Arsenal earn opening-day win; joy for promoted Hull
A goal from new signing Samir Nasri gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory over promoted side West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in the first match of the English Premier League season, dpa reported.
The France midfielder scored after just four minutes and though Arsenal dominated the match they had to settle for a narrow margin of victory to earn three points.
Another of the newly promoted sides, Hull City, won on their debut in the top flight, while big-spending Tottenham Hotspur were beaten.
Nasri, bought to help fill the gap left by the departure of Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb, finished off a lovely move down the left, taking Denilson's pull-back and sweeping the ball into the net for the first goal of the season.
Nasri, William Gallas, Theo Walcott, Niclas Bendtner, Emmanuel Adebayor and substitute Robin van Persie all went close to adding to Arsenal's lead.
But West Brom limited the damage and almost scored themselves when Johan Djourou had to clear the ball off the line.
"It was our first game and I think we did a good job," Arsenal captain William Gallas said.
"It was important to win the game. We were a bit nervous, especially as they played well with the long ball, and it was not easy for us.
"We wanted to win our first game and start well. I think we have a lot of hard work ahead of us because it is just the beginning of the season."
At the KC Stadium, Hull were behind within eight minutes against Fulham but goals from Geovanni and Caleb Folan gave them a 2-1 victory on their Premier League debut.
Tottenham slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, who snatched victory with second-half goals by David Wheater and Mido, with Robert Huth's late own goal only a consolation for the visitors.
Dimitar Berbatov, a target for Manchester United, came on as a second-half substitute, but could not help his side's cause.
Andre Oooijer scored a late winner as Paul Ince celebrated his Premier League debut as Blackburn manager with a 3-2 win at Everton in an entertaining match at Goodison Park.
Bolton Wanderers beat the other promoted side Stoke City 3-1, while West Ham overcame Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Upton Park.
Later on Saturday, Liverpool open their campaign with a trip to Sunderland, while champions Manchester United and Chelsea are not in action until Sunday.