, ran riot at Wigan Athletic, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Marlon Harewood giving their team a 3-0 lead at the break.

The Latics were in disarray, and their misery was compounded after the break as Alex Baptiste scored a fourth to complete one of the most memorable first-day results in Premier League history.

4. West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Liverpool (2012-13)

After leading Swansea City to 11th place in their first season in the Premier League, Brendan Rodgers made the move to Liverpool to replace Kenny Dalglish, but he was given a shock in his first game in charge of the Merseyside giants.

Liverpool conceded on the brink of half time after Zoltan Gera's wonder strike from 25 yards, and things went from bad to worse for Rodgers as Daniel Agger was sent off for a professional foul inside the penalty area.

Peter Odemwingie of West Brom scores their second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on August 18, 2012© Getty Images

Shane Long missed the resulting spot kick, but Peter Odemwingie made amends to double the Baggies' advantage before Romelu Lukaku, who had signed on loan from Chelsea, added a third in the final 15 minutes.

5. Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa (2013-14)

After failing to add to his squad during the summer, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was under pressure to get his side's season off to a winning start when they hosted Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger's decision looked justified when Olivier Giroud put Arsenal into a sixth-minute lead, but a Christian Benteke header ensured that Villa were level at the break.

The second half proved to be disastrous for Wenger and Arsenal, with Laurent Koscielny being dismissed after picking up a second yellow card when conceding a penalty on the hour mark.

Benteke coolly dispatched the set piece before Antonio Luna broke clear to convert a third as Arsenal left the pitch to a chorus of boos from their own supporters.

Dion Dublin applauds the travelling Norwich City fans.
Read Next:
OTD: Dublin hat-trick downs Chelsea
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand