The return of the Premier League always creates a massive buzz, and this opening weekend was no different. The introduction of VAR, newly promoted sides, and new signings really helped make this a special opening weekend. I will provide a general overview of how each match went and a quick highlight of the matches in this new series. The Premier […]
The return of the Premier League always creates a massive buzz, and this opening weekend was no different. The introduction of VAR, newly promoted sides, and new signings really helped make this a special opening weekend. I will provide a general overview of how each match went and a quick highlight of the matches in this new series.
The Premier League kicked off with newly-promoted Norwich visiting Anfield. Liverpool finished the match with four goals for Norwich’s one. Unfortunately, Allison went off injured, being replaced with new acquisition Adrian. Norwich got forward plenty but couldn’t convert chances, with Fabinho getting eight tackles from midfield. This was a good start for the Reds, who will be looking to overtake City for the League this season.
City went to West Ham for the early game on Saturday, a team that City has enjoyed playing over the last few seasons. Outscoring West Ham 5-0 this time, City had a VAR call go against them with a barely offside Raheem Sterling assist into Gabriel Jesus called back. They did get a penalty to retake after Declan Rice encroached into the area, which allowed Sergio Aguero to be able to convert his second penalty. Raheem Sterling finished with a hat trick, the first since Didier Drogba on an opening weekend.
Sheffield’s return to the Premier League saw them travel to Bournemouth to take on the Cherries. The match ended with a 1-1 draw, but there is plenty to take away from the game. The Cherries had more chances and look to improve in front of the net, converting one goal off of 13 shots, three of which were on target. Sheffield’s own Billy Sharp equalized in the 88th minute, rescuing a point on the road.
Burnley hosted Southampton on Saturday, winning 3-0 at home. Ashley Barnes proved effective, scoring a brace and being a nuisance to the Southampton backline. Southampton had more shots and possession but made costly mistakes which led to cheap goals. Erik Pieters marked his debut with two assists, one of which was a lovely cross that allowed Barnes to coolly finish from inside the box.
Everton traveled to Selhurst Park for their opening match, kicking off their campaign with a 0-0 draw. The Toffies controlled the possession and created more chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Everton’s Morgan Scheinderlin got sent off, which opened the game up for Palace. Wantaway Wilfried Zaha came on to a wonderful ovation for Crystal Palace and provided the attacking outlet that they desperately needed.
New look Brighton traveled to Vicarage Road to face Watford at the 10am kickoff, winning 3 points on the road. Watford looked to start this season like last, but an Abdoulaye Doucore own goal marked a slow start. Brighton looks more adventurous so far, passing a lot more and creating a lot of chances. 3-0 was the final scoreline, with Neal Maupay scoring on his Premier League debut.
Aston Villa traveled to Spurs for the late match on Saturday. Villa opened the scoring, with a great long ball played into John McGinn who fired it past Hugo Lloris in the 9th minute. Spurs made changes in the second half, allowing them to score 3 goals in the final 20 minutes and claim all 3 points. Debutant Tanguy Ndombele scored an absolute belter, which opened the scoring for Tottenham in the 73rd minute.
Wolves went to the King Power to face off with Leicester City on Sunday, looking to carry the momentum of their Europa League qualifying success. The game ended 0-0, with a lot of chances being created. Leicester will look to improve off of Brendan Rodgers’ attacking philosophy, having 70% of the ball and completing 665 passes. Wolves were largely ineffective, looking dangerous on the counter but having only 1 shot on target. They will hopefully create more chances next week at Molineux.
Arsenal traveled up to St. James Park to face off against Newcastle, securing an away clean sheet in a 1-0 win. This equals the same amount of away clean sheets the Gunners had all of last season. Newcastle spent big on attackers this summer, with Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin making their debuts. Newcastle only had two shots on target, so hopefully, they can get better service into their front men. Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe also made his debut, coming on as a late substitute.
The final match of the week saw Chelsea go up to the Theater of Dreams to play Manchester United. Chelsea dominated early, but a Kurt Zouma foul led to Marcus Rashford scoring from 12 yards out. two goals in three minutes off the counter saw united go up 3-0, with Paul Pogba taking charge of the game. Frank Lampard will look to rally his men when they face Leicester at Stamford Bridge next weekend.
The opening weekend is always a circled date on the calendar. Fans from all over the globe tune in to see their club in action.