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England Roundup: Brighton overwhelms Luton Town; Everton falls to Fulham

BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Joao Pedro and Simon Adingra scored on their debut as Brighton shrugged off Moises Caicedo’s ongoing transfer saga by beating Premier League newcomer Luton 4-1 in their season opener on Saturday.

Pedro, the club’s record signing, doubled Brighton’s lead following Solly March’s first-half opener by converting a 71st-minute penalty after being brought down by Luton captain Tom Lockyer.

Carlton Morris slotted home from the spot at the other end following Lewis Dunk’s handball to set up a tense finale but Adingra capitalized on a big error from Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu to make it 3-1 before fellow substitute Evan Ferguson added the fourth in injury time.

Brighton’s off-season has been dominated by speculation about Caicedo, with the club this week accepting what would be a record fee for a transfer in Britain of around £110 million (US$140 million) from Liverpool for the star midfielder. However, the deal has yet to be completed, with reports saying Caicedo is intent on joining Chelsea instead.

The 21-year-old Ecuador international was absent from the Amex Stadium as Brighton started its first season that will feature European soccer.

Luton is back in the top flight for the first time since being relegated from the old First Division in 1992, and was outplayed for most of the match. Its defeat could have been even bigger had Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross and Ferguson not all struck the woodwork.

Bournemouth 1, West Ham 1

In Bournemouth, Dominic Solanke scored a late goal to help the home side salvage a 1-1 draw against West Ham in Andoni Iraola’s debut as manager of the Cherries.

Solanke collected a loose ball in the box, rounded goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, and slotted it into the net in the 82nd minute at Vitality Stadium.

Jarrod Bowen had put the Hammers ahead with a left-footed curler in the 51st.

Iraola was hired in June after Bournemouth fired Gary O’Neil, who was let go despite keeping the team in the Premier League last season with four matches to spare. O’Neil was hired this week as manager of Wolverhampton.

Iraola guided Spanish club Rayo Vallecano to an 11th-place finish in La Liga last season in his third year there.

Kurt Zouma was named West Ham captain after Declan Rice’s move to Arsenal.

The Hammers finished 14th last season, one spot above Bournemouth.

Fulham 1, Everton 0

In Liverpool, Everton paid the price for a slew of missed chances by conceding in the 73rd minute to Bobby De Cordova-Reid in a 1-0 home loss to Fulham in the teams’ Premier League opener.

A new campaign brought new hope for Everton, which has fought to avoid relegation in recent seasons. But for all the improvements that manager Sean Dyche has made over the summer, it appears he has not yet solved Everton’s problems in front of goal.

De Cordova-Reid tapped in at the far post after Andreas Pereira slid in to get a cross over to the winger.

Everton — the Premier League’s lowest scorer last season — was again without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and generated twice as many shots (19-9) as the visitors.

Michael Keane’s first-half goal for Everton was disallowed as the center back turned the ball into an empty net and celebrated almost apologetically before referee Stuart Attwell, having initially not blown, ruled there had been an infringement in the collision between goalkeeper Bernd Leno and James Tarkowski.

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic started on the bench after ongoing interest from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal.

American defender Tim Ream started in his first competitive match for Fulham since breaking his right arm on April 30 against Manchester City.

Crystal Palace 1, Sheffield United 0

In Sheffield, Odsonne Edouard’s goal early in the second half earned Crystal Palace a 1-0 opening win at Sheffield United to worsen the gloom at Bramall Lane.

Edouard struck from close range four minutes after the restart in a game that Palace largely dominated. Jordan Ayew found a good position on the right-hand side and sent in a tricky low cross which Edouard stabbed in from close range.

Roy Hodgson’s Palace had two further goals disallowed, while Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham made a number of saves to keep his side in the game.

Sheffield United’s return to the top flight after two seasons away ended with a poor defeat to compound a negative few weeks which saw the sale of Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge. Manager Paul Heckingbottom acknowledged before the match that his team is “nowhere near” where they need to be, though the signing of Gustavo Hamer from Coventry overnight had boosted the mood.

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