Arsenal open with 1-0 win

London, August 16:

Arsenal got their challenge for the Premier League off to a comfortable but unconvincing start today with a 1-0 win over newly promoted West Brom.

Samir Nasri scored in the fourth minute of his Premier League debut to give Arsenal a home win. Denilson broke down the left and cut the ball back from the byline into the path of Nasri, who hit the ball first time to guide a shot into the far corner.

Also, Tottenham lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough, Blackburn won 3-2 at Everton, West Ham beat visiting Wigan 2-1, Hull defeated Fulham 2-1, and Bolton beat Stoke 3-1.

Arsenal’s slight lack of edge at Emirates Stadium was perhaps due to manager Arsene Wenger’s decision to rest Robin Van Persie even though he was without the injured Cesc Fabregas and long-term absentees Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo Da Silva.

Walcott had a header blocked by defender Paul Robinson and Gallas strode out of defense to hit a 30-yard shot against the post with goalkeeper Scott Carson beaten.

Arsenal’s momentum stalled slightly and, although Emmanuel Adebayor went close seven minutes into the second half and had a goal ruled out in the 60th minute, Wenger opted to bring on Van Persie in place of Nicklas Bendtner in the 70th minute to provide an extra attacking threat.