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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: Benteke double sinks Arsenal, Mignolet lifts Liverpool

EPL: Benteke double sinks Arsenal, Mignolet lifts Liverpool

Last updated on: August 17, 2013 22:28 IST

EPL: Benteke double sinks Arsenal, Mignolet lifts Liverpool

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Christian Benteke struck twice to inspire Aston Villa to a shock 3-1 win at Arsenal on a dramatic opening day of the Premier League season on Saturday.

Striker Daniel Sturridge scored and new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved a late penalty to earn Liverpool a deserved 1-0 win over StokeCity and NorwichCity drew 2-2 with Everton.

West Ham United beat promoted CardiffCity 2-0, Fulham won 1-0 at Sunderland and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert converted a late penalty to secure a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.


Image: Christian Benteke of Aston Villa (left) celebrates with teammate Antonio Luna
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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Giroud gives Arsenal an early lead

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Arsenal took an early lead at the Emirates through forward Olivier Giroud but Benteke equalised from the rebound after having a penalty saved and the powerful striker fired home another spot-kick after 62 minutes.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny was sent off before full back Antonio Luna grabbed a late third for Villa.


Image: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Mignolet, Sturridge give Liverpool winning start

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New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved a late penalty to earn his side a deserved 1-0 win over StokeCity in a frenetic opening match of the Premier League season at Anfield on Saturday.

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Striker Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool ahead in the first half with a firm shot from 20 metres and Mignolet plunged to his right to keep out Jonathan Walters's spot-kick a minute from time.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho pulled the strings for Liverpool and Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made several fine saves before Sturridge struck after 37 minutes, drilling a low left-foot shot into the corner of the net.


Image: Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saves a penalty from Stoke City's Jonathan Walters (right)
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters

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Mignolet endured a nervous debut

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Midfielder Jordan Henderson hit the post in the second half as Liverpool poured forward in search of another goal but Begovic continued to defy the hosts who are bidding to win the league title for the first time since 1990.

Stoke threatened occasionally on the break and they were awarded a penalty when Liverpool defender Daniel Agger needlessly handled a long Charlie Adam free kick.

But Mignolet, who had endured a nervous debut, palmed away a weak effort by Walters to spark wild celebrations around the ground.


Image: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool in action with Robert Huth of Stoke City
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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