…as Nunez inspires Liverpool comeback at Fulham
Tottenham came from a goal down to get their Premier League campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable home victory against Southampton.
Spurs fell behind in the 12th minute to James Ward-Prowse’s volley, driving the ball into the ground and watching the bounce beat Hugo Lloris, but Antonio Conte’s side’s response was swift and ruthless.
Ryan Sessegnon headed in his first Premier League goal for the club from an inviting Dejan Kulusevski cross to draw the hosts level and by the half-hour mark they were in front.
Eric Dier had not scored in three years but met a a whipped Son Heung-min delivery with a low, flicked header into the far corner.
Tottenham carried that confidence into the second half and Mohammed Salisu turned Emerson Royal’s cross into his own net, before the impressive Kulusevski grabbed a well-taken fourth to cap a dominant display.
At St. James’ Park, a Fabian Schar wondergoal and Callum Wilson’s deft finish broke newly promoted Nottingham Forest’s stubborn resistance as Newcastle opened their Premier League campaign with a deserved victory.
Centre-back Schar collected a loose ball on the edge of the box before sending a blistering effort into the net via the inside of the near post – a goal not dissimilar to the Switzerland international’s strike against Burnley in February 2019.
Wilson put the result beyond doubt 12 minutes from time, directing a first-time flick over Dean Henderson and into the far corner from Joelinton’s cross.
The pressure on the visitors’ goal was relentless from the first minute, but for all Newcastle’s territorial dominance they struggled to seriously test Forest goalkeeper Henderson in the first half.
Joelinton went closest to a breakthrough for the home side before half-time, dragging his shot wide from close range following a striding run from midfield.
Steve Cooper’s side failed to register a shot on target but were denied an unlikely opener by Schar in the first half, the Magpies defender producing an outstanding block to deny Jesse Lingard inside the Newcastle area.
The result stretches Forest’s losing league run at St James’ Park to seven matches.
At Elland Road, Leeds United’s soft reboot under manager Jesse Marsch got off to a winning start as Rayan Ait-Nouri’s own goal gave them a comeback victory over Wolves in a lively game that ended 2-1 for the home side.
It has been a summer of change for the Whites, leading to Marsch fielding four debutants on Saturday as part of a remodelled side looking to produce the effective pressing and direct play the American favours.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth marked their return to the Premier League with a confident 2-0 opening-weekend victory over Aston Villa at the Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries took the lead on three minutes – with Villa temporarily down to 10 men as left-back Lucas Digne was off the pitch to remove jewellery. Debutant Marcus Tavernier’s corner was headed down by Lloyd Kelly for Jefferson Lerma to fire home.
And in the first game of the day, Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score one and create another as Liverpool twice came from behind to salvage a point in a gripping game at newly-promoted Fulham.
The Reds, who pushed champions Manchester City all the way in the title race last season, fell behind when Aleksandar Mitrovic got the better of Trent Alexander-Arnold to head Fulham ahead after meeting a superb cross by Kenny Tete, reports the BBC.
Luis Diaz had a goal ruled out for offside at 0-0 before curling a shot against the post after Fulham had taken the lead.
In a thrilling match, substitute Nunez marked his Premier League debut by equalising with a close-range flick before Fulham restored the lead from the penalty spot after Mitrovic was fouled by Virgil van Dijk.
Mitrovic picked himself up to beat Alisson from the spot before Mohamed Salah equalised from close range after a pass by Nunez, a £64m signing from Benfica.
Jordan Henderson went close to winning it at the end when he hit the bar in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Fulham 2 – 2 Liverpool
Bournemouth 2 – 0 Aston Villa
Leeds 2 – 1 Wolves
Newcastle 2 – 0 Nottm Forest
Tottenham 4 – 1 Southampton