The Premier League got off to a bright start this weekend with plenty of goals and surprising results; below are some highlights from the opening games.
Bournemouth v Aston Villa, 2-0
Despite spending £50 million last season, they only managed to gain one point. Only Marcus Tavernier was able to start Bournemouth’s opening-day triumph over Aston Villa out of the three players they signed. Tavernier got things going right away with a vibrant performance, but Bournemouth gaffer Scott Parker needs more help.
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion, 1-2
It would be cruel to single out one player from Erik ten Hag’s disastrous Manchester United debut performance, but Lisandro Martinez really struggled against Brighton. Of course, the new centre back is still learning the ropes, but he will need to progress quickly.
The manager is familiar with the small-framed Argentinian, but there are concerns about his height. When Danny Welbeck missed a close-range header in the second half, he rose highest above him.
This season, he will face repeated aerial bombardment of the kind he couldn’t handle against Brighton. During the same play, Martinez may have also given up a penalty, giving the 24-year-old no reason to believe he can strengthen United’s porous defense.
Leicester v Brentford, 2-2
How much will Leicester City miss Kasper Schmeichel as they get ready for what might be a new era? Prior to his departure to Nice last week, their most recent captain had started each season’s first game for more than ten years.
Danny Ward, who has served as his patient assistant for the previous four years, did well in the 2-2 draw with Brentford, but Brendan Rodgers’ team’s dynamics have changed significantly. Schmeichel was a fantastic shot-blocker as well as a very passionate and outspoken figure.
However, Leicester’s appalling track record in set-piece losses last season suggests that Ward has a chance to help the squad advance. We appeared to be strong at set-pieces because he was strong and confident, according to Rodgers.
Everton v Chelsea, 0-1
Thomas Tuchel was satisfied on the first day despite appearing unsurprised and unconcerned by Chelsea’s lack of originality thanks to a rare victory at Goodison Park, a clean sheet, and outstanding debuts from the summer arrivals Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, and later Marc Cucurella.
At halftime, the manager joked that perhaps this was a typical Chelsea game in which we win 1-0 and Jorgi scores on a penalty. So it turned out. Mason Mount and Kai Havertz remained anonymous despite Sterling’s probing, and Everton’s injury-riddled defence was not troubled by any of the 16 corners or numerous inviting free kicks.
Tuchel predicted that Raheem will boost Pulisic, Kai, and Mason. Wrongly.
Tottenham v Southampton, 4-1
Conte is aware that the bench, which previously lacked Richarlison due to suspension but also featured Fraser Forster and Djed Spence, now has the depth to challenge across the board. The message was very clear, he continued, “We’ve bought new players to improve our squad since our squad was really bad last season and the Champions League place was a tremendous achievement.”
Antonio Conte doesn’t often appear to be happy with life, but his attitude following Tottenham’s stunning comeback victory over Southampton showed that the summer’s work had paid off.
Ivan Perisic, Clément Lenglet, and Yves Bissouma, three fresh additions, were only handed late cameos after Spurs were already 4-1 ahead.
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest, 2-0
In addition to Fabian Schär, Eddie Howe decided to keep Dan Burn as his left-side, left-footed centre defender. Given that Botman is also left-footed, it was assumed that the former Brighton defender would be the one to move aside, but Burn made it obvious that he wouldn’t give up his spot easily as Newcastle defeated Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
Burn, who earned Howe’s plaudits in the technical area after, at one stage, dispossessing Forest’s galloping forward Brennan Johnson with textbook timing and technique, shined perhaps only slightly brighter than midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
Schär, in the meantime, shattered Forest’s defense with a mesmerizing 25-yard shot, and Callum Wilson’s nifty goal secured the triumph.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal, 0-2
Gabriel Martinelli took three months to open his account last season, but it only took him 20 minutes to do it this time. Despite the euphoria surrounding Gabriel Jesus, his header at Selhurst Park served as a reminder that Arsenal also has another potentially explosive Brazilian forward in its ranks.
Martinelli, who has a tendency to play on the left but switched positions with Jesus to good effect during the first half, makes it easy to forget that he is only 21 years old.
His long-term future appears to be in the middle. Martinelli would undoubtedly be able to fill that position skillfully if necessary, despite the fact that many Arsenal supporters desire a backup centre-forward to help Jesus and Eddie Nketiah with the weight.
There are several positive aspects of the teammates’ seeming natural connection for the time being.
Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, 2-1
Last season, Leeds only had four home victories in the Premier League, including three against teams that were relegated. They remained up late on the last day, and they’ll want to prevent a fight like that this time. They will have to work on their form at Elland Road in order to do this.
The plus side of last season, according to Jesse Marsch, is that they scored some significant points on the road while falling short at home. Leeds have a foundation to build on after beating Wolves on the first day of the season thanks to goals from their striker Rodrigo and an own goal.
On Saturday, the team had support from the crowd from the very beginning, which gave them encouragement even after the Wolves took the lead.
West Ham United v Manchester City, 0-2
As they strolled into the new season, the Premier League champions enjoyed 77% of the ball. It served as another illustration of how Pep Guardiola can use surprises to his advantage. It is common to see full-backs appear in unexpected locations.
While demonstrating that they can adjust to Erling Haaland’s presence while anticipating his nimble runs, City are continually changing from game to game. With innovations around the field, they have made adjustments in the attacking third and will keep other teams on their toes.
Fulham v Liverpool, 2-2
Jürgen Klopp posed the query to the press, asking if Virgil van Dijk had in fact fouled Aleksandar Mitrovic to concede a penalty. In the lead-up to Mitrovic’s opening goal, he also out loudly questioned whether Jordan Henderson had been fouled.
He still didn’t have many complaints about leaving Craven Cottage with a good point. “It’s up to me to figure out why,” he said.
His seasoned players had been primarily at fault. The Fulham striker Mitrovic terrorized Van Dijk while also raising concerns about Trent Alexander’s defence. When Mitrovic slammed into the back post, the full-back winced. While Roberto Firmino struggled in attack, Henderson struggled in midfield with Andreas Pereira.
The good news was that Darwin Nunez’s enthusiasm helped Liverpool once he took Firmino’s place, with the help of former Fulham players Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho.
Could the disappointments of last season still be affecting Liverpool’s old guard? All will soon be revealed via a condensed, World Cup-shortened schedule.