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Football
Reds regret missed opportunities
Suarez penalty not enough for Liverpool as QPR fall to 4-0 home defeat and Gervinho sent off on Arsenal debut.
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2011 18:38
Lee Cattermole and Charlie Adam exchange words during the draw at Anfield [GALLO/GETTY]

Liverpool rued a missed penalty and a disallowed goal as they drew 1-1 at home with Sunderland and newcomers Queens Park Rangers got a rude awakening on their arrival in dreamland.

Arsenal drew 0-0 at Newcastle and had Ivory Coast debutant striker Gervinho sent off after a clash with Joey Barton.

The opening day of the English Premier League season saw Liverpool go ahead through Luis Suarez's 12th-minute header after an earlier penalty miss by the Uruguayan.

A disallowed Andy Carroll effort then allowed Sunderland to stay in the game.

A great volley by winger Sebastian Larsson in the 57th minute gave the Swede a goal on his debut and the visitors a share of the points on Saturday.

"I think over the game, even though Pepe Reina only had to catch a couple of headers, for the effort and commitment they (Sunderland) put into the game, a draw was probably about right," Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said.

"Sunderland made it difficult for us, they worked really hard and I think they deserved a point."

Clean through

Dalglish was unhappy at referee Phil Dowd's decision to only caution Kieron Richardson after he had brought down Suarez when clean through.

"We don't want to see anybody sent off, but we need to know where we stand and how they (referees) are going to implement the rules and the wording of them in the books," he said. 

Results & fixtures

Saturday August 13

 Blackburn 1-2 Wolves
 Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa
 Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland
 QPR 0-4 Bolton
 Wigan 1-1 Norwich
 Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal

Sunday August 14

 
Stoke City v Chelsea
 West Brom v Man Utd

Monday August 15

 
Man City P-P Swansea
 Tottenham v Everton

QPR's first match in the top flight since 1996 was one to forget as they were thumped 4-0 at home by Bolton Wanderers in a match in which just about everything that could go wrong for them did.
 
Fellow new boys Norwich City made a better start, snatching a point with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic, while Wolverhampton Wanderers won 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers and Fulham drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in a turgid game at Craven Cottage.

Arsenal started their campaign later at Newcastle United, and went down to 10 men in the second half when Gervinho, signed from French champions Lille, went down claiming a penalty.

Barton angrily hauled him to his feet by his shirt, then received a slap as the pair were separated.

The Ivorian was red-carded while Barton was shown yellow.

On Sunday, champions Manchester United head to West Bromwich Albion and last year's runners-up Chelsea travel to Stoke City.
 
Liverpool had been hoping to build on the promise they showed in the second half of last season following Kenny Dalglish's appointment as manager and they fielded four new signings.
 
After Suarez's opener, set up by debutant Charlie Adam, they had the chance to stretch their lead but Carroll's effort, also created by Adam, was disallowed after the striker was pulled up for a foul on Anton Ferdinand.

Another Liverpool new face Stewart Downing went close when his long-range strike crashed against the crossbar as the hosts' early dominance evaporated and Sunderland hit back through Larsson's exquisite finish.

While Liverpool were given a reality check after pundits' predictions that they would break back into the top four after a sixth-place finish last term, QPR were taught a series of top-flight lessons.

After a promising start, in which striker DJ Campbell's early effort was disallowed, the Londoners watched in despair as new signing Kieron Dyer left the field on a stretcher just five minutes into the game with a foot injury.

They fell behind on the stroke of halftime as Bolton defender Gary Cahill sent the ball into the top corner from 25 metres out before QPR defender Danny Gabbidon turned the ball into his own net in the 67th minute.

Their day got even worse as goals by Ivan Klasnic and Fabrice Muamba gave Bolton a comprehensive victory and to top it off, QPR finished the game with 10 men after Clint Hill's red card for a headbutt on Martin Petrov.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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