STUNS NINE-MAN CHELSEA

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

London, UK - Sam Vokes scored twice as Burn­ley tor­pe­doed de­fend­ing cham­pion Chelsea 3-2 at Stam­ford Bridge on 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' brace and a su­perb Stephen Ward ef­fort, with goals from Al­varo Mo­rata and David Luiz com­ing in vain.

Le­ices­ter City lost 1-2 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 As­ton Villa's 3-1 win over Manch­ester United in 1995.

Hud­der­s­field Town marked its top flight re­turn with a re­mark­able 3-0 win at Crys­tal Palace that sent them top of the ta­ble, while Wayne Rooney bagged the win­ner on his Ever­ton come­back in a 1-0 vic­tory over Stoke City.

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

Conte was with­out the in­jured Eden Hazard and out-of-favour striker Diego Costa and started with US$75.5mn sign­ing Mo­rata 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 half­time, head­ing in De­four's cross.

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

Liverpool was de­nied a win­ning start as Miguel Bri­tos claimed a con­tentious stop­page­time lev­eller 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 Reds 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. "The equaliser was off­side. It's ob­vi­ous be­cause the lines­man is on the line. He needs to see it," said Liverpool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp.

Frank de Boer made a los­ing start to life 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 US$14.8mn trans­fer from Mont­pel­lier and sent David Wag­ner's men to the top of the fledg­ling stand­ings.

Rooney crowned his first ap­pear­ance for for­ma­tive club Ever­ton since 2004 by notch­ing the only goal against Stoke, head­ing in Do­minic CalvertLewin's cross for his 199th English 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.

Late goals from sub­sti­tutes Aaron Ram­sey and Olivier Giroud earned Ar­se­nal a 4-3 win over Le­ices­ter in Fri­day's fran­tic open­ing game.

Dort­mund, Bay­ern ad­vance

Ber­lin, Ger­many - A hat-trick for Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang and a Robert Le­wandowski brace saw Borus­sia Dort­mund and Bay­ern Mu­nich pro­ceed to the sec­ond round of the Ger­man Cup on Satur­day. Cur­rent holder Dort­mund eased to a 4-0 vic­tory over sixth tier min­nows Riesalin­gen-Arlen, while Bay­ern se­cured a 5-0 win over third tier side Chem­nitz.

Other re­sults (first round re­sults): Ger­ma­nia Hal­ber­stadt 1 Freiburg 2, Lehe 0 Cologne 5, Erndte­brueck 0 Ein­tra­cht Frankfurt 3, Hansa Lueneb­urg 1 Mainz 3, Un­ter­haching 0 Hei­den­heim 4, Eichede 0 Kais­er­slautern 4 Scot­tish Premier League: Hamil­ton 3 Dundee 0, Kil­marnock 0 Hearts 1, Rangers 2 Hiber­nian 3, Ross County 1 Aberdeen 2, St John­stone 4 Mother­well 1; Fri­day: Partick 0 Celtic 1.

(AFP)

Burn­ley's Sam Vokes (cen­tre) cel­e­brates with his team­mates af­ter scor­ing against Chelsea on Satur­day

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