Premier League round-up: Chelsea complete perfect week with easy win over Palace

Benitez off to fine start with Everton as Watford make winning return to top flight

Chelsea’s  Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the  Premier League match against  Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images

 

Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 0

Chelsea capped a perfect week which included the club-record capture of Romelu Lukaku by beginning the new Premier League season with a thumping 3-0 win over Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.

Three days after lifting the European Super Cup and less than 48 hours since announcing the €115 million return of striker Lukaku, the dominant hosts cruised to victory courtesy of goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and top-flight debutant Trevoh Chalobah.

New Palace boss Vieira – stepping into shoes vacated by Roy Hodgson – endured an afternoon to forget and was left with plenty to ponder after his outclassed side never threatened an opening-day upset.

Chelsea were back in competitive action on home soil for the first time since Champions League glory in May, with Thomas Tuchel given a first taste as Blues boss of packed stands inside Stamford Bridge.

Everton 3 Southampton 1

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez’s controversial reign as Everton boss got off to the perfect start as his side came from behind to beat Southampton 3-1.

The Spaniard, famous for a rather more high-profile comeback with the red half of the city in 2005, has plenty of work to convince the doubters he can ever be accepted at Goodison Park, but this was as good an opening as he could have wished for.

This was a performance which could have gone horribly wrong after Michael Keane’s calamitous error had allowed Saints debutant Adam Armstrong to score his first Premier League goal midway through the first half.

Benitez’s predecessor Carlo Ancelotti struggled throughout last season with a confidence problem at home, and in the period up to the interval that looked like being replicated.

However, Olympic champion Richarlison’s golden touch got the hosts back on level terms early in the second half, Abdoulaye Doucoure’s superb shot on the turn put them ahead and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s diving header clinched only the second win at Goodison Park since March.

Cucho Hernandez celebrates after scoring Watford’s third goal during the Premier League match against Aston Villa at Vicarage Road. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Cucho Hernandez celebrates after scoring Watford’s third goal during the Premier League match against Aston Villa at Vicarage Road. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Watford 3 Aston Villa 2

Emmanuel Dennis and Cucho Hernandez scored on their debuts as Watford made a winning return to the to flight by beating Aston Villa 3-2 in their season opener at Vicarage Road.

Playing in the centre of Watford’s front three, Nigerian international Dennis opened the scoring after 10 minutes by driving home the rebound from his own blocked shot.

He turned provider when he set up Ismaila Sarr, whose shot took a deflection off the outstretched foot of Tyrone Mings to send it looping over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and into the net three minutes before the break.

Dennis suffered a foot injury and was replaced in the 66th minute by Colombian Hernandez. A minute later the 22-year-old curled home an exquisite strike from the edge of the box in his first game for the club after a number of seasons on loan in Spain.

John McGinn pulled one back for Villa with a brilliant strike on the half-volley from the edge of the area four minutes later, but Villa created little until deep into stoppage time when Bertrand Traore won a penalty.

New signing Danny Ings stepped up to fire home the spot kick but it made little difference to the end result as Watford held on to win 3-2.

Leicester City 1 Wolves 0

Jamie Vardy scored a brilliant clinching goal as FA Cup winners Leicester City followed up their Community Shield victory over Manchester City with a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves.

The visitors, under new manager Bruno Lage, dominated the second half but could not match the exquisite finish by Vardy four minutes before half-time.

Vardy had been getting in behind the Wolves backline even before his brilliant goal.

He had a left-footed shot saved by Jose Sa in the 10th minute after Ayoze Perez’s lofted pass into the left channel.

Then, after netting when clearly offside five minutes later, Leicester’s 2020/21 top scorer tried a bold backheel after James Maddison’s angled ball over the top.

Burnley 1 Brighton 2

Brighton made a winning start to their Premier League campaign as late goals from Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister saw them come from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor.

Burnley took the lead via a second-minute James Tarkowski header, which stood after a VAR check amid Brighton claims that the defender had fouled Maupay, and the Clarets went on to rattle the woodwork twice before half-time, Johann Berg Gudmundsson hitting the post and Ben Mee the bar.

The visitors subsequently capitalised on those near-misses after the break as two substitutes helped them turn things around shortly after entering the fray, Jakub Moder teeing up Maupay’s equaliser in the 73rd minute and Mac Allister then netting the winner five minutes later.

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