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Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend

By August 14, 2021No Comments

Chelsea rounded off a week to remember with a thumping win over Crystal Palace to kick off their new Premier League campaign in style.

Goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and top-flight debutant Trevoh Chalobah rounded off a thoroughly dominant 3-0 win over Patrick Vieira’s Eagles.

It came three days after Thomas Tuchel’s men lifted the European Super Cup and less than 48 hours since announcing the £97.5million return of striker Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Marcos Alonso fired the opener as Chelsea thumped Crystal Palace (Tess Derry/PA)

Alonso curled home a brilliant free-kick to get his side up and running in the 27th minute, Pulisic added the second just before the break, then Chalobah fired home an audacious 58th-minute effort to announce his top-flight arrival in style.

In the day’s early kick-off, Bruno Fernandes struck a hat-trick as Manchester United enjoyed a similarly impressive start to the new campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds.

Fernandes’ triple was complemented by goals from Mason Greenwood and Fred on a day that also saw the Red Devils parade new signing Raphael Varane before the start.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Bruno Fernandes scored a hat-trick as Manchester United eased past Leeds (Martin Rickett/PA)

Portugal international Fernandes nudged the hosts in front at the break but Leeds were given hope when a stunning effort from Luke Ayling levelled matters early in the second half.

But the visitors soon unravelled with Greenwood polishing off a smart move from Paul Pogba before two goals in quick succession from Fernandes saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side home and dry.

Pogba provided his fourth assist of the game when he set up Fred to complete the scoring.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Rafael Benitez saw his Everton side come from behind to beat Southampton (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Rafael Benitez began his controversial reign as Everton boss watching his side come from behind to beat Southampton 3-1 at Goodison Park.

The Spaniard’s first Premier League outing in the post could have gone horribly wrong after an horrendous error from Michael Keane gifted the opener to Saints debutant Adam Armstrong midway through the first half.

However, Richarlison struck the Toffees level early in the second half, before a superb shot on the turn by Abdoulaye Doucoure put the home side in control.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed Everton’s win (Bradley Collyer/PA)

A diving header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin clinched what was only Everton’s second home win since March, and will have provided plenty of timely reminders to Benitez of the size of the task in hand.

Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of the game as Leicester followed up their Community Shield win over Manchester City with a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves.

Wolves looked impressive under new boss Bruno Lage and dominated for long periods but lacked a cutting edge and Vardy always seemed likely to be the man to make them pay.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Jamie Vardy’s goal saw Leicester past Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)

He had an early effort saved by Jose Sa and a goal disallowed before he finally got on the scoresheet in the 41st minute, flicking his shot past Sa after getting on the end of a low cross from Ricardo Pereira.

Aston Villa began life without Jack Grealish with a bump as they were beaten 3-2 at Watford, who marked their return to the top flight in impressive style.

First-half strikes from debutant Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr helped to get the Hornets off the mark in style as Dean Smith’s men struggled to make an early impression.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Cucho Hernandez marked his Watford debut with a goal against Aston Villa (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Another Watford debutant, Cucho Hernandez, added his side’s third from the edge of the box but the hosts had to withstand a late fightback, with John McGinn’s volley reducing the deficit before Danny Ings netted from the penalty spot deep into injury time.

Substitute Alexis Mac Allister made an immediate impression as Brighton fought back from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.

The Clarets took an early lead through a James Tarkowski header despite strong claims by the Seagulls that he had fouled Neal Maupay in the build-up.

Chelsea brush aside Crystal Palace after Man Utd thrash Leeds on opening weekend PLZ Soccer
Brighton came from behind to beat Burnley (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Burnley could have gone further in front when Johann Gudmundsson struck the post before half-time, but Brighton regrouped with Maupay grabbing a 73rd-minute leveller when he converted Jakub Moder’s cross.

Five minutes later Mac Allister, who had only just been introduced by manager Graham Potter, met a cross by Pascal Gross to cap a dramatic turnaround.