Brendan Rodgers learned the hard way what it means to be manager of a top club as his Liverpool side was comprehensively crushed 0-3 by West Bromwich Albion on an astonishing first day of the English Premier League 2012-13.
In other results, visiting Swansea thrashed Queens Park Rangers 5-0 and Fulham beat Norwich with a similar scoreline at Craven Cottage.
New boys Reading drew 1-1 against Stoke with a penalty in the 90th minute and Kevin Nolan inspired Aston Villa to a 1-0 victory. Arsenal played out a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Zoltan Gera scored a rasping volley from 25 yards out to open the scoring at the Hawthorns and Liverpool had no answer to WBA’s fluid football. Shane Long missed a penalty after Daniel Agger had felled him in the area. It resulted in Liverpool going down to 10-men and the Reds gave away another penalty which Peter Odemwingie scored from.
Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, added a third to seal the win.
Liverpool, despite having the lions share of possession, could not turn their dominance into goals and ended up frustrated at West Brom committing men all over the park. Even though it is far too early to make any judgement on Rodgers’ side, he certainly did not want a start like this.
If Rodgers had a nightmare start, then Michael Laudrup had a fairy-tale beginning to his Swansea career. Michu and Nathan Dyer scored a brace each before Scott Sinclair added icing to the cake. Despite fielding their new signings Fabio, Park Ji Sung and Junior Hoilett, QPR were simply outclassed.
Fulham, without their want-away talisman Clint Dempsey, did not show any signs of missing the American. Debutant Mladen Petric scored two quick goals after Damien Duff had opened the scoring. Nikola Kalinic and Steve Sidwell added two more goals to humiliate the Canaries.
Dean Whitehead was sent off for Stoke City and Adam Le Fondre made no mistake from the spot to earn his side their first point in the top league after earning promotion from the Championship last year.
Arsenal looked like they sorely missed Robin Van Persie up front as their newly assembled side failed to get the better of a determined Sunderland back four. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud both started, with the latter missing from 12 yards out. Santi Cazorla though, had a great debut and Gunners fans will be relishing to see him become a first team regular.
With the opening day already throwing up so many surprises, the EPL has started off on an exciting footing.