18 Aug 2014

Man City, Liverpool made to work hard in season openers

7:21 am on 18 August 2014

Manchester City and Liverpool, last season's top two in the English Premier League, were both made to sweat by their opponents before opening the new season with hard-fought victories.

City began their title defence with a 2-0 win at Newcastle United, after Daniel Sturridge had struck late in the game to earn Liverpool a 2-1 win at home to Southampton.

The two rivals joined five other teams, including Arsenal, on maximum points.

Yesterday Manchester United's campaign got off to a bad start when they lost 2-1 at home to Swansea City under their new manager Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal says his team need to learn to cope with pressure after enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season tour of the United States beating rivals Liverpool and European champions Real Madrid before a friendly win over Valencia at Old Trafford in midweek.

While that form encouraged the players and the fans, Van Gaal says it created a pressure that his team failed to handle.

Van Gaal says the defeat could have a crushing effect on his team's confidence.

Van Gaal has made no secret of his hope to add some more new faces to his team and he confirmed that desire, but stressed it had little do with the loss to the Welsh side.

Meanwhile Arsenal and Tottenham recorded opening match wins, the latter beating All White captain Winston Reid's West Ham.