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Villa stuns Arsenal as Premier League opens

Saturday - 8/17/2013, 2:36pm  ET

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, right, vies for the ball with Aston Villa's Christian Benteke during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The Associated Press

The English Premier League opened Saturday, with Aston Villa winning 3-1 at Arsenal while Liverpool defeated Stoke 1-0.

Christian Benteke scored twice to rally Villa. Arsenal was showered by boos from fans already angry at manager Arsene Wenger for his failure to strengthen the team during the summer.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez -- Arsenal's main target in the offseason -- was in the stands because of suspension. His team defeated Stoke thanks to Daniel Sturridge's 37th-minute goal, although it needed Simon Mignolet's late save on a penalty kick to preserve the lead.

West Ham, Southampton and Fulham also started with wins, while Norwich drew 2-2 with Everton. Manchester United begins its title defense at Swansea later Saturday.


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