Premier League football made its return with the traditional Boxing Day schedule and Monday’s fixtures did not disappoint.
Julen Lopetegui’s reign at Wolves began with a late win at fellow strugglers Everton, with Rayan Aït-Nouri’s stoppage-time goal lifting the club off the bottom of the Premier League table.
In a fixture which had been billed as a six-pointer, Aït-Nouri struck late after Daniel Podence had cancelled out Yerry Mina’s opener for Everton.
“It’s a lot of impact,” Wolves captain Ruben Neves told Match of the Day on the new manager’s first win.
“He is a really experienced manager. He has been working at big teams before and everyone is improving a lot. There’s a lot of room to improve but it was a really good result for us.”
Southampton dropped to the bottom after a 3-1 home defeat to Brighton, with the home side having remarkably failed to win in the last 11 Premier League meetings between the South Coast clubs.
Another local match-up saw Fulham continue their strong return to the Premier League with a 3-0 win at nine-man Crystal Palace, who had both Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins sent off.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored one and created two other goals in a fine centre-forward performance and the Serbian hopes Fulham – up to eighth and above Chelsea in the Premier League table – can continue to pick up impressive results.
“We are back and this is the best possible way to start the season again,” he said, as per the BBC.
“We played against a good side but we showed that we are the better team today. The way we finished the first half we tried to put more pressure on them. We had to manage their intensity, then the second goal made it even more easy. I’ll take one goal and two assists all day, but the most important thing was the three points.”
Earlier in the day, Spurs came from two goals down to earn a point at Brentford and Newcastle underlined their Champions League credentials with an impressive 3-0 win at Leicester.
Miguel Almiron was on the scoresheet with his eighth goal in nine league games, as Eddie Howe’s side climbed above Manchester City and into second in the table.