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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 16, 2008

Premier League: Hull kick start season with win

Hull celebrated a Barclays Premier League victory at the first time of asking with a 2-1 victory over Fulham at the KC Stadium. It was an inauspicious start for the new boys as Seol Ki-hyeon put the visitors ahead in the eighth minute from Jimmy Bullard's cross. But Geovanni had already forced Mark Schwarzer into a good save and he beat the Australian with a fizzing left-footer (22) to level matters. The former Manchester City man turned villain at the start of the second half, however, missing an open goal, but Caleb Folan ensured it would be Hull's day after Craig Fagan robbed Paul Konchesky (81). Arsenal kicked off the season with a 1-0 victory over promoted West Brom at the Emirates Stadium. Gunners new boy Samir Nasri opened his account after only four minutes, finding the bottom corner following a lay-off from Denilson. The home side could easily have extended their lead with Emmanuel Adebayor missing a one-on-one and having a goal disallowed for offside midway through the second half. Dean Ashton did his chances of being included in Fabio Capello's England squad to face the Czech Republic on Wednesday no harm with two goals for West Ham in a 2-1 victory against Wigan. He opened the scoring after only three minutes at Upton Park, latching onto Julien Faubert's cross before turning and smashing a shot into the top corner. He had a much easier task seven minutes later after Calum Davenport's hook towards goal left the former Norwich man with a tap-in. Two minutes into the second half, Latics debutant Amr Zaki smashed in Emile Heskey's flick-on to give the visitors hope, but they could not find the equaliser. Andre Ooijer piled the pressure on Everton boss David Moyes with a last-gasp winner for Blackburn in a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park. David Dunn turned away from Phil Jagielka before curling a brilliant shot into the corner (22) to put Blackburn ahead. But Moyes, who has been unable to bolster his squad this summer, was smiling on the stroke of half-time as Mikel Arteta beat Paul Robinson with a 20-yard free-kick. The home fans were celebrating again when Ayegbeni Yakubu headed home Arteta's cross to put them ahead (64), only for Blackburn to draw level through Roque Santa Cruz two minutes later. And Ooijer stabbed home the winner after Ryan Nelsen hit the post. Newly-promoted Stoke were brought down to earth with a bump at the Reebok Stadium. They found themselves behind thanks to a stroke of fortune for Bolton defender Gretar Steinsson, whose cross flew over Thomas Sorensen and into the top corner (34). The Trotters' second goal was a lot more conventional, Kevin Davies outmuscling two defenders and heading in a long ball (41), and the Potters' Premier League bow was certain to end in defeat when Johan Elmander grabbed a debut goal (45) to make it 3-0. Ricardo Fuller gave the Potters something to smile about with an injury-time goal. Tottenham will be hoping for a better start than last season but their opening match ended in defeat as Middlesbrough recorded a 2-1 win at the Riverside. David Wheater had had a header harshly disallowed in the first half so it was fitting the young defender should open the scoring from close range after Afonso Alves' effort came off the bar. Mido then sealed matters four minutes from time with a neat finish. However, there was still time for Robert Huth to halve the deficit by heading a David Bentley free-kick into his own net (90). Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who is rumoured to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, came on as a substitute.Liverpool's high-profile strike pairing of Fernando Torres and Robbie Keane looked like drawing a blank in their first league outing at Sunderland - but the Spaniard finally broke the deadlock seven minutes from time to earn Rafael Benitez's side a 1-0 win. The Reds were largely frustrated by Sunderland, who caused plenty of problems for the visitors with former Liverpool man El-Hadji Diouf particularly impressive on his competitive debut.

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