Manchester City started the defence of their Premier League title with a resounding 5-0 win over West Ham.

Raheem Sterling was in sparkling form, plundering a hat-trick, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero also on target in a game that suggests the rest of the league will have their work cut out stopping Pep Guardiola's side marching to a third consecutive title.

Liverpool, who pushed City so close last season, also picked up where they left off, scoring four first-half goals to defeat promoted Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield.

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United thumped Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford, while Harry Kane was at his ruthless best as Tottenham came from behind to see off Aston Villa 3-1.

 

STERLING TREBLE SETS CITY ON THEIR WAY

City laid down an ominous marker in their opening game of the season, sweeping aside West Ham with apparent ease.

The result means they have won their last 15 Premier League games – three short of their own record of 18 set between August and December in 2017.

Central to their success was Sterling, who became just the eighth player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign, and the first since Didier Drogba in 2010.

Jesus was a surprise starter ahead of Aguero but the Brazilian repaid his manager's faith with the opener – his 13th goal in his last 10 starts.

West Ham, meanwhile, have now lost their last four opening fixtures to a Premier League season, including each of the last three by an aggregate score of 0-13.

LIVERPOOL'S FIRST-HALF BLITZ DOWNS SORRY CANARIES

Norwich experienced a baptism of fire on their return to the top flight on Friday, with Liverpool racing into a four-goal lead by half-time.

The Reds scored three goals in the opening 30 minutes for the first time since February 2014 when they were 4-0 up after just 20 minutes against Arsenal.

One of those goalscorers, Mohamed Salah, extended his impressive opening-day record, which has seen him score in Liverpool's first Premier League match of the past three seasons.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was typically impressive at right-back and his assist for Divock Origi's goal means he is the first player to register an assist in five consecutive top-flight games since Mesut Ozil in 2015.

It should perhaps come as little surprise that Norwich left Merseyside with nothing given their woeful record on the opening day – they have won their first match of the league season in just one of the last 17 seasons.

UNITED RUN RIOT AGAINST BLUES

Manchester United's resounding Premier League win over Chelsea on Sunday was their biggest top-flight victory over the Blues in 54 years.

United were not at their best against Frank Lampard's side but they proved lethal in front of goal, with strikes from Rashford (2), Anthony Martial and Daniel James enough to secure all three points.

The last time the Red Devils beat Chelsea by such a margin in the league was in March 1965 under Matt Busby, when they also won 4-0.

As well as suffering the joint-heaviest defeat of his brief managerial career to date, Lampard was dealt the biggest reversal by a Chelsea boss in their first game in charge since Danny Blanchflower oversaw a 7-2 loss at Middlesbrough in December 1978.

The defeat also means Chelsea ended a day in the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since September 2000.

KANE COMES TO SPURS' RESCUE AGAIN

Tottenham once again were indebted to Kane's clinical finishing as they claimed all three points against Villa.

The England captain's two late goals mean he has now scored six goals in as many Premier League games against the Villains.

Mauricio Pochettino's side had earlier cancelled out John McGinn's opener courtesy of Tanguy Ndombele's strike from distance, making the Frenchman the first player to score on his Spurs debut since Eric Dier in August 2014.

Defeat for Villa, meanwhile, continued Jack Grealish's unfortunate run, which has seen him lose each of his last 19 Premier League games – the longest run of consecutive defeats suffered by a player in the history of the competition.

Mauricio Pochettino insisted he has "no issue" with Jan Vertonghen after leaving the defender out of his squad for Tottenham's 3-1 Premier League opening-day win over Aston Villa.

Belgium international Vertonghen started 22 of Tottenham's league games last season but was overlooked against promoted Villa, with Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld getting the nod ahead of him and Serge Aurier on the bench.

After John McGinn's early opener gave Villa a lead they held until the 73rd minute, an equaliser from Tanguy Ndombele and a double from Harry Kane helped Spurs to victory.

Pochettino said Vertonghen's omission was purely tactical, telling Sky Sports: "With all the players fit, in the future we're going to struggle to find the starting 11. We have more than 25 that are knocking on the door of the first team.

"We have plenty of very good players in all the positions. We cannot play with 13 or 14. It's always the judgement of the manager and coaching staff. If we lose, my decisions were so bad; if we win, we keep going.

"I'm going to play the players who I believe deserve to play. There's not any issue.

"Jan for sure, like any other player who didn't play today, is going to have to work hard for the opportunity to play, and show me that I was wrong when they didn't play."

The introduction of Christian Eriksen as a second-half substitute seemed to lift Spurs nine minutes before Ndombele scored with a superb long-range strike on his debut.

Pochettino admitted his first-half game plan did not work, saying: "We were a little bit confused but it's always my fault because I'm the manager.

"Our positional game ... it didn't work in the first half, to be honest. We started to make rash decisions and found positions that didn't help us. That was my fault.

"Second half we fixed that problem. We helped the team to move the ball better.

"Adding Christian fresh helped the team to achieve the victory, but we are talking about a top-quality player."

Opposite number Dean Smith handed debuts to four of his 12 summer signings, with Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Trezeguet and Wesley all featuring for the first time in competitive action for Villa.

Smith dismissed the suggestion his new signings might have struggled to gel, saying: "It's not that hard, actually.

"I've worked with five of the players before so the integration has been quite seamless. They've all adapted and now we've learned the standard of what we need. Anybody who comes here is going to find it tough against the team Mauricio has got. It's a great learning curve."

Looking ahead to his side's clash with Everton at Villa Park, Smith added: "We always looked and thought Villa Park would be massive for us this season.

"We'll go and put in performances for the fans at Villa Park and I hope we can be a threat."

Harry Kane described Christian Eriksen's impact off the bench as "perfect" as he helped Tottenham come from a goal down to beat Aston Villa on Saturday.

Spurs were trailing 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when Eriksen, whose future remains uncertain, was brought on as a substitute.

The Denmark international impressed in attack and it was his cross that eventually led to debutant Tanguy Ndombele firing in a debut goal to level the scores.

Captain Kane struck twice in the closing stages to secure a 3-1 victory and ensure a positive start to the season for last term's Champions League finalists.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Kane praised the way Eriksen, who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, controlled Spurs' attacking tempo.

"We know what Christian's like," he said. "I've been playing with him for five, six years now. 

"His quality on the ball, assists and goals... He came on and dictated the pace and for me it's perfect.

"We started the second half with a high tempo, and when Tanguy got his goal it was full throttle until the end. We stayed in the game, created a few chances and thankfully a few came to me and I put them away."

Spurs had been trailing through John McGinn's well-taken first-half goal, although Villa ultimately could not keep up their impressive defensive effort as fatigue seemed to take its toll.

"We'd have swapped it for a different result," said McGinn. "We gave a good account of ourselves, but we need to be a bit braver going forward and stop the mistakes. A team like Tottenham punishes you."

Speaking of his goal, the former Hibs man admitted: "It's surreal. It's been quite a nice journey for me - a few years ago I was playing in the Scottish Championship, so to score at a stadium like this for my first Premier League goal was obviously an incredible moment for me.

"We had confidence, it's just a bit of an eye-opener that the jump up to the Premier League is massive. You can't let Harry Kane go free in the box. The whole team is to blame; it's not just individual mistakes."

For Kane and Spurs, the focus now is on building a run of results at the start of the season, so they can challenge for a first trophy since the 2008 EFL Cup.

"It's the first game but it's always nice to win, at home as well," he said. "We know we have the quality, we have been in big games. It's down to us players to perform on the pitch."

Tottenham fans have a new hero in Tanguy Ndombele.

The France midfielder marked his Premier League debut with a goal to help Mauricio Pochettino's side defeat Aston Villa on Saturday.

With Spurs struggling to break down Villa after going behind to John McGinn's goal, Ndombele levelled matters with an expertly taken strike from 20 yards out that left the excellent Tom Heaton with little chance.

The goal proved to be the catalyst for Spurs, who went on to win 3-1 thanks to two late finishes from captain Harry Kane.

Seventeen players have now scored a debut goal in the Premier League for Spurs, stretching back to Steve Sedgley in 1992, but only five have done so on the first day of the season.

The question is, will Ndombele follow a similar career path in north London?

Jurgen Klinsmann: Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 Tottenham, 20/08/1994

Klinsmann swan-dived his way into the hearts of Spurs fans with a goal in this opening-day thriller 25 years ago.

The visitors had surrendered a 2-0 lead at Hillsborough, but Nick Barmby put them back ahead and Klinsmann made sure of the win with an emphatic far-post header.

The Germany star had a fine season in England, but he left for Bayern Munich less than a year after this famous moment.

 

Sebastien Bassong: Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool, 16/08/2009

Spurs ended the previous season with a 3-1 loss at Anfield but earned some measure of revenge thanks to Bassong.

Steven Gerrard's penalty cancelled out Benoit Assou-Ekotto's opener, only for Bassong to head Luka Modric's delivery into the net and send White Hart Lane into raptures.

The centre-back did not have too many moments to celebrate in a Spurs shirt for the next three years, eventually heading to Norwich City, where he had a more positive time of things.

 

Roberto Soldado: Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham, 18/08/2013

Spurs owed their opening-day win and London derby bragging rights to Soldado, who scored the only goal here at Selhurst Park.

The striker, the man tasked with filling the void left by Gareth Bale's €100million move to Real Madrid, netted from the penalty spot to mark his debut in style.

The goals did not exactly flow for Soldado after that. Just six more followed in 52 Premier League appearances before he left for Villarreal in 2015.

 

Eric Dier: West Ham 0-1 Tottenham, 16/08/2014

Debut goals do not get much better for anyone in a Tottenham shirt.

With the game goalless in the third minute of injury time, and with Spurs having had 10 men since Kyle Naughton's 29th-minute red card, Dier ran on to Harry Kane's pass, moved beyond Adrian and slotted home.

It was a fine finish from a young defender signed for a lowly reported fee of £4m from Sporting CP, who has gone on to enjoy a positive Spurs career - even if regular starts are now sometimes hard to come by.

Tanguy Ndombele scored a sensational debut goal as Tottenham came from behind to beat Premier League new boys Aston Villa 3-1 thanks to Harry Kane's late double.

John McGinn's ninth-minute goal seemed set to mark Villa's return to the top flight in style, with Champions League finalists Spurs – playing without the benched Christian Eriksen for over an hour – struggling to break down Dean Smith's side.

Eriksen's introduction sparked urgency into Tottenham's attack and, after Tom Heaton had made a fantastic stop to deny Davinson Sanchez, Ndombele slammed home a brilliant equaliser at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Another terrific Heaton stop kept Eriksen at bay, but Villa's resistance was ended when Kane capitalised on a mistake from Jack Grealish before excellently tucking in his second to add gloss to a hard-fought win.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City made a stunning start to the defence of their Premier League title by hammering West Ham 5-0.

City watched last season's runners-up Liverpool romp to a 4-1 win over Norwich City on Friday and answered with an emphatic triumph of their own.

Saturday's top-flight action also saw Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion cruise to victories over Southampton and Watford respectively.

Crystal Palace and 10-man Everton played out a goalless draw, while Sheffield United grabbed a late equaliser to claim a point at Bournemouth.

Tottenham will host Aston Villa in the last game of the day.

STERLING GIVES CITY IDEAL START

Sterling's treble inspired a five-goal away win as City commenced their quest for a third straight league crown. The England star's goals all came in the second half after Gabriel Jesus prodded the champions ahead in the 25th minute of a one-sided affair.

Sterling's well-worked first goal came six minutes after the interval and though a VAR review found he was offside before Jesus tapped in, City did get their third when he struck 15 minutes from time.

The former Liverpool player could have added the third from the spot after Issa Diop fouled the excellent Riyad Mahrez but he gifted the penalty to Sergio Aguero. The substitute's initial attempt was saved before he converted a re-take due to VAR showing Declan Rice encroached before clearing the rebound.

Sterling was not to be denied the match ball, though, as he raced clean through to convert a pass from Mahrez in added time.

MISERABLE STARTS FOR SAINTS AND WATFORD

Ashley Barnes' double was key as Burnley scored three times in the space of 12 second-half minutes to stun Southampton in a 3-0 win at Turf Moor, Johann Gudmundsson's impressive solo goal putting the icing on the cake.

New signing Neal Maupay, who arrived for a reported £20million, scored on his debut to help Brighton defeat Watford by the same scoreline at Vicarage Road.

The former Brentford striker followed fellow substitute Florin Andone by netting in the second half, Abdoulaye Doucoure's dreadful own goal after 28 minutes having set Graham Potter's new side on their way.


SHARP GRABS LATE POINT FOR BLADES

Substitute Billy Sharp finished off a goalmouth scramble with two minutes remaining to earn newly promoted Sheffield United a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth.

Chris Mepham had earlier put the hosts in front when he converted a close-range rebound, but Sharp ensured the Blades got something from their first Premier League game since 2007.

There was also a draw as Crystal Palace held Everton at Selhurst Park, with the visitors having Morgan Schneiderlin sent off with 14 minutes remaining.

The midfielder picked up a second yellow card for a high foot Luka Milivojevic, while Wilfried Zaha - who reluctantly had to stay at Palace having been heavily pursued by Everton in the transfer window - played the last 25 minutes after coming off the bench.

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of midfielder Marvelous Nakamba from Club Brugge for a reported fee of £11million.

The 25-year-old joins on the same day as goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who has moved from Burnley.

Nakamba is Villa's 12th arrival since their return to the Premier League and takes their close-season spending to roughly £134m.

"Marvelous fits the criteria of the type of player we were looking for," Villa head coach Dean Smith told the club's website.

"He's very mobile, he's very good in possession and he will fit in with our style of play."

Nakamba spent two years with Club Brugge after a three-season spell with Vitesse in the Eredivisie, having first played in Europe with Nancy in France.

A Zimbabwe international, he played one match at the Africa Cup of Nations this year, a 1-0 defeat to hosts Egypt in Group A.

He follows Jota, Wesley, Kortney Hause, Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Bjorn Engels, Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Douglas Luiz and Heaton in moving to Villa Park since the club's promotion from the Championship last season.

Aston Villa have announced the signing of goalkeeper Tom Heaton from Burnley for a reported fee of £8million.

The England international joins Dean Smith's side following 200 appearances in all competitions in six seasons with the Clarets.

"I am delighted that Tom is joining Aston Villa," Smith told the club's website.

"He's done fantastically well for Burnley over the past few years and his experience and knowledge of the Premier League will be a major asset to us this season."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche said: "Quite simply a situation arose this summer, where he is in the final year of his contract, there was contact from Aston Villa and I believe he has been offered a very good contract for him and his family.

"It's a very good fee for a very good player, but who is 33 with 10 months left on a contract, which has to be balanced up.

"For me, more on the personal side, Tom is a fantastic bloke, a fantastic player and my first ever signing at Burnley Football Club."

Heaton becomes Villa's 11th signing since their promotion back to the Premier League.

Jota, Wesley, Kortney Hause, Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Bjorn Engels, Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Douglas Luiz have all moved to Villa Park alongside Heaton for a reported combined fee of £110m.

Club Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is also expected to join the club.

Tyrone Mings believes John Terry is the ideal role model for him to learn from at Aston Villa, following his permanent move from Bournemouth.

Mings impressed on loan at Villa Park last season, becoming a pivotal figure at the back as Dean Smith's side earned promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs.

Villa paid a reported £26.5million fee to make the centre-back's stay permanent earlier in the transfer window, one of 10 close-season signings by Smith's side.

And the former Ipswich Town defender has credited Chelsea great Terry – Smith's assistant – with improving his game.

"[He gives me] a lot of criticism! But he's almost the perfect mentor for me at this stage of my career and this stage of my development," Mings told Sky Sports.

"He's somebody that's been there, done it and seen everything there is to see. He's the perfect person for me to learn from and he's really helped me in the short amount of time we've worked together.

"He sets high standards and small things, which I wouldn't even think of, he picks up on."

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has retired from football at the age of 31.

Richards has been unable to play since October 2016 due to a long-standing knee problem.

He has spent the past four seasons with Aston Villa but could only watch on as they secured promotion to the Premier League by beating Derby County in the play-off final at Wembley in May.

"I'm a footballer and I want to play football, but the knee would swell up to the point where I couldn't even train properly," he said via City's website. "I would have liked to have given Aston Villa more on the pitch, but it just wasn't to be."

Richards made his City debut in 2005 and went on to win two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup before leaving for Fiorentina in 2014.

He also won 13 senior England caps and was part of the Great Britain team that competed at the Olympics in 2012.

"It's not the ideal way to finish a career for sure," he said. "It has been an unequal battle with injury ever since I left City and – being honest – for a good while during my last season at the Etihad [Stadium].

"I finish my playing days happy that I reached the level that I did. I won the Premier League and the FA Cup, played for England and represented Great Britain at an Olympic games. I consider myself blessed and I am looking forward to renewing my many friendships at City. It is a special place that looks after its own.

"City has always been my spiritual home and where I enjoyed my best years as a player. Being part of the side that ended the long wait for silverware – in 2011 and 2012 – was very special. It kick-started this new era and the club has never looked back. What has happened since has been amazing."

Richards will now be working with Premier League champions City in what is described as "an ad hoc off-the-field role".

Aston Villa have signed Douglas Luiz from Manchester City for a reported £15million.

The 21-year-old midfielder's move is subject to the provision of a work permit, something that prevented him from making a single competitive appearance for Premier League champions City.

Newly promoted Villa, however, are said to be confident authorities will approve their application.

A Brazil youth international, Douglas Luiz spent the past two seasons on loan at Spanish side Girona, featuring 38 times in LaLiga.

Villa boss Dean Smith said: "Douglas is an extremely talented young player with an outstanding pedigree who I am sure will fit nicely into our style and system of play."

The former Vasco da Gama player becomes Villa's 10th signing of the close season.

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Egypt international Mahmoud Hassan, known as Trezeguet, from Kasimpasa.

Trezeguet scored Egypt's opening goal at the Africa Cup of Nations in June, making four appearances as the tournament hosts crashed out in the last 16.

The 24-year-old scored nine goals in Turkey's top flight last season, having netted 13 times in his first season at Kasimpasa following a loan move from Anderlecht.

Villa have paid a reported £8.75million for Trezeguet, who also made three appearances at the World Cup in 2018 and becomes the club's ninth signing of the close season.

"We're really excited to work with Trez. I've watched him a number of times," Villa head coach Dean Smith told their official website.

"He's the type of wide player that we have been looking for who is direct, causes problems for the opposition in the final third and scores goals."

Savo Milosevic said Aston Villa belong in the "top six or seven clubs in England" as the former striker hailed the club's return to the Premier League.

After three seasons in the second tier, Villa finally secured promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs in May.

Milosevic became a fan favourite during his time at Villa Park, where he won the EFL Cup in his first season after arriving for a then-club record fee of £3.5million from boyhood club Partizan Belgrade in 1995.

Now head coach of Partizan, Milosevic has continued to follow Villa and the 45-year-old great – who is the highest-scoring Serbian in Premier League history with his 29 goals for the Villans – revelled in the team's comeback.

Milosevic told Omnisport: "Such great news. I have to tell you, I was very sad in the past three years watching Villa playing in the Championship.

"Villa are an enormous club with great tradition, they belong in the Premier League. Not just the Premier League but the top six or seven clubs in England."

Dean Smith and Villa have wasted no time preparing for their Premier League return, splashing the cash in the transfer market.

Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett, Jota, Bjorn Engels, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi have either arrived or signed permanent deals in the West Midlands.

"Watching them play in the Championship, it was tough. I'm so happy now. I'm watching pre-season now and they are signing players," said Milosevic, who formed a lethal combination with Dwight Yorke at Villa and scored the opening goal in the club's 3-0 EFL Cup final win over Leeds United.

"It won't be easy back in the Premier League, it will be tough to survive because it's so difficult with many strong teams.

"Even those who are struggling, they are not easy to beat. They have to be careful but it's great to be back in the Premier League. It's where they belong."

Villa will open their Premier League campaign with a trip to Champions League finalists Tottenham on August 10.

Aston Villa have further bolstered their defensive stocks with the signing of England Under-21 international Ezri Konsa from Championship side Brentford.

Villa reportedly triggered the centre-back's £12million release clause to make him their seventh signing since winning promotion to the Premier League.

The Charlton Athletic product briefly played under Dean Smith at Brentford, for whom he made 42 league appearances in 2018/19.

Konsa joins Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause, both now committed to permanent deals, among Villa's defensive reinforcements and will fly out to the United States with his new team-mates on Thursday.

"Ezri fits the profile of the type of player we were searching for," manager Smith said.

"It helps that [assistant coach] Richard O'Kelly and I have worked with him before. He's a high-potential player who I believe can step up to the Premier League and I'm really looking forward to working with him again."

Konsa formed part of the England squad that stumbled to a premature exit at the recent European Under-21 Championship.

Villa have not confirmed the length of the contract.

Aston Villa have signed Tyrone Mings for a reported £20million.

The defender becomes Bournemouth's club-record sale, with the fee said to include clauses that could see it rise to £26.5m.

During a loan spell at Villa Park last season, Mings made 18 appearances to help Villa win promotion from the Championship.

And after the arrivals of Matt Targett and Wesley, Mings has further bolstered Dean Smith's squad for the 2019-20 season.

"We're really pleased to have Tyrone back at Aston Villa on a permanent basis," he told Villa's official club website.

"I think everybody could see the connection that he made with the club as a whole and it is excellent news that we can continue the relationship in the Premier League. 

"He will be an integral part of the squad for the new season and I look forward to working with him and helping to further develop his game."

Mings joined Bournemouth from Ipswich Town in June 2015 and made 17 Premier League appearances for the club.

In September 2017, Mings was banned for five games after stamping on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's head during a 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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