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 Burnley stuns 9-man Chelsea
 ( Published On Sunday 13 August 2017, 21 Dhu Alqadah 1438, Time: 10:0)

Burnley stuns 9-man Chelsea

 

LONDON — Sam Vokes scored twice as Burnley torpedoed defending champions chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge Saturday in one of the most sensational opening-weekend results in English top-flight history.

 

Chelsea had captain Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas sent off and Burnley took full advantage through Vokes’s brace and a superb Stephen Ward effort, with goals from Alvaro Morata and David Luiz coming in vain.

 

Leicester City lost 2-1 at Hull City on the first day last season, but given the unexpected nature of its title win, this was the biggest opening-day shock since Manchester United’s 3-1 loss at Aston Villa in 1995.

 

“We tried until the end to reach a good result against Burnley. It was a pity because our fight in the second half was very good,” said chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

 

“But our first half, we kept losing our heads. After the red card we lost our heads, conceded two goals and then it’s very difficult to change the final result.”

 

Big-spending Manchester City won 2-0 at promoted Brighton and Hove Albion, while Huddersfield Town marked its top-flight return with a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace that sent it top of the table.

 

Burnley’s win, its first at Chelsea since 1971, further blackened the mood around Stamford Bridge after a close season during which Conte has grown frustrated by his club’s lack of transfer activity.

 

Conte was without the injured Eden Hazard and out-of-favor striker Diego Costa, while £58 million ($75.5 million, 63.8 million euros) signing Morata started on the bench.

 

Youth-team graduate Jeremie Boga made his debut, but was hauled off in the reshuffle that followed Cahill’s 14th-minute dismissal for a reckless, studs-up foul on Steven Defour.

 

Vokes put Burnley ahead in the 24th minute, volleying in from Matthew Lowton’s cross.

 

Ward doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 39th minute with a blistering left-foot strike from Jack Cork’s lofted pass and Vokes added a third before half-time, heading in Defour’s cross.

 

Half-time substitute Morata and Luiz reduced the arrears in the second half, either side of Fabregas’s 81st-minute dismissal for a second yellow card, but Burnley hung on for a famous victory.

 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had some £150 million of new recruits on display at Brighton, but it took the pre-season favorite until the 70th minute to take the lead.

 

David Silva fed Sergio Aguero to run through and beat goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and five minutes later Lewis Dunk headed Fernandinho’s cross into his own net.

 

Liverpool was denied a winning start as Miguel Britos claimed a contentious stoppage-time leveler to earn Watford a 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road.

 

Watford twice went in front through Stefano Okaka and Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Liverpool equalised each time via Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who then teed up new boy Mohamed Salah to put the visitors 3-2 up.

 

In the third minute of injury time, a shot from Richarlison was pushed against the bar by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Britos, who appeared to be offside, nodded the ball over the line.

 

Frank de Boer made a losing start as Palace manager after a Joel Ward own goal and a Steve Mounie double earned Huddersfield a 3-0 win on its return to the top flight after an absence of 45 years.

 

Mounie’s goals were the first repayments on his club-record £11.4 million transfer from Montpellier and sent the Yorkshire club to the top of the fledgling standings.

 

Wayne Rooney crowned his first appearance for formative club Everton since 2004 by notching the winner in a 1-0 win over Stoke City, heading in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cross for his 199th Premier League goal.

 

Debutant Ahmed Hegazi’s first-half header earned West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win over Bournemouth, while Mauricio Pellegrino’s tenure as Southampton manager began with a 0-0 draw at home to Swansea City.

 

Bayern, Dortmund advance

 

Holder Borussia Dortmund and champion Bayern Munich eased into the second round of the German Cup Saturday as the Bundesliga heavyweights finetuned preparations for the start of their league season next week.

 

With referee Bibiana Steinhaus making a dress rehearsal ahead of becoming the first female referee in the Bundesliga, Bayern, without Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Thiago Alcantara, crushed third division club Chemnitz 5-0, with Robert Lewandowski netting twice.

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat trick as Dortmund, which missed half a dozen starters, barely broke sweat in its 4-0 stroll past amateurs Rielasingen-Arlen.

 

There were no upsets in the first batch of matches Saturday as fellow Bundesliga clubs Mainz 05, Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt and Freiburg also advanced with wins over lower-ranked opponents, as had Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen Friday.

 

Mendez-Laing downs Villa

 

Cardiff extended John Terry’s miserable start to life in the Championship as a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing brace condemned Aston Villa to a dismal 3-0 defeat Saturday.

 

Villa is expected to challenge for promotion to the Premier League after signing former England defender Terry following his release by Chelsea at the end of last season.

 

But the 36-year-old’s glittering career with the Premier League champions has counted for nothing in the second tier and Villa, which was held by Hull in their season opener, remain winless after a chastening afternoon in south Wales. —  SG



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