Leicester City became the first reigning Premier League champions to begin their title defence with a defeat when they were beaten 2-1 at promoted Hull City, who shrugged off an injury crisis to cause an upset on the opening day of the new season on Saturday.
Robert Snodgrass thumped home a left-footed winner in the 57th minute after Leicester, who lost only three games last season, failed to clear their lines. Riyad Mahrez’s second-half penalty for Leicester had earlier cancelled out Adama Diomande’s acrobatic overhead kick.
“They played better,” Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri told Sky Sports. “We tried to do our best, our effort was amazing but it was individual, not as a team.”
Hull, who were promoted through the second-tier playoffs last season, came into the new campaign among the favourites for relegation and without a permanent manager after Steve Bruce quit last month.
They took the lead, however, against the run of play in the first minute of first-half stoppage time when Diomande leapt in tandem with Abel Hernandez to meet Kasper Schmeichel’s punched clearance from a Curtis Davies header.
“We tried to win but sometimes it’s not possible,” Ranieri added. “We made some mistakes and have to think about where we made them.”
Mahrez scored from the penalty spot two minutes into the second half after Tom Huddlestone had clipped Demarai Gray on the edge of the area, before Snodgrass slammed home the winner, providing some respite for Hull, who had only 13 fit senior players available.
“Leicester knew the togetherness, the mentality and the character we showed (last season),” said Snodgrass, “and I think that’s what got us through in the end.”
Hull’s interim coach Mike Phelan said: “It was great to see everyone pulled together and we got a result that surprised a few people.”
In the day’s later kick-off, a superb header by Argentine Erik Lamela earned Tottenham a 1-1 draw at Everton on Ronald Koeman’s Premier League debut as the Toffees coach after Ross Barkley gave the home side an early lead at Goodison Park.
England midfielder Barkley provided Koeman with a perfect start to the season after floating in a fifth-minute free kick which evaded everyone in the penalty area and beat Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the far post.
Lloris limped off with a hamstring injury in the 36th minute and his replacement Michel Vorm kept the visitors afloat with a fine save on the stroke of halftime, denying Gerard Deulofeu who was sent clear by an awful back pass from Danny Rose.
Tottenham dominated after the break and got a deserved equaliser on the hour mark when Lamela turned in Kyle Walker’s cross. Everton keeper Maarten Stekelenburg rescued his side in the closing stages when he thwarted livewire Lamela and substitute Vincent Janssen.
Elsewhere, striker Salomon Rondon nodded the only goal to give West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
The Venezuelan, who had a fine chance saved by the diving Wayne Hennessey early in the first half, steered a glancing header from substitute James McClean’s free kick inside the bottom corner of the net in the 74th minute.
Palace deserved a point but, despite having two-thirds of possession, they picked up where they left off last season when they struggled to turn dominance into goals.
The home side’s best chance came eight minutes into the second half. Lee Chung-yong sent Wilfried Zaha on a run down the middle but keeper Ben Foster blocked the ball at the striker’s feet and then saved his second effort from the rebound.
Nathan Redmond scored on his Southampton debut to earn his side a 1-1 draw with Watford.
Etienne Capoue put Watford ahead after nine minutes, firing home from 12 metres following a neat knockdown by Troy Deeney.
Redmond equalised for the hosts with an angled strike after Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes punched out a corner straight to him after 58 minutes.
Watford defender Ben Watson, on the pitch for 12 minutes as a substitute, was sent off for pulling back Southampton forward Shane Long 14 minutes from time and Redmond had a late effort ruled out for offside.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s dazzling second-half free kick rescued a point for Stoke City at newly promoted Middlesbrough, who marked their return to the Premier League after seven years with a 1-1 draw.
Debutant Alvaro Negredo scored with his first chance in a Middlesbrough shirt as he rose above two Stoke defenders in the 11th minute to send Gaston Ramirez’s looping header beyond 40-year-old Shay Given following a teasing cross from Albert Adomah.
Ramirez hammered an effort against the post after being played in by Adam Clayton, and at the other end cleared Shaqiri’s testing corner off the line after Victor Valdes had failed to claim.
Middlesbrough had the best defensive record in the Championship last season, conceding just 31 goals, but were beaten in the 67th minute when Shaqiri struck a low free kick in off the post.
And finally, Leroy Fer’s late goal gave Swansea City a 1-0 win away to promoted Burnley
Burnley midfielder Dean Marney headed narrowly over the crossbar early in the second half and Swansea midfielder Gyfli Sigurdsson, on as a substitute, tested Burnley keeper Tom Heaton with a powerful free kick.
Fer grabbed the winner eight minutes from time, bundling the ball in from close range after Heaton had saved Fernando Llorente’s header.