Images from the English Premier League matches played on Saturday.

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s brace of goals was cancelled out by strikes from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah as newly promoted Fulham held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw by in the sides’ opening game of the Premier League season at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The home side took the lead on 32 minutes when they broke down the right, and Kenny Tete’s cross was met by the bustling Mitrovic, who out-jumped Trent Alexander-Arnold at the far post to head home.

Luis Diaz came close to levelling a few minutes later, flashing a shot across the face of the goal, but the ball bounced back off the far post as last season’s runners-up struggled to deal with Fulham’s physicality in the opening 45 minutes.

Fulham almost doubled their advantage in the 57th minute as the ball was worked out to the right and Neeskens Kebano unleashed a thunderous shot that smacked off the far post.

Tipped to be among the title challengers again this year, Liverpool’s fortunes turned with the introduction of new signing Nunez in the second half, and the Uruguayan wasted no time in showing why Liverpool paid Benfica an initial 75 million pound for his services.

Nunez tried to tee up his strike partners shortly after coming on before levelling with a brilliant flicked finish just after the hour mark.

Despite having barely threatened after the break, Fulham were soon back in front as Mitrovic, who scored 43 goals in 44 Championship games last season, was tripped in the box by Virgil van Dijk, and the striker stepped up to stroke home from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.

However, Liverpool refused to capitulate and Salah put them level again, poking home from close range. Jordan Henderson almost grabbed all three points for the visitors with a stoppage-time strike but his shot came back off the crossbar.

“We showed fantastic organisation from the start until the end of the match. And the plan was clear for our players and they did it really well,” Fulham coach Marco Silva told BT Sport.

Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp was glad to get out of the game with a point, but he had some harsh words for his side’s effort on their opening day of the season.

“The result is fine, I don’t think we deserve more than that. But the performance is massively improvable,” he told BT Sport.

Jorginho penalty earns Chelsea narrow opening-day win at Everton

A first-half penalty from Italy midfielder Jorginho was enough to earn Chelsea a 1-0 win at Everton on Saturday to get their new Premier League campaign off to a positive start.

Chelsea peppered the home goal with 13 corners in the first half but looked set to be frustrated as the interval approached, only for Jorginho to convert from the spot after Ben Chilwell has been fouled to give the visitors the lead.

It was redemption for Italy midfielder Jorginho, who saw his penalty saved by Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Euro 2020 final last July.

A brilliant save from Edouard Mendy early in the second half to deny Abdoulaye Doucoure preserved Chelsea’s advantage, and that was as good as it got for a disappointing Everton, who only survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last term.

England forward Raheem Sterling could have marked an impressive debut with a late second but saw his close-range effort deflected just wide.

It mattered little as Chelsea, following a close season of upheaval after the sale of the club to an investment group led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, saw out the three points with ease.

“A win is a win, that is what we play for,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. “It is important to build confidence and belief now. We are open for improvement and criticism, but there are good things to take away.

“We got three points, we got a clean sheet. From here we go. We did not take the risks we normally do in the last 25 metres.”

Coach Frank Lampard called for better from his Everton team this term in his pre-match programme notes, but a woeful pass from Ben Godfrey saw him forced off injured having made a last-ditch recovery tackle after just 15 minutes.

Everton later confirmed that Godfrey had been taken to hospital as a result of a lower leg injury.

Mason Mount had Chelsea’s first effort at goal moments later, with Pickford forced into a fine save.

Sterling did have the ball in the net towards the end of the opening period, but he was correctly flagged offside.

A lengthy first-half stoppage time ensued as a result of Godfrey’s injury, and in the ninth minute added on, Jorginho netted what proved to be the winner following Doucoure’s clumsy tackle. It means 18 of Jorginho’s 20 Premier League goals have come from the penalty spot.

The second half was a cagey affair of few chances, with Everton lacking the necessary quality, especially in attacking areas, as they slipped to their first opening-day defeat since 2011-12.

“I thought we played well against a tough opponent,” Lampard told the BBC. “I thought the penalty was the only difference between the teams.

“One tiny lack of focus and they got their goal. I felt a draw would be a fair result.”

Tottenham crush Southampton for impressive opening win

Tottenham Hotspur underlined their credentials as a team capable of a Premier League title challenge with a confident 4-1 defeat of Southampton to get their campaign up and running on Saturday.

The hosts fell behind to a James Ward-Prowse volley in the 12th minute but dominated throughout with goals by Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier and Dejan Kulusevski sealing the win.

Southampton’s lead lasted only nine minutes before Sessegnon powered a header past Southampton’s Premier League debutant keeper Gavin Bazunu from Kulusevski’s cross.

Dier glanced in Son Heung-min’s cross with a stooping header in the 31st minute to put Tottenham ahead, and the hosts should have been out of sight before the interval.

Mohammed Salisu clumsily turned Emerson Royal’s cross into his own net in the 61st minute, and two minutes later Royal set up the impressive Kulusevski to guide an exquisite finish beyond Bazunu whose saves kept the score respectable.

It was quite a statement by Tottenham, who did not even need the usual goal contributions of last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner Son or Harry Kane — both of whom had several chances to open their tallies for the season.

Tottenham ended the match in cruise control and manager Antonio Conte gave debuts to new signings Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma as substitutes in the second half.

Midfielder Bissouma enjoyed a lively cameo, getting a yellow card and then almost scoring in the last minute.

Some solid transfer business, the presence of serial-winner Conte as coach and the way they ended last season to grab fourth spot, has seen Tottenham tipped as potential challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool’s duopoly.

There was a real buzz around the sun-kissed north London stadium and even when Ward-Prowse bounced a volley down and beyond Hugo Lloris the mood did not dampen.

Showing a relentless energy Tottenham simply overpowered a Southampton side who rarely threatened to salvage anything.

Swedish forward Kulusevski, who joined from Juventus in January, continued where he left off last season with an another all-action display that is fast becoming his trademark.

“We are very pleased — it wasn’t an easy game. Going behind at home isn’t nice and after we scored we could have scored a lot more,” Kulusevski said.

“I love how this team is playing because we create a lot of chances and the fans are enjoying it and I like playing.”

The fact that the lethal duo of Kane and Son had a relative off day and Richarlison, signed from Everton for 60 million pounds ($72.43 million) to offer more attacking options, was suspended augurs well for Tottenham’s goal tally this season.

Whether or not they can mount a serious challenge remains to be seen and their clash with Chelsea next week will offer a better clue as to their potential.

Wolves’ Ait-Nouri scores own goal to hand Leeds 2-1 win

An own goal by defender Rayan Ait-Nouri gave Leeds United a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in their opening Premier League game of the season on Saturday at Elland Road.

Entering their third successive top-flight campaign, Leeds have won their first opening match since their return after striker Patrick Bamford crossed the ball to Brenden Aaronson, who seemed to have finished it off from close range.

However, closer checks showed it was Wolves’ Ait-Nouri who bundled ball over the line in the 74th minute, not the Leeds winger who was making his debut.

Leeds boss Marsch, who took over from Marcelo Bielsa in February, handed league debuts to four new signings, as defender Rasmus Kristensen and midfielders Tyler Adams and Marc Roca also made the lineup.

Despite losing key players Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in the transfer window, Leeds rose to the occasion and ensured that Marsch has now won his opening league match in five of his last six campaigns.

“The second goal was in some ways a little against the run of play but we were gathering momentum. I was really pleased that the guys who came off the bench made a big difference,” Marsch told the BBC.

“I think all the debutants did quite well. The speed of play… was at a very high level, both teams trying to impose themselves on the way they wanted to play.

“(Aaronson) is relentless. He is none stop. His work rate is incredible I know him well and the thing I know about him is he is only going to get better,” he added of the United States international.

Wolves, who were without their two forwards Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore due to injury, took an early lead through Daniel Podence in the sixth minute when his shot took a bounce and found its way into the net over Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

The hosts equalised in the 24th minute after Rodrigo Moreno, who scored five goals in their five pre-season friendlies, received the ball inside the box and tapped it in low inside the near post under the diving goalkeeper Jose Sa.

Both teams had good chances to make it 2-1 just before halftime.

However, Leeds strikers Rodrigo and Bamford were both a fraction of a second late to reach Jack Harrison’s sublime cross into the area, while Leander Dendoncker wasted Hwang Hee-chan’s spectacular back-heel pass as his low slot was saved by Meslier.

In the 68th minute, Wolves’ Ait-Nouri was approaching another good chance but was brilliantly stopped by Kristensen who prevented a one-on-one scoring situation in the home side’s area.

“I am happy with the performance and disappointed with the result,” said Wolves manager Bruno Lage, whose side last won a Premier League match back in April.

“We came here to play with good confidence because the pre-season was good. We scored but then conceded a strange goal.”

Leeds will travel to Southampton next Saturday while Wolves host Fulham.

Dominant Newcastle spoil Forest’s top-flight return

Newcastle United made a comfortable start to the new season thanks to goals from Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson in a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday, giving the visitors an unhappy return to the Premier League after a 23-year absence.

Newcastle took the lead through the unlikeliest of goalscorers when centre back Schar let fly from the edge of the penalty area just before the hour mark, before Wilson struck 10 minutes later to cap a classy opening day display in Tyneside.

“When (Schar) was lining up to shoot I was questioning his decision, but it was the right one,” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said. “He’s capable of the unexpected.

“I thought the players were excellent from start to finish. It was a performance of real promise. I’m feeling very positive after watching that.”

A poor clearance from Forest resulted in Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross being headed clear to Schar, whose goal provided some relief for Howe’s side after a dominant but fruitless opening period at St James’ Park.

With 12 minutes remaining, Forest’s Brandon Williams gave the ball away and Saint-Maximin rolled it to Joelinton down the left-hand side. The Brazilian crossed for Wilson, who looped the ball over goalkeeper Dean Henderson with a smart finish.

“I back myself, I want to go the World Cup so it’s about hitting the ground running. I’m disappointed I didn’t score more,” said Wilson, who hit the side netting in the closing stages of the match.

“We were dominant with the ball but we didn’t score – but in the second half, the quality showed… We started well today but we don’t want to get carried away.”

Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Joe Willock and Miguel Almiron had all seen chances come and go in the first half as Newcastle were unable to find a way past the Forest defence despite registering six out of 14 shots on target and enjoying 65% possession.

Forest had a sniff of goal towards the end of the first half but were denied an unlikely opener by Schar, who produced an outstanding block to deny new signing Jesse Lingard inside the Newcastle area.

Steve Cooper’s side, who were promoted after beating Huddersfield Town in the Championship playoff, were handed a stern reality check on their top-flight return and did not register a shot on target.

“Yes they had loads of the ball but we stayed compact and progressive with our defending. But what wasn’t at the required level today was when we had the ball, there were too many turnovers,” Cooper said.

“We were second best, no doubt… I really believe in these players and how we play – we’ve won a lot of games, I know it was in a different league, but we need to believe.”

Newcastle will travel to Brighton & Hove Albion next Saturday while Forest will host West Ham United at the City Ground.

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