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Cardiff City pulled off the biggest shock of the weekend, beating Manchester City 3-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Welsh side worked their socks off as they earned their first victory ever in the Premier League.
Cardiff defended excellently from the get-go and City could not get into their stride, especially in defence. Joleon Lescott was all over the place and could not handle the pace of Fraizer Campbell. It took until the 52nd minute for Manchester City to take the lead. A cheeky little back-heel from Sergio Aguero set up Eden Dzeko, who smashed the ball into the back of the net. Their lead didn’t last long though as Cardiff levelled the score just eight minutes later. Campbell’s shot was parried by Joe Hart, into the path of Aron Gunnarsson, who could not miss from six-yards. The away side kept on pressing to restore their lead but were met by a stubborn home defence. It was Cardiff who would take the lead, with Campbell nodding in from Craig Bellamy’s corner kick. Things got even better for Cardiff with just three minutes to go, with Campbell heading in another goal in similar fashion to his first. City pressed and pressed to get back into the game but could only manage one consulation goal, with Alvaro Negredo getting his first City goal. Aguero did have a goal disallowed for off-side but the home side held on, much to the delight of the Cardiff fans and myself.
Fellow promoted side, Hull City, also earned their first victory back in the top division. The Tigers beat Norwich at the KC Stadium, despite having to play most of the match with 10-men. Hull were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute when former player, Michael Dawson, pushed Yannick Sagbo in the box. Robbie Brady stepped up and slotted home the penalty kick. The mood soon changed around the KC though as Sagbo was given a straight red-card for head-butting Russell Martin. Despite the extra man, Norwich could not find a way through the Hull defence and could very rarely, trouble the Hull keeper.
Arsenal got their first win of the season in comfortable fashion, beating Fulham 3-1 and Craven Cottage. Olivier Giroud gave the Gunners the lead early on, with Lukas Podolski doubling Arsenal’s lead just before the break. Podolski scored a second midway through the second half, firing a low cross-shot into the far corner. Fulham did manage to get one goal back through debutant, Darren Bent, but defeat now means that they have won just three of their 25 Premier League matches against Arsenal.
Liverpool made it two wins out two this season, beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park. Daniel Sturridge got the only goal of the game and his second of the season. Some neat foot-work by the former Chelsea player took him past two defender before smashing the ball into the roof of the net. Sturridge has now scored eight goals in his last seven Premier League appearances. Aston Villa had a number of chances to equalise and possibly even win the match, with Christian Benteke causing the Liverpool defence all kinds of problems. It took some fine saves from the away side’s goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, to stop him from scoring. Villa could have had a penalty late on after Benteke was brought down by Kolo Toure, their claims were waved away by the referee though and Liverpool held on. The victory means that Liverpool have made their best start to a league season in five years.
Another side that have kept their 100% start is Tottenham, who beat Swansea 1-0 at White Hart Lane. Just like Spurs’ first league game against Crystal Palace, a Roberto Soldaldo penalty was enough for them to take all three points. The goal came early in the second half after Jonjo Shelvey brought down Andros Townsend in the box. The home side dominated the first half and could have took the lead when Ashley Williams headed Kyle Walker’s cross against his own bar. Swansea did come close to scoring when Chico Flores’ volley troubled Spurs keeper, Hugo Lloris. That was as close as they came though and the Swans now find themselves bottom of the league with two defeats.
Premier League Results – 24/8/13
Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool
Everton 0-0 West Brom
Fulham 1-3 Arsenal
Hull 1-0 Norwich
Newcastle 0-0 West Ham
Southampton 1-1 Sunderland
Stoke 2-1 Crystal Palace
Premier League Results – 25/8/13
Cardiff 3-2 Manchester City
Tottenham 1-0 Swansea