Aston Villa, Queens Parks Rangers claim opening day victories

Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers claim opening day victories as the Premier League gets underway

Andreas Weimann celebrates after scoring Aston Villa's winner vs. Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Brunskill / Getty Images Europe

An early second-half strike from Andreas Weimann gave Aston Villa a 1-0 victory against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on the opening day of the Premier League season Saturday.

Stephen Ireland and Marc Wilson failed to clear the ball from the penalty area in the 50th minute, and Weimann fired across goal and past Asmir Begovic to put Villa ahead. Stoke, which handed a debut to Bojan Krkic, an offseason signing from Barcelona, failed to find a way past Villa's stubborn defense as Paul Lambert's team held on for all three points.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers lost its first game back in the Premier League as Hull won 1-0 Saturday at Loftus Road.

James Chester headed the visitors ahead from close range in the 52nd minute after a cross from Stephen Quinn. Chester gave Harry Redknapp's team -- back in the league after only a year's absence -- a chance of a late equalizer when he handled the ball in his area. But Charlie Austin's penalty kick was saved by Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the bottom left corner in the 85th. Rio Ferdinand played his first league game for QPR after being released by Manchester United.

Chris Wood rescued a point for Leicester on its return to the Premier League, netting a late equalizer for a 2-2 draw at home against Everton on Saturday.

Wood slotted in a clinical finish past goalkeeper Tim Howard as Leicester twice came from behind in its first game back in the top flight since 2004. Aiden McGeady put Everton ahead when he curled a perfect finish into the far top corner in the 21st minute, but Jose Ulloa pulled the hosts level just a minute later with a scrappy finish inside the area.

Steven Naismith put Everton back ahead on the stroke of halftime but Wood took advantage of a lucky bounce when the ball fell at his feet after a shot by Riyad Mahrez was blocked by Phil Jagielka.

Alan Irvine looked set for a debut win in charge of West Brom before a late strike from Sebastian Larsson salvaged a point for Sunderland in a feisty 2-2 draw.

Lee Cattermole's thunderous early opener was cancelled out by a Saido Berahino penalty and the Baggies striker put his side in front with a close-range volley in the 74th minute. But Gus Poyet's men refused to accept defeat and grabbed a point when the impressive Patrick van Aanholt crossed from the left and set up Larsson to stroke home the equalizer.

Information from The Associated Press and Sky Sports was used in this report.  

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