London: Chelsea eased to a 3-0 home win over a toothless Crystal Palace today as the European champions made a strong statement of intent in their opening game of the Premier League season.
Spanish left back Marcos Alonso fizzed a free kick into the top corner to put Chelsea in charge in the 27th minute while U.S. forward Christian Pulisic followed up on the rebound to double their lead five minutes before halftime.
Chelsea’s homegrown defender Trevoh Chalobah then completed a dream Premier League debut in the second half when he smashed a distance shot in off the post to score his first goal for the club he joined as an eight-year-old.
The defender, who has spent the last three seasons on loan in England and France, dropped to his knees after scoring to further delight the home fans in the biggest Stamford Bridge crowd since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020, with more than 38,000 turning out.
The Chelsea faithful gloated of their status as Champions League holders throughout the game while Kai Havertz, scorer of the only goal in their victory in the final over Manchester City, was given a hero’s reception when he came off the bench.
Palace were out-classed in their first league game under coach Patrick Vieira and needed over an hour to have their first attempt on target, a tame header by Christian Benteke which goalkeeper Edouard Mendy caught comfortably.
Rafael Benitez got off to the perfect start as Everton manager as his team came from behind to beat Southampton in front of an ecstatic Goodison Park.
The former Liverpool manager received a warm reception before kick-off which led to a positive start.
Michael Keane gifted an opener for Saints debutant Adam Armstrong but Benitez’s decision to put Richarlison up front paid off immediately after the break after he poked home following debutant Andros Townsend’s header.
Benitez’s side then sent their fans delirious with two goals in the space of five minutes.
First, Abdoulaye Doucoure turned in the penalty box before smashing into the top corner.
And then Richarlison, fresh from an Olympic gold medal with Brazil at Tokyo 2020, crossed for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score with a diving header.
Watford marked their Premier League return with a thrilling opening-day victory over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road, while Jamie Vardy picked up where he left off at the end of last season as his superb header for Leicester City meant Bruno Lage’s Wolves tenure began with a defeat.
Alexis Mac Allister scored a late winner as Brighton began the new season with a comeback victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.
Man Utd 5 Leeds Utd 1
Chelsea 3 Crystal Palance 0
Everton 3 Southampton 1
Watford 3 Aston Villa 2
Leicester 1 Wolves 0
Burnley 1 Brighton 2