Van Persie, Welbeck earn 4-1 victory for Man U

Robin van Persie scored two of the four goals in Manchester United's match against Swansea City. (AFP)

Robin van Persie scored two of the four goals in Manchester United's match against Swansea City. (AFP)

Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both scored twice to lift Manchester United to an emphatic 4-1 win over Swansea City in David Moyes's first English Premier League match in charge on Saturday.

Van Persie opened the scoring after 34 minutes, controlling a bouncing ball in the penalty area and swivelling expertly to hook it in right-footed from eight metres. Welbeck doubled the lead two minutes later with a close range tap-in and Van Persie added a third after 72 minutes with a fine individual effort. Wilfried Bony pulled one back for Swansea but Welbeck dinked in his second goal in stoppage time following a pass by substitute Wayne Rooney to give the champions a comfortable victory to start their title defence.

In a frenetic opening match earlier today of the Premier League season at Anfield, striker Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool ahead in the first half with a firm shot from 20 metres, and Mignolet plunged to his right to keep out Jonathan Walters's spot-kick a minute from time.

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho pulled the strings for Liverpool and Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made several fine saves before Sturridge struck after 37 minutes, drilling a low left foot shot into the corner of the net.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson hit the post in the second half as Liverpool poured forward in search of another goal, but Begovic continued to defy the hosts who are bidding to win the league title for the first time since 1990.

Liverpool played the first of five matches today.

Arsenal began their match against Aston Villa at 3pm.
Christian Benteke struck twice to inspire Aston Villa to a shock 3-1 win. Arsenal took an early lead at the Emirates through forward Olivier Giroud, but Benteke equalised from the rebound after having a penalty saved and the powerful striker fired home another spot-kick after 62 minutes.

Other results

Norwich vs Everton: 2-2

Fulham vs Sunderland: 1-0

Southampton vs West Brom: 1-0

Westham vs Cardiff: 2-0

– Reuters

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