Premier League opening day a bit of a let down

Two scoreless draws, a bunch of bottom-of-the-table teams playing against one another and an absolute dismantling of newly promoted Norwich City by Bolton made for a sleepy first day of the Premier League season.

The drama of Arsenal and Newcastle highlighted the day, and the drama had nothing to do with actual gameplay....a 0-0 draw. Arsenal's Gervinho, playing in his first game for the Gunners since coming over from Lyon in France, got into an ugly altercation with Newcastle goon Joey Barton. Barton had been stomped on earlier in the game by Arsenal defender Alex Song. This is what the Gunners do though...there's not a team in the EPL as temperamental and whiny as the Gunners.

The ESPN2 national game was as dull as they come, with Fulham and Aston Villa running what amounted to a 90-minute practice session together. There were maybe two legitimate chances on goal all game, both coming from Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers embarrassed themselves mightily in their Premier League home debut. Bolton, who hadn't looked sharp in preseason, absolutely thrashed the Rangers, 4-0.

Wolves claimed three points from Blackburn with their 2-1 win. Every point for a team like Wolves is gigantic, and on the other side, Blackburn could be the shock team to be relegated this season. Zero offense, and they may be on the verge of selling-off their best defender, Christopher Samba.

Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw against Sunderland despite a terrific opening day performance from striker Luis Suarez. Suarez looked every bit of the heir apparent to Fernando Torres for the Reds, who conceded a terrific strike to Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson.

Manchester United and Chelsea both take the field on Sunday, with Manchester City closing out festivities on Monday night with an intriguing match against newly-promoted Swansea.

In the English League Championship, West Ham earned their first win of the season after an embarrassing loss to Cardiff in the season opener. A 1-0 win over Doncaster is nothing to be too proud of, and the historic club from East London have found quickly that their path to promotion back into the Premiership is far from a sure bet.


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