English Premier League season commences…15/08/2021

The 2021/22 Premier League season kicked-off this weekend with Ireland manager Stephen Kenny and his scouting network on active duty.

The Premier League continued on Sunday afternoon with Newcastle United going down to a four two defeat by visitors West Ham United. Ciaran Clark started for the ‘Magpies’ with Jeff Hendrick unused on the substitute bench while Conor Coventry was also unused on the visitors substitute bench. Darren Randolph was not included in the matchday squad. Tottenham Hotspur scored  the only goal to defeat  defending champions Manchester City in their London Stadium. Matt Doherty was introduced  from the substitute bench for the final twelve minutes of the contest.

Recent signing James McCarthy made his Glasgow Celtic debut after 75 minutes of their three two Scottish League Cup victory over visitors Heart of Midlothian for whom Aaron McEneff  was a 68th minute substitute and scored their second goal in added time. Hibernian and Jake Doyle-Hayes defeated Kilmarnock by two goals to nil at Easter Road in the same competition. Jonny Hayes started for Aberdeen against Championship side Raith Rovers who included 19 year old striker Ethon Varian in their starting eleven The young Cork man, on loan from Stoke City, scored an equaliser early in the second half  and his side added  a second to defeat their Premiership visitors and progress to the quarter-finals. Hayes, who was excellent at left back for the ‘Dons’, suffered an injury in added time and was wheeled  away in some discomfort.

Josh Cullen was in midfield action with RSC Anderlecht who recovered from the concession of a first minute goal to defeat their hosts Cercle Bruges by two goals to one in the Belgian First Division this Sunday afternoon.

Burnley played host to Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor where new signing Nathan Collins was an unused substitute for the ‘Clarets’ while Shane Duffy started in a back three for the visitors.  Aaron Connolly and Jayson Molumby, who does not appear on the first team squad list, were not included in the ‘Seagulls’ matchday squad. The visitors recovered from the concession of a second minute goal to secure a two one victory. Everton and captain Seamus Coleman succeeded in their first competitive outing under new manager Rafa Benitez when they came from behind to secure a three one victory over visitors Southampton at Goodison Park. Shane Long was not included  in the ‘Saints’ matchday squad. Conor Hourihane was not included in the matchday squad for Aston Villa who went down to a three two defeat at newly promoted Watford. Adam Idah was a 77th minute substitute for Norwich City who went down to a three nil defeat by visitors Liverpool for whom Caoimhin Kelleher was an unused substitute. 

Midfielder Jamie McGrath and his St Mirren colleagues travelled to Livingston in the Scottish League Cup and exited  the competition with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat after a one all draw. Early substitute Conor McCarthy scored the equaliser in normal time for St Mirren and both Jamie McGrath and Joe Shaughnessy converted their shoot-out penalties.  

There was a 12.30pm kick-off for the Championship meeting of newly promoted Peterborough United and Derby County. The hosts included goalkeeper Christy Pym, who has been the subject of recent international call-up conjecture, in their starting eleven while midfielders Sammy Szmodics and  Jack Taylor missed out through injury. The visitors included Festy Ebosele in their starting eleven while Louie Watson was an unused substitute as they went down to a two one defeat.. Veteran defender Richard Keogh started for Blackpool who went down to a two nil defeat by Mick McCarthy‘s Cardiff City at Bloomfield Road with James Collins in the starting eleven for the victors.  Danny McNamara started for Millwall who played out a one all draw with Blackburn Rovers and Darragh Lenihan at the New Den. Midfielder Harry Arter, who signed  a three year contract in the summer, is reported to have had a serious falling out with Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton and is understood to be available for transfer. Forest went down to a two one defeat by visitors AFC Bournemouth who included Mark Travers and Gavin Kilkenny in their starting eleven. Captain Alan Browne and Greg Cunningham started for Preston North End at Reading while Sean Maguire was an 81st minute substitute as they suffered  a two one defeat. Last week’s goal scorers Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson started for  West Bromwich Albion and Robinson again found the net as the ‘Baggies’ defeated visitors Luton Town by three goals to two at the Hawthorns.  The late kick-off saw Swansea City and Ryan Manning playing host to Sheffield United and John Egan with the sides playing out a scoreless draw in a contest of very few chances. Manning, playing at left back,  had a fine game and was named man of the match.

Anthony Scully scored both goals for Lincoln City who came from behind to defeat visitors Fleetwood Town in League One. Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott was  on the scoresheet for MK Dons but it was in vain as visitors Sunderland secured  a two one success. Defender Warren O’Hora started for MK Dons while Sunderland  included midweek signing Dennis Cirkin in their starting eleven alongside the veteran Aiden McGeady. Portsmouth included Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness, Shaun Williams and loanee Gavin Bazunu in their starting eleven for their two nil victory over  visitors Crewe Alexandra with Harness scoring one of the goals.  Rotherham United included Chiedoze Ogbene and Joshua Kayode in their starting eleven with Kieran Sadlier an unused substitute as they lost to the only goal at Wigan Athletic. Daryl Horgan was not in the Wycombe Wanderers squad which secured a three one victory at Cheltenham Town.