Dannys Welbeck and Sturridge make impressive start to the new Premier League season
Danny Welbeck played a starring role for Manchester United as the Premier League champions began the defence of their crown with a commanding 4-1 win at Swansea City.
The Three Lions striker struck two goals, including a sumptuous chipped effort in stoppage time, and was a constant threat during David Moyes’s first league match in charge of the Old Trafford side.
Moyes also handed starts to Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley, while Wayne Rooney was introduced from the bench in the second half and teed up Welbeck for United’s fourth. Dutchman Robin van Persie picked up from where he left off last season with two goals of his own.
The returning Daniel Sturridge proved to be the hero for Liverpool as he fired the Reds to a 1-0 win against Stoke City.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hailed the forward’s class in front of goal.
He said: “You saw Daniel's power, he's got a wonderful left foot and it was a terrific finish.
"He's disappointed he never got a few more, but he continues to score and that's why he's here. That's his job."
Everton boss Roberto Martinez was effusive in his praise of Ross Barkley after the England Under-21 midfielder opened his account for the club with a spectacular long-range effort during his side’s 2-2 draw with Norwich.
Martinez said: “We are very pleased with his overall contribution. Tactically he was outstanding. That was a very mature performance for a young man.
“I was very pleased with that because we’ve seen that in pre-season. You want to have as many players who can give you something special as you can. Ross has got that talent.”
Senior internationals Leon Osman and Leighton Baines also impressed alongside the 19-year-old for the Merseysiders.
Three Lions new boy Rickie Lambert completed a week to remember by grabbing the winning goal in Southampton’s 1-0 victory at West Brom.
The 31-year-old, who scored less than three minutes after coming off the bench during his Three Lions debut against Scotland on Wednesday, struck from the penalty spot late on to hand the Saints all three points at the Hawthorns.
And England youngsters Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs are doubts for Arsenal’s key Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce on Wednesday after coming off injured during the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa.
Gibbs left the field play of early following a clash of heads with Villa striker Andreas Weimann while Oxlade-Chamberlain, who provided the assist for Olivier Giroud’s early opener, was taken off at the interval after picking up a knock.