Premier League roundup: van Persie opens United account
ROBIN van Persie and Shinji Kagawa opened their Manchester United accounts as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men got their Barclays Premier League campaign up and running with a 3-2 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford.
Ferguson responded to his side’s loss to Everton last week by dropping Wayne Rooney to the bench at the expense of new signing Van Persie, but that decision appeared to backfire when Fulham took a third-minute lead through Damien Duff.
But United were level in the 10th minute and almost inevitably it was Van Persie with the strike, the Dutchman stealing in front of Brede Hangeland to curl home a brilliant first-time effort.
Kagawa popped up with his first goal since arriving from Borussia Dortmund to hand United a 35th-minute lead, while full-back Rafael made it three when he nodded home in the 41st minute. Fulham pulled one back in the 64th minute after a mix-up saw United goalkeeper David De Gea bundled over by Nemanja Vidic, with the ball flicking off the Serbian defender before bouncing into the net. Substitute Wayne Rooney’s afternoon ended on a sour note as the striker was stretchered off after a challenge from Hugo Rodallega.
Aston Villa’s unconvincing start under Paul Lambert continued as lost 3-1 to Everton at Villa Park.
The visitors took the lead in the third minute as Steven Pienaar lashed home from 20 yards.
It was 2-0 in the 31st minute when Marouane Fellaini followed up his winner against Manchester United with another headed effort, although Villa goalkeeper Shay Given should have made a routine save.
Nikica Jelavic made it three from Leighton Baines’ pull-back on the stroke of half-time, and Villa’s afternoon took a further nosedive in the 58th minute when Ciaran Clark was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Jelavic.
The hosts pulled a goal back through new signing Karim El Ahmadi in the 74th minute, but it was too little, too late.
Swansea’s bright start to the campaign continued with a 3-0 victory over West Ham.
Michael Laudrup’s side looked superb going forward as they swept aside QPR 5-0 on the opening day of the season and were similarly lethal at the Liberty Stadium today as goals from Angel Rangel, Michu and Danny Graham sealed another eye-catching victory.
Andre Villas-Boas was denied his first win as Tottenham boss in dramatic fashion as James Morrison struck late to secure a 1-1 draw from West Brom at White Hart Lane.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto opened the scoring for the hosts in the 74th minute, the full-back lashing home a deflected effort after the Baggies failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Spurs looked like they had done enough to claim the victory but Morrison popped up in the first minute of stoppage time to fire in a low effort.
Wigan picked up their first win of the season as they eased to a 2-0 victory at Southampton.
The Latics took the lead six minutes into the second period when Franco Di Santo was played in by Shaun Maloney and the striker finished emphatically beyond Kelvin Davis.
New signing Arouna Kone made it two in the final minute, the former Sevilla striker stealing the ball from Jose Fonte near the halfway line and then being allowed the freedom of St Mary’s to run in and score.
Norwich and QPR recovered from heavy opening-day losses to share a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
Simeon Jackson’s close-range header gave Norwich an 11th-minute lead, but the visitors were level in the 19th when Djibril Cisse went down under a challenge from Canaries new boy Sebastien Bassong and referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot.
Cisse’s low penalty was saved by John Ruddy but when the ball came back off the post it broke to Bobby Zamora who had a simple task to find the bottom corner.
Sunderland and Reading’s game at the Stadium of Light was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east