JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, August 19, 2013
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa notched a huge opening day victory over Arsenal, while Jozy Altidore made his Sunderland debut in a loss against Fulham.

Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa managed a massive opening day victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The American international went the distance and recorded three saves in the match.

Arsenal started the game off well as Olivier Giroud put them on the board after just six minutes, however Villa's star striker Christian Benteke equalized in the 22nd minute.

Controversy struck in the 60th minute when Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny challenged Gabriel Agbonlahor and was called for the penalty despite camera angles showing a clean tackle. Nevertheless Benteke stepped up and buried the spot kick to give Villa the lead.

Just seven minutes later Koscielny received a second yellow card and was sent off, giving Villa the advantage for a chunk of the half.

The Gunners still made a valiant effort to level the game but Guzan made impressive saves on Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla.

With Arsenal pushing numbers forward Villa was able to catch the home team on the break and find an insurance goal by Antonio Luna in the 85th minute.

Villa will stay in London to take on Chelsea on Wednesday.

Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City

Geoff Cameron played the full ninety minutes at right back in Stoke City's tough loss to Liverpool at Anfield.

Brek Shea and Maurice Edu did not dress for the Potters.

Stoke started off the game well as Robert Huth notched a shot off the bar, but it was Liverpool that found the back of the net in the 37th minute when Iago Aspas found Daniel Sturridge to give the Reds the lead.

Liverpool came close to doubling their lead but Asmir Begovic came up with ten saves to keep the Potters in the game.

Stoke then had their best chance of the game in the 89th minute when Liverpool's Daniel Agger handled a ball in the box and was called for the penalty. Jonathan Walters struck the penalty but Simon Mignolet made the big save to give the home team the three points.

The Potters look to bounce back when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Britannia next week.

Norwich City 2-2 Everton

Tim Howard and Everton drew their opener against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The Toffees had control for large stretches of the game, but the Canaries struck first with a Steven Whittaker goal in the 51st minute.

Ten minutes later Ross Barkley equalized for Everton and then Seamus Coleman got the lead after Nikica Jelavic's initial shot was saved by John Ruddy.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel then headed home passed Howard in the 71st minute to give the home team a share of the spoils.

Everton takes on West Bromwich Albion at home and hope to give Roberto Martinez his first victory with the club.

Sunderland 0-1 Fulham

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland had a disappointing start to the season as they went down to Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

Altidore started and went the distance for the Black Cats.

The young American striker was held in check throughout the game, but Altidore did come close in the 65th and 75th minute, only to have Fulham ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg keep the Cottagers lead in tact.

Fulham's only goal in the game came off the head of Pajtim Kasami in the 52nd minute.

Sunderland look to notch their first victory of the season next week at Southampton.

Nottingham Forest 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Eric Lichaj's Nottingham Forest made it three wins in three games as they defeated Bolton this weekend.

Lichaj started and went the distance while Tim Ream dressed but did not see the field for Bolton. Stuart Holden is out long-term and did not play.

The American full back played a strong game including many offensive runs that came close to goal. A first half curler nearly found the back of the net for the home side.

It did not take long for Forest to score as Jamie Mackie beat Bolton ‘keeper Adam Bogdan after an impressive pass from Radoslaw Majewski in the second minute of the game.

Forest then doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Majewski found Andy Reid who knocked home from close range.

Henri Lansbury then added another insurance goal when he headed past Bogdan for Forest's third of the game in the 65th minute.

Forest looks to keep their strong start going as they travel next week to play Watford.

Bolton takes the field next week against Queens Park Rangers and looks to notch their first win of the season.


Brad Friedel dressed but did not feature in Tottenham'swin over Crystal Palace.

Zak Whitbread did not feature in Leicester City's win over Derby County.

Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood did not dress in Birmingham City's loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Seb Hines did not feature in Middlesbrough's draw with Blackpool.

Jon Paul Pittman did not play in Wycombe's loss to Mansfield Town.