Just a few days after moving from Malaga to North London side Arsenal, Nacho Monreal started the game against Stoke City.
The Spanish full-back has been in superb form this season for Malaga and it was no surprise when Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger indicated him as a key signing over the January transfer window.
Whilst he started the game, fellow Spaniard Santi Cazorla was on the bench.
The visitors Stoke began the game well and Peter Crouch forced Wojciech Szczesny in to an early save after the former England international controlled Ryan Shawcross’s cross before hitting a fierce volley.
However that would be Stoke’s last real chance as Arsenal began to show their quality with Monreal heavily involved in all the play. Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic was tested on numerous occasions with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere coming close.
German winger Lukas Podolski grabbed the winner and only goal of the game though to complete a superb opening debut for Spain’s future left-back.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa led 3-1 at Goodison Park but an inspired comeback from David Moyes side saw the game end 3-3, leaving Paul Lambert with yet more cause for concern.
Newcastle United beat Chelsea and heaped even more pressure on Rafael Benitez in a game that saw former Toon striker Demba Ba rushed to hospital for a broken nose. Moussa Sissoko scored the winner in that one.
Reading beat Sunderland 2-1, West Ham United beat Swansea and Queens Park Rangers drew 0-0 with Norwich in the day's early kick-off.
Later on Saturday evening, Fulham face Man Utd.
image: © wonker