Premiership round-up

August 19, 2006
By Jon Carter

ESPNSoccernet's Jon Carter rounds up all of the action from the opening day of the 2006/07 Premiership season.

The game of the day at the Madjeski Stadium featured new boys Reading coming from 2-0 down to nick the game from Middlesborough 3-2. Stuart Downing capped off a good week by netting in the first half, closely followed by a goal from Yakubu. But resilient play from Reading saw Dave Kitson grab one back before Steven Sidwell equalised just before half time. The injured Kitson was then replaced by Leroy Lita who fired the Royals to their first Premiership win from close range, as Boro were cruelly denied a late goal due to the linesman's flag.

Liverpool were lucky to get a point from their trip to Bramall Lane after referee Rob Styles gave them a controversial penalty in the 70th minute. Sheffield United had shocked everyone by taking the lead through Rob Hulse. But Styles ruined their first Premiership game for 10 years, giving a dubious penalty which Robbie Fowler duely dispatched to end the game 1-1.

Martin O'Neill's first game in charge at Aston Villa started well, picking up a point at away at Arsenal as Olof Mellberg gave them the lead. The Gunner's failed to sparkle in their first game at their new Emirates Stadium as Theo Walcott was given his first taste of Premiership action. Gilberto Silva saved Wenger's blushes by firing home a deep cross late on to end the game 1-1.

Andy Johnson crowned his Everton debut with a goal after a disappointingly sparse pre-season to sink the Premiership new-boys Watford 2-1. Mikel Arteta rounded off the day for the Toffees by coolley netting a late penalty, as a late own goal from Alan Stubbs gave Watford hope.

Scott Parker enjoyed his return to action with the first goal in Newcastle's 2-1 win over Wigan. Lee McCulloch had proved his goalscoring attributes by levelling for Wigan, but Shola Ameobi showed he can step into the boots of the injured Michael Owen and wrapped the game up for Newcastle.

Kanu capped his debut for the south-coast club with a two-goal brace, the first minutes after coming on, as 'strikerless' Portsmouth beat European competitors Blackburn 3-0. Lucas Neill was sent off for two yellow cards after Todorov had started the Pompey party with a goal in the first half. A late penalty miss also saw Kanu fail to get his hat-trick and Andy Todd get his marching orders.

West Ham continued their good form with a 3-1 win over Charlton. A Bobby Zamora double strike and a Carlton Cole debut goal wrapped up the points for the Hammers after Darren Bent had netted an early penalty for Charlton. Djimi Traore finished a miserable afternoon for the Addicks by ending his debut early, getting his marching orders for a crude challenge.