It feels like normalcy is back in our lives as the new season of Premier League football kicked off this weekend. The Premier League returned with its fair few shares of surprises and some reminders. Here’s everything you need to know about the first round of Premier League fixtures:
Arsenal kicked off their campaign in style with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, but the Gunners weren’t as flattering as the scoreline might suggest. Palace(14) got the third most points against the top 6 last season behind just Liverpool(18) and Manchester City(20) and looked sure to come away with something before a Marc Guehi own goal in the 85th minute which put the game to bed. By no means this was a straightforward win for the Gunners, but I have no doubts that the Arsenal team of last season wouldn’t have come away with three points from this game.
Liverpool stunned at Craven Cottage
What was expected to be an easy outing for the community shield winners against the newly promoted Fulham side turned out to be an enthralling end-to-end action-packed 2-2 draw. Liverpool still looked in preseason mood, whereas Fulham played with the energy we are so used to seeing this Liverpool team play within their games.
Death, taxes and Mohamed Salah scoring on the opening weekend of the Premier League are the only constants as the Egyptian upped his record to six consecutive goals on the opening day in the Premier League and eight overall, tied with Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer, and Wayne Rooney. New signing Darwin Nunez came off the bench and provided Liverpool with a different attacking outlet and soon bagged his first Premier League goal.
Aleksander Mitrovic bagged both the goals for the Cottagers and the headlines, but Joao Palhinha’s debut performance didn’t go unnoticed.
The Portuguese midfielder was linked with a move to Wolves for much parts of the window before they pulled out, and Palhinha made the switch from Sporting CP to Fulham for around £17 million. Palhinha was a real disruptor in the middle of the park. He made six tackles (most by any player), won 7/9 ground duels and was decent in possession.
This performance would have made the Wolves fans a little uncomfortable as they saw their side stumble against Leeds away from home, losing 2-1.
Same old Manchester United and same old Manchester City
The mood in Manchester hasn’t changed much since last season, where the disappointment remains in the red half while the celebrations continue in the blue.
Brighton won their first ever game at Old Trafford as they defeated United 2-1. You have to give credit where it’s due. Graham Potter has made this Brighton team a serious contender for a finish in the top half of the table regularly despite losing Yves Bissouma and their player of the season Marc Cucurella in the summer transfer window.
Off the ball, United players looked clueless about how the Brighton players kept popping in crucial positions in the final third. On the ball, United was reminiscent of their previous season as they looked sluggish and lacked creative ideas moving up the pitch.
Injury to Anthony Martial, the most impressive attacker in the preseason didn’t help the new manager Erik Ten Hag either, who opted to play 4-4-2 with Rashford and Sancho out wide, and it was clear from the start that United’s attack lacked a focal point. Much talked about Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced in the second half in which United played better as a team but failed to avoid a defeat.
This could be a long season for United if they don’t act smartly in the transfer window in what time that is remaining.
Manchester City travelled to London for their opening game and new signing Erling Haaland impressed with two goals on his Premier League debut as Cityzens came away with all three points with a 2-0 victory against West Ham United.
Dejan Kulusevski shines as Tottenham Hotspur thrash Southampton 4-1
After an ominous start to the game which saw them concede the opening goal in the 12th minute to a James Ward-Prowse volley, Spurs produced what was expected of them. Manager Antonio Conte didn’t start any of his five summer signings, a decision which eventually paid off as Spurs came from behind to win the game. Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team won just one of their last 13 fixtures in the previous season.
Another relegation scrap for Everton?
Everton suffered a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea at Goodison Park in their opening game and the signs are not promising for the Toffees. Yes, we know it’s the first game of the season, but when you lose your frontline striker in the transfer window and don’t replace him and given Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s recent injury record, Everton will struggle massively to put the ball in the back of the net.
Chelsea has problems of their own, a window in which they have seen numerous outgoings but very few incomings so far to put in a title challenge of their own. The blues have seen both their strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner secure moves away from Stamford Bridge and are yet to be replaced. However, Jorginho’s penalty ensured Chelsea started on the right note.
A top 10 finish for the Magpies?
Newcastle has carried their impressive form at the end of the last season into their first fixture of this season. Newcastle handed a 2-0 defeat to the newly promoted Nottingham Forest, who played their first game in the Premier League after a 23-year absence from top-flight football. Newcastle had to wait until the 15th fixture in December last season to get their first win. A long-range strike from Fabian Schar and a goal from Callum Wilson helped Newcastle get off the right start this season.
Bournemouth win on their return to the Premier League
Bournemouth marked their return to top-flight football with a convincing 2-0 win over Aston Villa which came as a surprise to many. Villa’s squad is loaded with talent and experience; however, the Cherries were worthy winners with the help of goals from Jefferson Lerma and Kieffer Moore. Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers didn’t have a save to make in the second half and comfortably saw the game out.
Leicester pegged back by Brentford
Leicester looked set to register a win in their first outing this season after goals from Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall before Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva hit back for Brentford and the game ended 2-2.