This, perhaps, is the most anticipated English Premier League season in a long time. Tactical geniuses Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Juergen Klopp will all we competing for the same silverware; the one that is currently in the custody of Claudio Ranieri. Also, don’t forget the good old Arsene Wenger of Arsenal.
Follow our live blog for all the latest updates!
Manchester City are hosting Sunderland at the Etihad. Will Pep Guardiola start with a win or will David Moyes reinvent himself and Sunderland? Catch all the updates right here.
And on that note, we end our live blog. Join us tomorrow for two big matches, with Arsenal hosting Liverpool and Bournemouth hosting the combined egos of Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ta-da.
FT: Manchester City win their opening game of the season 2-1 against Sunderland. Sunderland can be proud of their display, and David Moyes will see positives from the loss. One funny bit though. The Manchester City winner was scored by Paddy McNair, not Fernandinho. McNair, of course, made his debut for Sunderland today after signing from Manchester United. Hmmm...football can be poetic and cruel at the same time.
90th min: Kelechi Iheanacho misses the chance to make it 3-1 following a quick break away.
87th min: GOAL! Jesus Navas crosses, Aguero misses, but so does the Sunderland defence. Fernandinho pokes into an empty net. 2-1.
Meanwhile, former England forward Gary Linekar just won the internet.
He's no Moyes, that Guardiola.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 13, 2016
The English forward broke free to finish past Caballero. The goalkeeper could have made it harder for Defoe, to be honest. Regret dropping Hart yet?
70th minute: GOAL! Jermain Defoe scores for Sunderland! It’s 1-1 and Guardiola must be cursing his team for not getting the two-goal cushion when they could.
64th minutes: Defensive change from Pep? David Silva has come off for Fabien Delph after a forgettable outing, while Adnan Januzaj makes his debut for Sunderland. The Belgian has replaced Duncan Watmore. Wahbi Khazri has also replaced Lynden Gooch for Sunderland.
MATCH PIC: Both managers cast a watchful eye over the game pic.twitter.com/uBtXnDG8bM— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) August 13, 2016
59th min: Nearly fifteen minutes into the first half and it’s as we were. Jesus Navas has come on for Nolito.
HT: It’s half-time at the Etihad with City winning 1-0. Perhaps Adnan Januzaj can come on and make the kind of impression for Sunderland that he made on his debut against Sunderland in 2013 for Manchester United.
A nice little stat from the Middlesbrough and Stoke City match earlier.
1 - Xherdan Shaqiri has scored Stoke's first direct free kick goal in the Premier League since October 2013, nearly three years ago. Arrow.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 13, 2016
36th min: Guardiola really doesn’t look happy on the sidelines. He clearly wants City to control the game more. Perhaps a call to Sergio Busquets is coming soon.
A new-ish looking City side here. We have Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna as the wingbacks. John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov as the central defenders. David Silva and Fernandinho are the two defensive midfielders. Yes, we are surprised too with Silva playing so deep. In attack, Sergio Aguero is up front with Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane in support.
30th min: City aren’t controlling the game as a Pep Guardiola side usually does. Sunderland are beginning to find their rhythm.
15th min: City still lead 1-0 and Sunderland are struggling to get a footing in the game.
4th min: GOAL! Sergio Aguero scores from the spot! City 1- 0 Sunderland.
FT: Hull City 2-1 Leicester City, Everton 1-1 Spurs, Burnley 0-1 Swansea, Palace 0-1 West Brom, Middlesbrough 1-1 Stoke, Southampton 1-1 Watford.
RED CARD! Watford’s Ben Watson has been sent off for a foul on Shane Long.
Perhaps David Moyes will get Adnan Januzaj’s career back on track. The Belgian is on loan at Sunderland from Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Manchester City take on Sunderland at the Etihad. Squads have been announced. John Stones makes his debut for City, just days after his 47.5m pound move to City from Everton. England keeper Joe Hard has been dropped to the bench by Pep Guardiola.
GOAALLL! 74th min: Crystal Palace 0-1 West Brom. Salomon Rondon heads home for the Baggies.
7 - Erik Lamela has had a hand in seven goals in his last seven Premier League appearances for Spurs (three goals, four assists). Involved.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 13, 2016
Xherdan Shaqiri scores! Middlesbrough 1-1 Stoke. The Swiss international scores a super freekick from around 25 yards out.
58th minute: GOOOOAAAAALLL!!! Nathan Redmond volleys for Southampton’s equaliser! Now 1-1 against Watord.
60th minute: GOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Everton 1-1 Tottenham! Kyle Walker crosses for Erik Lamela to head in.
56th minute: Tottenham’s Dele Alli misses a good chance to get a shot on goal. The England international got at the end of a stray pass at the edge of the box, but shot well wide.
HT: Right then, half-time scores for you: Middlesbrough 1-0 Stoke, Burnley 0-0 Swansea, Everton 1-0 Tottenham, Southampton 0-1 Watford, C Palace 0-0 West Brom.
Fans are understandably happy the EPL has returned. So are we. Does this sum up our emotions?
Similar starts, but Negredo will hope for a different outcome this time around.
1 - Alvaro Negredo has now scored with his first shot on target in the Premier League for both Man City & Middlesbrough. Impression.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 13, 2016
35th minute: Trouble for Tottenham? Michel Vorm has just replaced Hugo Lloris in goal.
Follow the live blog: Right then, we are back. Apologies for being away for too long. Hope you didn’t miss us. We resume our EPL live blog on the back of a stunning win for Hull City over champions Leicester. Meanwhile, Everton lead Tottenham 1-0 through Ross Barkley’s 5th minutes strike. Over at the Riveside stadium, Middlesbrough lead stoke 1-0 through Alvaro Negredo’s 11th minute goal, Southampton are trailing Watford 0-1 with Etienne Capoue scoring in the 9th. Elsewhere, It’s 0-0 in Burnley v Swansea and Crystal Palace v Westbrom. All the games are around the 30-minute mark.
To add insult to injury, here is Opta with a gem:
1989 - Leicester are the 1st reigning top-flight champs to lose their opening league game of the next season since Arsenal in 1989/90. Shock— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 13, 2016
Full time: Premier League champions Leicester City lose to Hull City. Is it an upset? Yes and no. Yes, cos they are the champions and the opposition was Hull City. No, because, it almost seemed inevitable that the Foxes would struggle this season after their incredible and historic title last in 2015-16. Premier League teams would target them for sure this season. Also, don’t forget they are in the Champions League; the squad would be stretched and challenged like never before.
85’: This doesn’t seem to be going Leicester’s way. In a way, this game could be the microcosm of Leicester’s season. After their incredible success last year, for all practical purposes, Leicester could not have gone higher. Big money won’t allow fairytales to repeated.
75’: It’s still 2-1 for Hull.
72: Mahrez curls the free-kick around the defensive wall. However, Hull goalkeeper Jakupovic had it covered with a dive to his left. It’s still 2-1 for Hull City.
69’: Double substitution for Leicester. Okazaki comes on for Gray, and Amartey for King. They desperately need some fresh ideas here.
Meanwhile, Opta has this to say on the opener:
5:49 - Hull City have scored their first goal in five hours and 49 minutes of @PremierLeague action (stretching back to 2014-15). Opener.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 13, 2016
62’: Leicester City are clearly missing N’Golo Kante. That midfield has a soft underbelly without him. Leicester’s loss in Chelsea’ gain.
57’: Hull score again! This was way too sloppy by Leicester City. Poor marking, and poor awareness of opposition players’ positioning. The shot by Snodgrass, however, packed a lot of venom. 2-1 for Hull City.
Read more: Meanwhile, in case you haven’t heard the big news; Messi is not retiring after all.
52’: It’s 1-1 here at Hull City stadium.
47th minute: Leicester equalise. Riyad Mahrez scores from the spot after Gray was brought down inside the box by Huddlestone.
5:49 pm (IST); Half-time: The first goal of the season goes to Hull City’s Diomande. An acrobatic effort by Hernandez was guided in by Diomande. It would have gone in otherwise as well. The credit, however, should rest with Hernandez. Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel would be disappointed with his clearance though.
5: 47 pm (IST): 46’: Hull score the opener. The first goal of the season. An overhead kick by Abel Hernandez, after Schmeichel’s clearance fell beside him.
5:44 pm (IST): Another one here. This time Jamie Vardy the man to have a go. This, however, had a glimpse of old Leicester, old as in a year old.
5:14 pm (IST): 41st minute: Leicester have two shots on goal. The second by a tip-toeing Mahrez. Leicester’s attack though appears jaded, not the same as it was last season. Still early days though, so we will reserve our doomsday predictions.
5:39 pm (IST): A header by Diomande for Hull. Not on target.
5:38 pm (IST): In case you are wondering why Hull City fans are miffed, hear it from the horse’s mouth. Hull City Supporters’ Trust’s Greg Whitaker wrote this in Hull Daily Mail.
“Well, for the first time during the Allams’ ownership of the club, the situation on the pitch looks just as bad as the one off it. As I have already mentioned, as it stands The Tigers’ currently have no permanent manager, a string of high-profile injuries, and no new signings just three days before our Premier League opener on Saturday. This, paired with the well-publicised, absurd and unfair ‘Membership Scheme’, has led to a situation where lifelong Hull City fans are quite literally being forced to turn their back on the football club they love. This is why Hull City fans everywhere, led by the work done by the Hull City Supporters’ Trust, are being encouraged to protest during Saturday’s game at the KCOM.
The proposed protests, which have been made possible through the incredible generosity of Hull City fans who’ve donated over £1000 towards the Trust’s costs of printing red cards and banners, aim to highlight for the national TV cameras just how upset City fans are.”
5:31 pm (IST): A short corner by Leicester City here. These guys are clearly confident; short corners are generally a good sign. You won’t see Wolves or Hull City attempting that. A poor pre-season appears to have not affected Ranieri’s men.
5:30 pm (IST): That went over the bar. Tigers are a little too enthusiastic.
5:25 pm (IST): Leicester’s 20-year-old Demarai Gray too joins the fun. Surges through the traffic to take a shot. No harm done though. Not quite an organised attack, though.
5:23 pm (IST): Drinkwater has a shot on goal. On goal doesn’t necessarily mean on target, though.
5:20 pm (IST): That’s enough of rambling, anyway. The broadcasters, however, have zoomed in on the protesting Hull fans in the stadium.
5: 17 pm (IST): To think of it, if we do address Hull the way Mr Allam wants, this would be a game between Foxes and Tigers. Yes, just like the name of the silly street clubs you and me named when we were 14.
5:11 pm (IST):While we are at it, do remember Hull’s owner Assem Allam would like all of us to call the club, the Tigers. He says it has more marketability. With the tiger count still not anywhere near the mark to be satisfied, despite the sustained campaigning by wildlife enthusiasts, we are not sure about this. But hey! He is the boss, and the boss is always right.
5:06 pm (IST):The game’s first chance went to Hull, a header that went past the post.
5: 01 pm (IST): And it has begun!
Hull City (4-3-3) Eldin Jakupovic; Elmohamady, Livermore, Davies, Robertson; Huddlestone, Clucas, Meyler; Snodgrass, Abel Hernandez, Diomande. Substitutes: Kuciak, Maloney, Tymon, Bowen, Luer, Olley, Clackstone.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Kasper Schmeichel; Danny Simpson, Morgan, Luis Hernandez, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, King, Gray; Musa, Vardy. Substitutes: Zieler, Chilwell, Albrighton, Amartey, Kapustka, Okazaki, Ulloa.
4:57 pm (IST): Leicester, have managed to retain both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez for the season, which is as incredible an achievement as their championship last season. They, however, has lost their chief ankle-biter N’Golo Kante, who have joined Chelsea. To compensate, Ranieri has brought Nampalys Mendy from French shores, where he played for Nice. The manager has strengthened the attacking line-up with Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow, and hopefully should lessen the burden on Vardy’s shoulders.