By JOEY SAMUEL
It may not have been the way they envisioned it, but Manchester City earned an impressive win in their first game of the season as they opened their defense of the Premier League title in dramatic style.
City came back from a goal down to defeat newly promoted Southampton, 3-2, at Etihad Stadium with goals from Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, and Samir Nasri.
After David Silva missed a penalty in the 17th minute, Manchester City still managed to go a goal up when Nasri found Tevez in the 40th minute. The Argentinian scored with a low shot that beat Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
But after the introduction of Rickie Lambert as a substitute in the second half, Southampton looked like a new team, and Lambert shocked City three minutes after coming on when he scored an equalizer in the 58th minute. Fellow substitute Steven Davis then gave Southampton a 2-1 lead in the club's return to the Premier League after City's Jack Rodwell gifted possession in his own half.
Manchester City were not about to roll over, though, and in a way bizarrely similar to their title-winning victory over Queens Park Rangers back in May, the champions battled back with goals from Dzeko and Nasri to earn the three points.
Read about the rest of the Premier League action after the jump:
ARSENAL 0, SUNDERLAND 0
Despite dominating large stretches of the match, Arsenal lacked the finishing touch in front of goal on Saturday and they were forced to settle for a scoreless draw against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal created 23 shots, but weren't able to score a single one of them in a match that saw them control 70% of possession. Newly signed attackers Lucas Podolski and Santi Cazorla played well, but they couldn't get themselves onto the scoresheet, surely leaving some Arsenal fans wishing the club hadn't sold Robin van Persie.
Arsenal's best chance of the game came late in the second half, when Cazorla found fellow newcomer Olivier Giroud open in the penalty area, but Giroud sent his shot well wide despite being right in front of goal. In the end Sunderland held on to earn a valuable point, while the Gunners left disappointed that they couldn't take all three.
WEST BROM 3, LIVERPOOL 0
Ten-man Liverpool were picked apart by a strong West Bromwich Albion side on Saturday, as the Baggies earned an impressive 3-0 win at the Hawthorns.
Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie, and Romelu Lukaku all got on the scoresheet for West Brom, who ruined the first Premier League match for new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. The Liverpool boss clearly has much more work to do, as his team that included the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard created its share of chances but couldn't finish a single one.
After Gera put West Brom up a goal in the 43rd minute, Suarez had a few chances to respond early in the second half. But in the 58th minute, Liverpool's Daniel Agger was sent off for a harsh challenge in the penalty area. Shane Long missed the ensuing penalty, but referee Phil Dowd called yet another penalty five minutes later and this time Odemwingie didn't miss. Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, sealed the win with a powerful headed goal in the 77th minute.
In other action this weekend, Fulham routed Norwich City, 5-0, despite not having Clint Dempsey on the field. Swansea City also earned a resounding 5-0 win, but they pulled it off on the road against an admittedly poor Queens Park Rangers side. Stoke City and Reading tied at a goal apiece, while West Ham earned a 1-0 win over Aston Villa. In Saturday's later game Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa scored a late penalty to give the club a 2-1 win over Tottenham.
On Sunday, Chelsea looked impressive as Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard each scored during the first seven minutes to give the Blues an early 2-0 lead, which they held on to for the duration to beat Wigan.
Manchester United and Everton will round out this week's matches when they play on Monday.
Here's the full scoreboard for this week in the Premier League:
Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0
Fulham 5, Norwich City 0
Queens Park Rangers 0, Swansea City 5
Reading 1, Stoke City 1
West Bromwich Albion 3, Liverpool 0
West Ham United 1, Aston Villa 0
Newcastle United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wigan Athletic 0, Chelsea 2
Manchester City 3, Southampton 2
Everton vs. Manchester United (Monday)
What do you think of this week's results? Can City play like that every week and still be in contention for the title come May? How long will Arsenal struggle in front of goal? What do you think will happen in Monday's game between Everton and Manchester United?
Share your thoughts below.