EPL 2015-16, Gameweek 2: Leicester march on, Swansea down 10-man Newcastle
Leicester City brought West Ham United crashing to earth and returned to the top of the fledgling Premier League standings with a 2-1 victory at Upton Park on Saturday.
London: Leicester City brought West Ham United crashing to earth and returned to the top of the fledgling Premier League standings with a 2-1 victory at Upton Park on Saturday.
West Ham opened their campaign by winning 2-0 at Arsenal, but they were 2-0 down by half-time as Japan striker Shinji Okazaki headed in his first goal in English football and Riyad Mahrez scored his third goal in two games.
Dimitri Payet replied for West Ham, but it was not enough to prevent Claudio Ranieri`s Foxes reclaiming first place on goal difference from Manchester United, three months on from their rousing escape from relegation.
"We are playing well," said Ranieri, who succeeded the sacked Nigel Pearson in July and saw his side overcome Sunderland 4-2 on the opening day.
"All the players play like a team, they play with the ball on the ground and it is important to increase our stamina and fitness, and also our mentality."
West Ham`s misery was compounded in stoppage time when their Spanish goalkeeper Adrian was sent off for a high foot after going up to contest a corner.
Swansea City also built on an impressive opening performance, following up their battling 2-2 draw at champions Chelsea with a 2-0 win at home to Newcastle United that left Garry Monk`s side in fourth place.
Bafetimbi Gomis rounded Tim Krul to put Swansea ahead in the ninth minute and Newcastle`s afternoon took a further turn for the worse shortly before half-time when Daryl Janmaat was sent off for two bookable offences.
After Jefferson Montero and Gylfi Sigurdsson had both made the woodwork shudder, new recruit Andre Ayew sealed victory by polishing off a cross from the elusive Montero to register his second goal in two games.
"We dominated the whole game from start to finish," said Swansea manager Monk.
"We started well, got a fantastic goal. We were very professional after the sending-off and we could have had more goals."A late Stoke City fightback prevented Tottenham Hotspur claiming a first win of the season in a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.
Beaten 1-0 by Manchester United on the opening day, Spurs, who welcomed back goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris, went 2-0 up through an Eric Dier header and a deflected Nacer Chadli volley.
But after Spurs striker Harry Kane had been taken off, Stoke stormed back to level courtesy of a Marko Arnautovic penalty and a Mame Biram Diouf header.
Earlier, Romelu Lukaku scored two first-half goals and Ross Barkley added another as Everton claimed their first victory of the season by winning 3-0 at Southampton.
Belgium striker Lukaku headed home Arouna Kone`s 22nd-minute cross and swept in from Barkley`s astute pass on the stroke of half-time before the England midfielder neatly curled in a third goal six minutes from time.
Victory, Everton`s first at St Mary`s since 2002, elevated Roberto Martinez`s team to third place in the table, two points below Leicester and Manchester United, who won 1-0 at Aston Villa on Friday.
"We`ve found it tough to come here in recent years, but I thought the performance today was outstanding in every department," said Martinez.
Sunderland`s early-season woes continued as they went down 3-1 at home to promoted Norwich City, leaving Dick Advocaat`s side at the foot of the table.
Goals from Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker and Nathan Redmond put Alex Neil`s visitors in command at a sombre Stadium of Light, before 21-year-old substitute Duncan Watmore replied for Sunderland.
"Together, we have to find out if we can find the solution," said Advocaat.
Watford, another promoted side, remain unbeaten but also winless after a goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester City host Chelsea in an early clash of title contenders on Sunday, when the visitors will hope to move on from the furore sparked by manager Jose Mourinho`s demotion of medics Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn.