14 Aug 2011

Gunners can't fire a shot, Reds also draw as EPL opens

5:17 pm on 14 August 2011

The English football Premiership's opened on a quiet note with the two big names in action drawing blanks.

Ten-man Arsenal played out a scoreless draw at Newcastle in a lacklustre season-opener which saw the Gunners' new Ivorian striker Gervinho sent off after raising his hands in an ugly confrontation with Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton on 76 minutes.

Earlier Liverpool's hopes of launching their Premier League season with a win ended in disappointment as the new-look Reds also drew, 1-1 at home to Sunderland.

Liverpool took the lead with Luis Suarez's 12th-minute header but the Uruguayan's earlier penalty miss and a disallowed Andy Carroll effort left Sunderland in the game.

Fulham and Aston Villa ground out a 0-0 stalemate at Craven Cottage while in other opening round games, Wolves came from behind to win 2-1 at Blackburn and Bolton gave newly promoted QPR a brutal introduction to life in the top flight with a 4-0 mauling at Loftus Road.

But another of the newly promoted Championship teams earned some plaudits as Norwich took a point with a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

Holders Manchester United launch their season at West Bromwich Albion on Monday while Chelsea travel to Stoke, and Manchester City kick off their season at home to Swansea on Tuesday.