The best and worst of every PL team’s opening days

Date published: Thursday 10th August 2017 12:31

We’ve picked the best and worst opening day of the last ten years for every Premier League team…

 

ARSENAL
Best: 6-1 v Everton (a) 09/10: Cesc Fabregas ran the show, scoring twice in addition to goals from Denilson, Thomas Vermaelen, William Gallas and Eduardo. Everton got off lightly.

Worst: 1-3 v Villa (h) 13/14: Arsene Wenger blamed the referee after Arsenal conceded two penalties and had Laurent Koscielny sent off, all after going ahead. They were booed off. Obviously.

 

BOURNEMOUTH
Best: 4-0 v Huddersfield (a) 14/15: They’ve lost both Premier League openers, so we’re taking the Cherries back to Huddersfield, where Callum Wilson scored twice and missed a penalty for his hat-trick as Eddie Howe’s side began their promotion season in style.

Worst: 0-1 v Aston Villa (h) 15/16: The Cherries’ first ever game in the Premier League ended in anti-climax after (Premier League striker?) Rudy Gestede gave Tim Sherwood’s side a narrow victory.

 

BRIGHTON
Best: 2-1 v Doncaster (h) 11/12: Brighton have done almost nothing notable on the last ten opening weekends, but Will Buckley’s brace in the last seven minutes overturned a one-goal deficit and gave the hosts victory in their first league game at the Amex.

Worst: 1-2 v Leeds (a) 13/14: The Seagulls made a 500-mile round trip to surrender a one-goal lead and lose to a last-minute Luke Murphy goal at Elland Road.

 

BURNLEY
Best: 2-0 v Bolton (h) 12/13: A home win against your local rivals and the manager who left you. Tidy way to start the season, that.

Worst: 0-1 v Swansea (h) 16/17: Leroy Fer’s late winner for Francesco Guidolin’s side burst Burnley’s bubble upon their return to the Premier League

 

CHELSEA
Best: 6-0 v West Brom (h) 10/11: Chelsea have the best opening-day record of anyone over the last decade, with this Baggie battering at the hands of hat-trick hero Didier Drogba the pick of the bunch.

Worst: 2-2 v Swansea (h) 15/16: This is where it all started to unravel for Jose Mourinho, when Diego Costa had to rescue a point following Thibaut Courtois’ red card on the day of the Eva Carneiro controversy.

 

CRYSTAL PALACE
Best: 3-1 v Norwich (a) 15/16: Palace got lucky when Cameron Jerome had a goal ruled out that would have taken it to 2-2 with 15 minutes left, but Yahan Cabaye made the points safe with a late third on his Eagles debut.

Worst: 1-2 v Arsenal (a) 14/15: There is no disgrace in defeat at the Emirates, but the manner of that defeat made it all the more galling. Palace were so close to gaining a point, until Jason Puncheon was sent off in the 89th minute before Aaron Ramsey scored a barely-deserved winner in injury time.

 

EVERTON
Best: 1-0 v Man Utd (h) 12/13: Everton’s opening-day record is pretty wretched but the Toffees stepped it up on Monday Night Football as Marouane Fellaini stole the show on Robin van Persie’s Manchester United debut.

Worst: 1-6 v Arsenal (h) 09/10: ‘The scoreline was, if anything, kind to David Moyes’s side,’ read the Telegraph match report. Joleon Lescott wanted to go to Manchester City and he played like he’d rather have been anywhere else but Goodison.

 

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Best: 3-0 v Notts County (a) 10/11: Given they have no history in the Premier League, we’ll take the Terriers back to League One, where they “bullied” their hosts, according to Magpies boss Craig Short.

Worst: 0-4 v Bournemouth (h) 14/15: “We dump this result in the waste bin and move on,” said Mark Robins after watching his side concede after 26 seconds and go on to get an opening-day tonking.

 

LEICESTER CITY
Best: 4-2 v Sunderland (h) 15/16: The first chapter of the Foxes’ fairytale saw the hosts go 3-0 up inside the opening 25 minutes as Claudio Ranieri enjoyed his first game back in the Premier League for 11 years.

Worst: 1-2 v Hull (a) 16/17: Just as Leicester started as they meant to go on the year before, the same could be said of their first game as defending champions at the KC Stadium. The Foxes played like they’d been on the p*ss all summer, which they probably had been. Fair dos.

 

LIVERPOOL
Best: 4-3 v Arsenal (a) 16/17: Despite Alberto Moreno’s best efforts to ruin it all, the Reds left the Emirates with three points after a stunning second half and a brilliant brace from Philippe Coutinho.

Worst: 0-3 v West Brom (a) 12/13: “I think there are three players who will let us down this year – the cause, the fight, everything. And I have written them down already… make sure you are not the one in the envelope.” 24 hours later…

 

MANCHESTER CITY
Best: 4-0 v Swansea (h) 11/12: Sergio Aguero came off the bench to score a second-half brace as City began their first title-winning season in style on Monday Night Football.

Worst: 2-4 v Aston Villa (a) 08/09: A fortnight before the Sheikhs strolled in, Mark Hughes’ side, which featured Kelvin Etuhu, Javier Garrido and Ched Evans, were torn apart by Gabby Agbonlahor’s hat-trick.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED
Best: 4-1 v Swansea (a) 13/14: David Moyes’ reign got off to such a promising start, with a brace apiece for Van Persie and Danny Welbeck.

Worst: 1-2 v Swansea (h) 14/15: A year later, at Old Trafford, it was a different story, with Moyes long gone, Louis van Gaal’s first game in charge ended in defeat after Gylfi Sigurdsson inflicted upon United their first opening-day defeat at home since 1972.

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED
Best: 3-1 v Bolton (a) 07/08: Sam Allardyce took his new Newcastle side to his old stomping ground and watched the Magpies go 3-0 up inside 27 minutes. Their form continued as the Toon won five and drew two of their opening nine games, but Big Sam was gone by early January.

Worst: 0-4 v Man City (a) 13/14: Newcastle were already 2-0 down when Steven Taylor got himself sent off for swinging at Aguero on the stroke of half-time. Tim Krul had to make a series of brilliant saves to keep the score down.

 

SOUTHAMPTON
Best: 1-0 v West Brom (a) 13/14: Rickie Lambert followed up a goal on his England debut in the days before the trip to The Hawthorns by slotting in a last-minute penalty won by Luke Shaw.

Worst: 1-4 v Crystal Palace (h) 07/08: The Saints have hardly disgraced themselves on the opening day since returning to the top flight, with narrow defeats coming at Man City and Liverpool. So we’ll go back a decade to when James Scowcroft tore the Saints a new one at St Mary’s, scoring a hat-trick in a big win for Palace.

 

STOKE CITY
Best: 2-0 v Burnley (h) 09/10: Stoke have won only one of their opening-day matches in the Premier League. So here it is, at home to newly-promoted Burnley. Next.

Worst: 1-3 v Bolton (a) 08/09: Stoke looked thoroughly out of their depth on their Premier League debut at the Reebok Stadium, prompting Paddy Power to pay out on the Potters being relegated.

 

SWANSEA CITY
Best: 5-0 v QPR (a) 12/13: Michu and Nathan Dyer helped themselves to a pair apiece to give Michael Laudrup a dream start as Swans boss, leaving Mark Hughes thoroughly “embarrassed”.

Worst: 1-4 v Man Utd (h) 13/14: Smashed by Moyes’ Man Utd. Ouch.

 

Tottenham

Best: 1-0 v West Ham (a) 14/15: Eric Dier scored a last-minute winner on his debut to give Spurs a London derby win at Upton Park and hand Mauricio Pochettino his first win as manager in a match that ended 10 v 10.

Worst: 0-1 v Sunderland (a) 07/08: Spurs have a poor record on the opening day but losing to newly-promoted Sunderland thanks to Michael Chopra’s goal with almost the last kick particularly stank the place out.

 

WATFORD
Best: 2-2 v Everton (a) 15/16: Quique Sanchez Flores’ side, featuring six debutants, more than held their own on their return to the top flight, with only a Ross Barkley stunner denying them victory.

Worst: 1-1 v Doncaster (h) 09/10: The Hornets have taken 20 points from their last 10 opening-day fixtures – the fourth highest tally of top-flight clubs.  Indeed, they haven’t lost an opener for the last decade, hence why we’re rehashing this forgettable draw with Donny.

 

WEST BROM
Best: 3-0 v Liverpool (h) 12/13: Zoltan Gera’s spectacular strike set Albion on the way to a deserved win, with new boss Steve Clarke beating the club who had axed him as assistant boss only months earlier.

Worst: 6-0 v Chelsea (a) 10/11: Battered at the Bridge, bullied by Drogba.

 

WEST HAM
Best: 2-0 v Arsenal (a) 15/16: Petr Cech was supposed to be the answer to Arsenal’s goalkeeping problems but the former Chelsea stopper earned a place in Hammers’ hearts with a decidedly ropey display on his debut, gifting goals to Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate as Slaven Bilic got off to a winning start as boss.

Worst: 0-1 v Tottenham (h) 14/15: Another London derby defeat at home in the last minute.

 

Ian Watson

 

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