Aston Villa stun Arsenal as Premier League resumes

Updated: 17 August 2013 23:15 IST

Christian Benteke, Villa's top scorer last season with 19 goals in his debut campaign, was the architect of Villa's shock win, scoring twice in the 3-1 victory to puncture the pre-season optimism at the Emirates Stadium.

London:

Arsenal endured a calamitous start to the Premier League season after conceding two penalties and having Laurent Koscielny dismissed in a 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday.

Christian Benteke, Villa's top scorer last season with 19 goals in his debut campaign, was the architect of Villa's shock win, scoring twice to puncture the pre-season optimism at the Emirates Stadium.

Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal a sixth-minute lead by clipping home a left-wing cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Benteke equalised in the 22nd minute.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was penalised for tripping Gabriel Agbonlahor and although he redeemed himself by parrying Benteke's spot-kick, the Belgian striker reacted alertly to head in the rebound.

Benteke put Villa ahead from the spot with just under half an hour to play after Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Agbonlahor, and the Frenchman's misery was compounded moments later when he was shown a second yellow card for an untidy lunge at Andreas Weimann.

Spanish close-season signing Antonio Luna completed victory for Paul Lambert's side with five minutes to play, running clear and coolly wrong-footing Szczesny.

"We started well but after that, everything went wrong -- injuries, decisions, going down to 10 men, and the chances missed," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who lost full-backs Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna to injury and whose side were booed off.

"It was a bad day, not on the quality of our display, but everything went against us."

Roberto Martinez began his career as Everton manager by picking up a point from an entertaining 2-2 draw at Norwich City.

Quick-fire goals from Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman put the visitors in front after Steven Whittaker had given Norwich the lead, only for £8.5 million ($13.3 million, 10 million euros) record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel to equalise for the home side with a fine header in the 71st minute.

Rickie Lambert, who scored the winning goal against Scotland on his England debut in mid-week, completed a memorable few days by snatching a 1-0 win for Southampton at West Bromwich Albion with a last-minute penalty at the Hawthorns.

Cardiff City made a disappointing return to the top flight following a 51-year absence after goals from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan saw them beaten 2-0 at West Ham United, while a 52nd-minute header by Pajtim Kasami gave Fulham a 1-0 win at Sunderland.

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