Crystal Palace taught Fulham a painful lesson on its London rival's return to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory on Saturday. Meanwhile, Roberto Pereyra's brace secured a 2-0 win for Watford against Brighton. 

By Associated Press
August 11, 2018

Fulham 0-2 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace taught Fulham a painful lesson on its London rival's return to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory on Saturday.

Having absorbed much of Fulham's pressure, Palace punished rare lapses in intensity and concentration to score toward the end of each half through Jeffrey Schlupp and then Wilfried Zaha.

There was still cause for encouragement for Slavisa Jokanovic's promoted team in the way it often outplayed the visitors at Craven Cottage on the banks of the River Thames. After spending more than 100 million pounds ($128 million) in the summer transfer window, Jokanovic handed full debuts to six new signings.

But four minutes before halftime, against the run of play, Palace took the lead. Andros Townsend exchanged passes with Patrick van Aanholt, whose throughball fed Schlupp and allowed the midfielder to turn and from the near post send an explosive finish into the top left corner, beyond goalkeeper Fabri's reach.

Palace grew in confidence but the hosts still posed the greater threat and were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty shortly after the hour when Mamadou Sakho clumsily brought down Schurrle.

Palace produced an almost immediate response when Christian Benteke nodded Wayne Hennessey's long kick toward Zaha to send him through on Fabri, who produced a reaction save from the forward's powerful strike.

It was Fulham's ambition that again exposed them, this time in the 79th minute when Aaron Wan-Bissaka won possession, countered and played in Zaha, who went to round Fabri and instead finished underneath him.

Watford 2 -0 Brighton 

WATFORD, England (AP) Roberto Pereyra began the season with a double as Watford beat Brighton 2-0 on the opening weekend of the Premier League on Saturday.

The Argentine midfielder scored with a volley and a curling shot as Brighton, which spent more than $70 million on 10 new players in the offseason, started disappointingly.

Watford was on top for most of the game and broke through in the 35th minute when Pereyra was unmarked and met Jose Holebas' corner with an impressive volley.

Pereyra took advantage of more poor defending from Brighton soon after halftime when he was again set up by Holebas. He collected a pass and drifted past new Brighton signing Bernardo before curling his shot past goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from a tight angle.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton used two of his other new players off the bench, Yves Bissouma and club-record buy Alireza Jahanbakhsh, but they couldn't inspire a comeback for a club which had the worst away record in the Premier League last season.

Watford was largely frustrated in the transfer market over the summer and the only new man in its lineup was goalkeeper Ben Foster, who rejoined the club from relegated West Bromwich Albion.



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