Some intriguing aspects were learnt in a thrilling week of football.
The new Premier League season started off with a bang at the weekend, with some amazing games bringing back the enjoyment fans have been missing for a few months now. There were some very one-sided matches, but a whole load of entertainment was guaranteed in a gameweek which saw many goals being scored.
While it’s still too soon to predict the eventual outcome, there were some intriguing results which indicated how the league could shape up. So, here are the five things we learned from the opening weekend of the Premier League.
5. Promoted teams no easy fodder for league regulars
The promoted teams in the Premier League this season spent over £200m in the summer to make sure they perform well and they proved to be competitive in the opening week. While Fulham and Cardiff City both succumbed to defeats, they showed impressive signs with the former especially being unlucky to not get a result.
Wolves looked a resurgent side, who with the inspiring Ruben Neves, have the potential to finish in the top half this season and seemingly symbolized the strength of the promoted sides, who will not be pushovers against any opposition this campaign.
4. Patience the key for Arsenal
The Unai Emery era at Arsenal might not have gotten off to the best of starts, but the Gunners seem to be a more organized unit under their new manager. It will take some time for the Spaniard to properly immerse his philosophy into the club, but patches of change were already visible in their gameplay.
The impressive debut by newcomer Matteo Guendouzi was proof of how well players with knowledge of Emery’s system can perform and why he needs to be trusted to build his own squad and get rid of the deadwood, for the Gunners to reclaim their long-lost glory.
3. Chelsea better without Morata?
Chelsea started life under coach Maurizio Sarri with a bang, as the Blues defeated sorry Huddersfield Town 0-3 to stake their claim in the Premier League title race. However, despite being stunning going forward, Chelsea still lacked a cutting-edge striker and Alvaro Morata‘s poor form in front of goal isn’t helping them.
Morata looked lacklustre against Huddersfield, barely getting into promising positions and often scuffing chances. It seems like he’s holding Chelsea back, when they could become an even more dangerous attacking unit without the off-colour Spanish forward, who isn’t enjoying life in the Premier League at all.
2. Shaky United require improvement
Manchester United started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Leicester City, but the Red Devils hardly looked convincing in the game. While their leader Paul Pogba was majestic on the night and was helped by strong performances from Fred and Andreas Perreira, there are still major improvements needed in United’s team.
Alexis Sanchez needs to find his goalscoring boots, while United need a better right-back than the uninterested Matteo Darmian. Jose Mourinho has to let his players operate more freely to play the attractive football they’re capable off, as persistence with “negative football” could soon cause big problems within the squad.
1. City still Premier League’s best by a distance
Manchester City put in an absolute clinic as they brushed aside Arsenal to begin their Premier League title defence with a comfortable win, in what was a difficult opener for them. Pep Guardiola’s men still look absolutely unstoppable and the way they dominated the Gunners in their own backyard, despite not starting with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi, proved how unbelievable strong they are.
There will be no “Champions Curse” when it comes to a team as focused and as in control as City and it looks like they could achieve the feat of retaining their Premier League crown with ease, if they keep on playing such dominant football.