Toon 'Decent' Draw - Bolton Go Top

14 August 2011 11:47
It's back to the serious stuff, and the Premiership started with Bolton blasting four past QPR to take the early honours of topping the table. Blackburn 1 Wolves 2Fulham 0 Aston Villa 0Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1Newcastle 0 Arsenal 0QPR 0 Bolton 4Wigan 1 Norwich 1 Gervinho was sent off on his Arsenal debut for slapping Joey Barton as Newcastle held the Gunners to a 0-0 draw at St James' Park. The Ivory Coast international was dismissed 14 minutes from time after lashing out after Barton accused him of diving in the penalty area. Arsenal enjoyed the better of the game and came closest to winning it when Tim Krul saved substitute Theo Walcott's 64th-minute shot, but the Magpies battled well to claim a point. A sublime second-half strike from Sunderland debutant Sebastian Larsson denied a new-look Liverpool victory on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season at Anfield. Luis Suarez wasted a glorious chance to put the Reds ahead after seven minutes when he blazed over from the penalty spot, but he soon made amends by nodding home Charlie Adam's cross in the 12th minute. The Reds, who had four new signings in their starting XI, reached half-time 1-0 up after Andy Carroll's header was disallowed and they were prevented from taking three points eight minutes after the break when Larsson rifled home a sweet volley from Ahmed Elmohamady's cross. QPR endured a nightmare return to the top flight as they were hammered 4-0 by Bolton at Loftus Road. Reeling from an early injury to new recruit Kieron Dyer, Neil Warnock's men went behind to a Gary Cahill strike before another debutant, Danny Gabbidon, prodded into his own net to make it 2-0 in the second half. Ivan Klasnic then made it 3-0 before Fabrice Muamba scored the fourth 10 minutes from time and Clint Hill was sent off in added time to cap a bad day for the Hoops. Fellow promoted side Norwich enjoyed a better opening game after they drew 1-1 at Wigan. Paul Lambert's men were on top for the first 15 minutes but Ritchie de Laet's trip on Franco Di Santo handed Ben Watson a chance to score from the spot and he did not fail, powering past John Ruddy to give the Latics the lead. The Canaries were gifted a way back into the game in injury time though when Ali Al Habsi dropped a cross at the feet of Wes Hoolahan and he smashed into the roof of the net to grab a point. Wolves came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory at Blackburn. Mauro Formica scored on his debut to put Blackburn ahead but two minutes later Steven Fletcher headed home at the back post to equalise for Mick McCarthy's men. Paul Robinson saved Kevin Doyle's weak penalty just after the break but the rebound fell to Stephen Ward, who rifled home a left-foot volley to give Wolves the win. Alex McLeish had new signing Shay Given to thank for preventing his first game in charge of Aston Villa from ending in defeat at Fulham. The £4million goalkeeper produced a brilliant point-blank save from Bobby Zamora's drive in the second half as Cottagers boss Martin Jol had to settle for a goalless draw in his first Premier League game in four years.