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Premier League Round-up: Chelsea held, Ranieri off to winning start [Match report]


It was Christmas too early for Leicester city as they blew Sunderland away as early as the 25th minute as Algerian recruit Mahrez' double and a Vardy opener ushered the foxes into a first half lead.

Marc Albrighton twice grabbing the assists, a 60th minute strike from Jermain Defoe wasn't allowed to settle before Albrighton capped a fine performance with a goal of his own, Stephen Fletcher did grab a late goal but it wasn't enough to do any harm to Claudio Ranieri's debut at the King Power stadium

Crystal Palace traveled to Carrow Road and returned with the maximum points after goals from Wilfred Zaha, Damien Delaney and Yohan Cabaye gave Alan Pardew the dream start to the new campaign.

Nathan Redmond did half the deficit for Norwich at 2:0 with a neat finish, but a debut goal for former Newcastle and PSG midfielder Cabaye made sure the result won't flatter the home side. Alan Pardew had handed starts to French man Cabaye and veteran Glenn Murray but the match didn't produce a goal until the 39th minute when United product Wilfred Zaha fired home from Jason Puncheon's cross, one became two soon afterwards as Damien Delaney doubled the advantage just after the restart, Nathan Redmond came off the bench to give some hope to the home fans in the 69th minute but a stoppage time goal from Cabaye  restored the two goals advantage

Elsewhere Watford stunned the Goodison park fans with a Layun opener, a 14th minute half volley beat Tim Howard hands down and stood that way till the 76th minute despite frantic efforts from substitute Aruna Kone and British jewel Ross Barkley, Troy Deeney, Seamus Coleman and Jose Holeman had gone into the books afterwards before Ross Barkley took laws into his own hands, a few passes linked up with him and he released a thunderous shot to the left of the goalkeeper, it was unstoppable.

It didn't last long as Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scored a goal that must have reduced the market value of Chelsea bound Jon Stones, the Watford striker turned him inside out before unleashing a strike beyond Howard in goal, Watford looked to be running away with an unbelievable result when Aruna Kone cleverly side footed into the far corner after a neat move.

It ended 2:2 at Goodison park and a great start to EPL life for the new boys Watford

Aston Villa proved bookies wrong and showed there is life after Benteke and Delph as they muscled out a win at the Vitality stadium against Bournemouth, in a tempestuous match that saw Marc Clattenburg dish out six yellow cards, chances were few and tackles were rash, Rudy Gestede came off the bench to head home from Westwood's corner.

Bournemouth offered some resistance to a debut home lose with some responses but Tim Sherwood's men held on for a morale boosting 1:0 win.

Champions Chelsea played host to Swansea in the final game of day 1 of the Barclays Premier league, Diego Costa shrugged off the injury that kept him out of the shield cup loss to Arsenal last week as he was named upfront in a similar team that won the league last term.

Oscar's free kick sailed beyond the reach of Fabianski in the Swansea goal, then two indifferent minutes for the welsh team, one moment they were celebrating a fine finish from Debutant Andrew Ayew, the next they were picking the ball from their own net after Federico Fernandez forced Swansea to concede an own goal in the 30th minute.

Ki Sung Yeung hobbled out injured in the 40th minute and was replaced by former Chelsea academy player Jack Cork who went straight into the books in the 42nd minute, then disaster struck, Thibaut Coutouis was adjudged to have fouled Gomis and the Belgian was given an early bath, John Terry was booked for ranting and Bafetimbi Gomis equalized from the spot.

Andrew Ayew tested another debutant Asmir Begovic from distance but the latter saved well, Radamel Falcao came on in the 84th minute for the hardworking Willian and soon hit target with a shot that Fabianski got down to save.

A counter attack from Chelsea at the death after Jonjo Shelvy's corner was eased out of the box by John Terry ended when Ashley Williams obstructed Eden Hazard and was booked, The best player of last campaign had to be treated before Matic flew in a cross that Ayew dealt with.

It ended 2:2 at the home of the champions.

In the early kick-off of the day, Manchester United without De Gea beat Tottenham 1-0.

Match reports by @Komptrolla

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