Upset for Leicester, Tottenham draws as EPL season starts

Clyde Nash
August 17, 2016

Leicester headed to the north coastal city of Hull for their opening match against a team that now has no manager, barely enough players to make up a team, and an army of angry and frustrated fans.

"The first games are always hard", said former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Guardiola.

Leicester equalised with a penalty converted by Riyad Mahrez nearly immediately after the re-start, but Snodgrass restored Hull's lead for good in the 57th minute with a powerful low shot from inside the area. "My job is to enjoy my weekend because there's not many Saturday nights you can enjoy in the Premier League and this is one".

Hull are in turmoil off the pitch with the club's ownership up in the air and manager Steve Bruce walking out, but out of chaos came a surprising degree of order for the promoted side on Saturday as Leicester found themselves out-Leicestered by an organised band hell-bent on defying logic.

He set his team out in a 4-1-4-1 formation that morphed into a 3-2-4-1 system when City had the ball; Fernandinho dropping back between the centre-backs from his holding role and full-backs Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy stepping up into central midfield.

Elsewhere, Tottenham had to come from behind to finish 1-1 at Everton.

But the day's spotlight was inevitably going to be trained on Guardiola, given his trophy-laden spells at Bayern and Barcelona, and his new club's hunger for league success.

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Middlesborough took a slight risk in bringing in the Spaniard but he has already started to put his bosses at ease when he scored with his first shot on target for his new club.

Guardiola's debut began in ideal fashion when Raheem Sterling won a fourth-minute penalty after a foul by Patrick van Aanholt.

Snodgrass curled an effort narrowly over moments later, but Leicester were soon back up the other end and Vardy once again failed to make the most of a good chance having been picked out unselfishly by Musa. The hosts grabbed the victor with three minutes left when new Black Cats signing Paddy McNair marked his debut by heading into his own net from Jesus Navas' deflected cross.

"It was tough for everybody and that is why the people says the Premier League is tough", Guardiola said. "Last season we showed ourselves as a very good team and we need to repeat that".

"I felt we just didn't kick on from 1-1 and we probably dropped off if anything. Today was a normal match, maybe a draw was normal, but we lost it", said Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, whose side lost only three times last season.

"I thought the players had it in them to produce something", Hull's caretaker manager Mike Phelan told Sky Sports. We made a big effort, but individual effort, not like a team.

Koeman added: "I think it's a fair result".

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Foxes skipper Wes Morgan conceded his side were off the pace as they became the first ever Premier League champions to start their title defence with defeat.

"I said this year would be harder, we will lose a little more than last season".

"But all credit to the football players".

Snodgrass replied by scoring Hull's victor with a fine left-foot shot on the bounce, following a partial clearance by a Leicester back line that lacked composure without suspended central defender Robert Huth.

Promoted Middlesbrough were denied victory in their first top-flight game since 2009 as a 67th-minute free-kick by Xherdan Shaqiri earned Stoke City a 1-1 draw.

Leroy Fer scored Swansea's late victor against Burnley and a header from West Brom's Salomon Rondon gave the visitors their victory at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea hosts West Ham in a London derby on Monday night.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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