EPL: Chelsea off to flying start as newcomers struggle

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed away wins in the opening round of the Premier League season while promoted Fulham and Cardiff City were given quick reminders of the tough task they face on their returns to the top flight.

Goals from N'Golo Kante, Jorginho (penalty) and Pedro gave Chelsea an impressive 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town on Sunday morning (NZ time) as their new Italian coach Maurizio Sarri watched his team respond well after enduring early pressure from David Wagner's side.   

Chelsea gave a debut to the world's most expensive goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who joined from Athletic Bilbao for 72 million pounds (NZ$136million) last week, but the Spaniard had little work to do.   

Spurs fans' concerns about their club's lack of transfer business may have eased after Jan Vertonghen, and Dele Alli scored as Mauricio Pochettino's team began the campaign with an entertaining 2-1 victory at Newcastle United.   

All three goals came in a frantic opening 20 minutes on Tyneside with two headed goals for the north London team coming either side of Joselu's equaliser for Rafa Benitez's Newcastle.   

Well-taken goals by Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha fired confident-looking Crystal Palace to a 2-0 win over promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage.   

Bournemouth Callum Wilson.
Bournemouth Callum Wilson. Photo credit: Reuters

Cardiff City also tasted defeat on their return to the elite - midfielder Ryan Fraser's first-half goal and forward Callum Wilson's late strike securing the three points for Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.   

Argentine Roberto Pereyra scored twice, the first a superb volley, as Watford enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.   

Wolves played out a 2-2 draw against a 10-man Everton.

Champions Manchester City began their title defence at the Emirates against Arsenal on Monday (NZ time) while Liverpool, tipped by many to challenge Pep Guardiola's side this season, host West Ham United.   

Manchester United kicked off the season on Friday with a 2-1 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford.   

Reuters