It’s back and better than ever! Possibly.
Oh we’ve missed you, Premier League football. We’ve tried to be brave and pretend we can live without you, but we really can’t. Things got so bad over the summer that we even started to follow baseball. It wasn’t good.
Buoyed by the adrenalin that came from Liverpool’s surprisingly not dull win over Stoke, I’m rather ambitiously going to try to keep you up to date on all five 3pm kick-offs.
Arsenal 1 – 3 Aston Villa (Giroud, Benteke x 2, Luna)
Norwich 2 – 2 Everton (Whittaker, Barkley, Coleman, van Wolkswinkel)
Sunderland 0 – 1 Fulham (Kasami)
West Brom 0 – 1 Southampton (Lambert)
West Ham 2 – 0 Cardiff (Cole, Nolan)
4.55pm: FULL TIME! Disappointment for Arsenal after a great start. Aston Villa claim a famous win that not many people would have fancied them for.
4.54pm: FULL TIME! Cardiff are well beaten by West Ham at Upton Park in a scoreline that looks less comfortable than it was.
4.52pm: FULL TIME! There’ll surely be some colourful Paolo Di Canio post-match comments. Fulham have beaten his Sunderland side 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
4.51pm: FULL TIME! At the Hawthorns the final whistle blows at it’s Southampton who claim an opening day win.
4.51pm: FULL TIME! At Carrow Road it has finished Norwich 2-2 Everton
4.46pm: GOAL! Southampton take a late lead against West Brom. It’s man of the moment, Ricky Lambert who follows up his international heroics with a penalty for the Saints.
4.45pm: GOAL! Luna makes it safe for Villa! With Arsenal down to 10 men, Villa counter attack and the Spanish debutant slots it beyond Szczesny.
4.38pm: WOODWORK! A combination of Brad Guzan and the post deny Cazorla from about seven yards out. Villa still lead.
4.35pm: GOAL! West Ham look to have sealed the deal against Cardiff. Kevin Nolan with a first time finish curled into the left hand side of the goal from about 12 yards out.
Malky Mackay is making a face on the touchline like someone has taken a dump in his best loafers.
4.32pm: A great save from Guzan denies Rosicky.
4.29pm: GOAL! Norwich – it’s a cracking game at Carrow Road and Ricky van Wolfswinkel has marked his Canaries debut with a goal. It’s a smart header from a cross that was most likely a shot.
4.26pm: RED CARD! It’s the first red card of the season and it goes to Laurent Koscielny for two yellow cards. Like the penalty, it’s at the harsher end of the scale. Arsenal are in real trouble. Will it finally prompt Wenger to get the chequebook out?
4.21pm: GOAL! Everton take the lead at Norwich, Seamus Coleman puts the Toffees in front from close range.
4.20pm: ANOTHER PENALTY TO VILLA! Again it’s Agbonlahor causing the trouble. Koscielny dives in and it looks to be on the soft-ish side of things.
GOAL! Benteke slots it low to Szczesny’s right.
4.17pm: GOAL! Everton equalise! It’s an absolute belter from Ross Barkley. He picks the ball up on the edge of the area, shimmies right and then left before unleashing a curling piledriver to the right of John Ruddy. Expect the odd ‘young Wayne Rooney’ comparison after this.
4.12pm: WOODWORK! From about 20 yards out Fabian Delph crashes a low shot against the foot of the Arsenal post.
4.09pm: GOAL! Fulham Kasami gets his head onto a cross to put the Cottagers ahead.
4.07pm: GOAL! Norwich have taken the lead against Everton. Whittaker with a nice run and shot. His first effort hit the inside of the post, but he continued his run and tapped into an empty net from a tight-ish angle.
4.05pm: Arsene Wenger had been hoping to give Santi Cazorla’s tiny legs some time off, but he’s on for Arsenal as they start the second half against Villa.
4.04pm: Up and running at Upton Park now.
4.02pm: The second halves are underway at everywhere except the Emirates and Upton Park for some reason.
3.59pm: Nothing much to report during half-time other than hearing Nigel Winterburn say ‘penetration’ repeatedly might just be the most uncomfortable thing in the world.
3.50pm: It’s eventually half time at the Emirates. Plenty of encouragement for Villa.
3.47pm: They’ve gone in for their half-time bollockings in four of the five 3pm KOs. Arsenal and Aston Villa are doing some overtime on account of Gibbs’s bloodbath.
3.43pm: Still scoreless at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland have had the better of things, but in a largely unremarkable kind of way.
3.38pm: West Ham come within a whisker of extending their lead, but Diame’s deflected shot whizzes by the post.
3.36pm: It’s exciting stuff at the Emirates, thanks almost single-handedly to the antics of Szczesny. He gets away with making a bit of a dog’s dinner of some sweeping up behind his back four.
3.34pm: Still scoreless at Carrow Road, but Everton are bossing things. Hopefully it’ll lead to Delia ‘let’s be havin you’ half-time antics.
3.32pm: GOAL BUT NOT A GOAL! Southampton think they’ve taken the lead through an Adam Lallana goal, but it’s correctly flagged offside.
3.28pm: SUB! Kieran Gibbs has gone off at the Emirates with blood streaming down his face. Hopefully nothing serious, but he momentarily looked like an extra in Saw. Jenkinson replaces him.
3.22pm: PENALTY SAVED BUT GOAL NONETHELESS! Arsenal 1- 1 Villa. Crap penalty from Benteke, but Szczesny spoons it back to the striker and he heads in the rebound from about 6 yards out.
3.21pm: PENALTY TO VILLA! Yellow card for Szczesny for taking down Agbonlahor who was played in by well, himself really in some surprisingly good football from Villa.
3.14pm: GOAL! Joe Cole puts West Ham ahead at home to Cardiff. A turn and low shot from Cole that’s almost as neat as his haircut.
3.09pm: What better time to listen to our favourite football chant ever:
3.06pm: GOAL! 1-0 Arsenal. It’s Olivier Giroud who puts the Gunners 1-0 up. Great play from Oxlade Chamberlain down the left hand side and a tidy finish from the Frenchman.
3.01pm: The 3pm kick-offs are all up and running and there’s not much to report just yet. But wait, something will happen – just you wait and see.
2.57pm: The teams are out everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere, but at least the 5 matches I can currently see.
2.43pm: This is my favourite moment of the week – the longest possible time until I have to endure another Michael Owen commentary.
2.40pm: Sorry, I’m not going to do team news for the 3pm games, mainly because I don’t have the time. Just imagine the above teams with fairly normal teams with a couple of random surprises thrown in.
If you’re currently thinking about the Hulk turning out for Norwich, you’ve gone too far.