Chelsea destroys Hull City in Jose Mourinho's return; EPL roundup

Chelsea played a tremendous game in Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge.
Clive Mason/Getty Images/SI

LONDON (AP) -- Jose Mourinho enjoyed a euphoric Chelsea homecoming on Sunday, and Tottenham put aside the turmoil surrounding Gareth Bale's future by also making a victorious start to the Premier League season.

Chelsea ripped apart Hull inside 25 minutes at Stamford Bridge, with the goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard securing a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

While Lampard had earlier missed a penalty, Roberto Soldado had no such trouble from the spot for Tottenham to score on debut and clinch a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Tottenham eked out the win without the team's most potent attacking threat. Bale is injured - and being pursued by Real Madrid.

Sunday's pair of results completed a miserable weekend for the league newcomers, with Cardiff also failing to score in a 2-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday.

Manchester United's Premier League defense began on Saturday with a 4-1 victory at Swansea in David Moyes' first match in charge since replacing Alex Ferguson.

Manchester City is also under new management, and last season's runner-up ushers in the Manuel Pellegrini era against Newcastle on Monday night. The Chilean will be hoping his debut goes as smoothly as Moyes and Mourinho enjoyed this weekend.

Mourinho was welcomed onto the pitch by cheers from the Chelsea fans delighted to see the end of Rafa Benitez's interim reign. They were denied an early goal to celebrate, with Frank Lampard's spot kick saved after six minutes.

Oscar, though, found the target in the 13th, slotting the ball under goalkeeper Allan McGregor after Belgium duo Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard combined.

Lampard made amends for his penalty miss with a superbly taken free kick that dipped and swerved over McGregor into the net in the 25th.

Branislav Ivanovic appeared to have headed in a third on the stroke of halftime, but the newly introduced goal-line technology confirmed that the ball failed to cross the line.

Despite Hull posing more of a threat in the second half, Chelsea did the hard work before the break and can now goes into the next game of the season against Aston Villa on Wednesday as a club united once again.

Now Mourinho is looking to add to the Premier League titles he won during his 2004-07 spell at Chelsea. The club won the championship in his absence, as well as the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League despite going through seven different managers.

"I made the right move by coming back - I am one of them (the fans) and I am so pleased and happy,'' Mourinho said. "I need my team to be supported and I need the fans to sing the players' names.

"Enough with Mourinho now and come on Chelsea. It's enough, I know they love me. Now it is my time to work for them and work for the team.''

Across London, south of the River Thames, Selhurst Park hosted Premier League football for the first time since 2005. And Palace largely frustrated Tottenham and its expensively strengthened squad.

But Soldado, a $40 million signing from Valencia, delivered from the penalty spot on his first outing in English football.

The striker's goal came five minutes into the second half after Palace defender Dean Moxey handled a cross from Aaron Lennon as he slid in to block the ball going into the penalty area.

"That was a completely and unbelievably dubious handball,'' Palace manager Ian Holloway said. "Was it deliberate? I don't think he had a chance.

"Yes his arms came up, but he was diving on the floor. I've never seen someone fall with their arms by their sides. He didn't have a chance in hell of getting away with it.''

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas sidestepped questions on Bale's future, but said the foot injury that kept him out of Sunday's game will sideline him for another two matches.

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