The English Premier League is considered to be the most entertaining competition in the world. Liverpool hosted Norwich on Friday in the opening game of the season. The derby between Manchester United and Chelsea was the final showpiece of the weekend. While you may expect a lot of BTTS predictions coming up for that division soon, we would like to share what impressed us the most from matchweek 1. Our focus will be on the top six clubs.
It is hard to believe that City seem to be even more frightening team this year. The reigning champions have a real strength in depth. They trashed West Ham in their visit to the London Stadium without selecting two of the most important players from last season in their starting line-up. Sergio Aguero was a second-half substitute while Bernardo Silva stayed on the bench for 90 minutes.
However, the Citizens’ performance was not affected by their absence. Raheem Sterling was the man of the match with his hat-trick but Riyad Mahrez (two assists) and Gabriel Jesus (1 goal) also delivered. As Jose Mourinho said, Manchester City B team can be a real title challenger.
Liverpool enjoyed a successful start of the season beating Norwich comfortably at Anfield. Sadio Mane started on the bench but their attack was firing at full cylinders. Klopp’s men had a 4-0 lead in the 42nd minute. However, that results doesn’t tell the whole story. Liverpool were frustrated by the high press of Norwich. It led to some defensive errors and the Canaries had few good opportunities to score the first goal.
Another setback was the injury of Allison who may be sidelined for some time. The Reds had the best defence in the league last year, so such worries at the back came as a surprise. Klopp needs to find the defensive stability asap as it will be crucial for their title battle.
Spurs strengthened their squad significantly during the summer with the signings of Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso. The Frenchman even scored his first goal against Aston Villa. Despite those transfers, Tottenham struggled to break their opponents until late in the game.
The key moment was when Pochettino brought on Christian Eriksen in search of an equaliser. The future of the Danish international is still unclear but his current employers have to make anything possible to keep him at their disposal. Eriksen’s vision and great passing range are vital for Tottenham’s system.
One of the players who usually bear the fruits from his distribution is Harry Kane. Spurs’ talisman had struggled to find form early in the previous seasons but scored twice on Sunday. Tottenham need him to hit the ground running in order to keep pace with the league leaders.
Frank Lampard had a debut to forget at the helm of Chelsea. His side was beaten 4-0 at Old Trafford but some positives can still be taken from that game. Chelsea were on the front foot from the start and United had no answer to their intensive press early on.
The Blues conceded against the run of play but still hit the woodwork twice in the first half. The second part of the game was a different story and Chelsea’s defence was badly exposed by United’s counter-attacks. Lampard relied on the younger players but he still has to find the right balance. Some of the more experienced team members are about to return from injuries which would help his cause.
Unai Emery raised a few eyebrows with his starting line-up against Newcastle. The Gunners signed a couple of players for the first team but none of them started the game. Arsenal fought hard for the three points and Aubameyang showed his poacher instinct again.
Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe made their debuts and their fluid integration in the team may not be a bad idea after all. Emery has to find the right formula to win games until that happens.
All debutants performed well in their first outing for the club. Harry Maguire dominated the aerial duels, intercepted a lot of passes and was calm with the ball in his feet. Aaron Wan Bissaka kept making a tackle after tackle and his aggression is a great addition to the team.
Daniel James managed to find the net in his first appearance for the club. Besides the new signings, there were some other positives. Martial and Rashford scored as both will be trusted to replace Lukaku in the attack.
Pogba made two great assists but the speculations about his future are still ongoing. United’s midfield relies on him heavily and the Red Devils were struggling to keep the ball in the first half until he started to perform after the break. His potential department would be a great setback for the team.
Now let’s see the dream team after the 1st round: