Spurs thump Southampton; Chelsea eke out win against Everton

Sports Desk, Aug 6 (EFE).- Tottenham Hotspur overcame an early hiccup Saturday to pound Southampton 4-1, while Chelsea needed a penalty to prevail 1-0 over Everton.

With six of the 20 Premier League sides – including reigning champions Manchester City – yet to play their first matches, Spurs are top of the table thanks to better goal difference than the five other teams that also won their openers.

The day’s biggest surprise was newly promoted Fulham’s 2-2 draw with mighty Liverpool, though Bournemouth celebrated their return to the Premier League by beating Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa 2-0.

The third promoted club, Nottingham Forest, fell 2-0 to Newcastle United, and Leeds United came from behind to top Wolverhampton 2-1.

Facing the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the hosts conceded to James Ward-Prowse in the 12th minute, but led 2-1 at the break on goals by Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier.

The advantage would have been greater if not for some solid stops by Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu against Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

What would have been a second goal for Sessegnon early in the second half was disallowed for an offside.

The 3-1 materialized in the 61st minute on an own goal by Saints defender Mohammed Salisu. Dejan Kulusevski, who assisted on Sessignon’s goal, made it 4-1 two minutes later.

Everton, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, are starting the new campaign without top strikers Richarlison – sold to avoid breaching Financial Fair Play rules – and the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

And the Toffees ended Saturday’s 100-minute-long contest with Chelsea minus two defenders. Ben Godfrey was stretchered off in the 17th minute after a long delay and Yerry Mina left in the 70th.

Chelsea looked to have gone ahead in the 43rd minute on Raheem Sterling’s first official goal since coming over from Man City, but the offside flag went up.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, Abdoulaye Doucoure brought down Ben Chilwell in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.

Jorginho cooly converted against keeper Jordan Pickford, who had denied him from the spot in last year’s Euro final between England and Italy.

Doucoure forced a save from Blues keeper Edouard Mendy in the 52nd minute, which turned out to be the closest Everton would come to an equalizer.

Darwin Nuñez had a bitter-sweet Premier League debut as he collected a goal and an assist in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Fulham.

The Reds had a slow start at Craven Cottage and conceded shortly after the half-hour mark, when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in a cross from Kenny Tete.

Nuñez, who joined Liverpool from Benfica, brought his team level, seizing a low cross from Mohamed Salah in the 64th minute.

It took the hosts only eight minutes to regain the lead as Mitrovic converted from the spot after being awarded a penalty for a foul by Virgil van Dijk.

With 10 minutes left in regulation, Nuñez set up the Egyptian up for a close-range finish to secure the draw. EFE id/ta/mp/dr

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