Premier League round-up: Statements of intents and United’s false comfort
The first weekend came with aplomb, an abundance of goals here and there and a few early surprises and we start at Vicarage Road where relegation favorites Brighton took the Hornets to the cleaners mercilessly; what went wrong for Jarvi Gracia’s men?
Everything, from the laxity in defense to the clueless midfield and the impotent forward plays and you wonder what happened to the promising preseason that they had; and what a way to start from Brighton, three goals without replies, the Seagulls isn’t here to play.
Burnley put three past Southampton, as always; the Saints are here to struggle again, another disaster recipe, their questionable summer transfers already prepared them for a season of huge distress but trust them to always find a way to change manager in dire times and patch things up in the very end.
Elsewhere it was a stalemate at Selhurst, Everton couldn’t find a way past the Eagles but it will take a while for Palace to settle after the Wilfred Zaha summer transfer drama but they got Gary Cahill to shore things up in defense but will still be part of the relegation troubles.
Wolves and Leicester settled for a goalless draw, VAR had a part to play as Leonard Dendoncker’s goal was chalked off rightly for handball; it was a fair result for the wild animals that are expected to trouble the log leaders, watch out for them.
Let’s talk about the newbies, of the three teams that came from the championship, it was only Sheffield United that earned a point, a very good point at the Vitality Stadium after Bournemouth took an early lead; Aston Villa gave a good fight against a very formidable Spurs side, went ahead and had opportunities to extend their lead but didn’t, only for them to crumble at the feet of Harry Kane’s brace and a Lamela strike.
Norwich stood no chance against the mighty Liverpool, they shipped four first-half goals and made sure they didn’t concede in the second half, thanks to great goalkeeping and dedicated defending; Liverpool lost Alison to injury in the first half and substitute goalkeeper, Adrian conceded in the second half for it to end 4-1.
Still early days but one can tell the teams that would be involved in the relegation dogfights from the first round results. Speaking of Spurs, they will once again be here to show signs of a potential champion and don’t be surprised to see them at the top; Tanguy Ndombele proved a bargain with his all-round display, the Spurs team is quite balanced and if injury is kind to Mauricio Pochetino, we might have a new champion come May of 2020.
Lots of followers were expecting to see what version of Arsenal would file out at St James’s Park, from their seemingly smart summer signings to the fact that it’s the second season of Unai Emery so things should be better and to the fact that they have huge response to give to the horrendous Europa League final showing.
They didn’t disappoint, relatively though considering the bomb start their supposed rivals had, but an away win, with clean sheet means a lot to a team that only won a handful of games away from home last season and considering a weak midfield and a fragile defense that had Callum Chambers in it, an aging Nacho Monreal in it and a very error-prone Maitland Niles in it, you’d appreciate the clean sheet.
Manchester United blew Chelsea away, but they must not be too comfortable, their summer signings came through in defense and should be positives from an awkward business point, Harry Maguire and Wan Bissaka showed signs of assurance and Daniel James added his bit when he came on, but what happens when Rashford is unavailable or decides to switch off as he did last season? The midfield wasn’t particularly impressive but they shone brightly against a very poor Chelsea side.
Frank Lampard would look at his debut and wish the opponent on the day were different, it was a very unkind one and he didn’t cover himself in glory with his selection of Tammy Abraham over Olivier Giroud upfront; selling David Luiz to Arsenal also came back to haunt him, it will be a very long season for the Blues.
We already know who to watch out for in terms of the championship with the way Liverpool and City approached their games, Liverpool dismantled Norwich in just forty-five minutes and the second was just a mere formality, Manchester City cruised past Westham with Raheem Sterling hitting a hattrick, how do you know potential champions? It’s by their hunger even when they’re leading; we saw that in Spurs and United but you can’t compare their circumstances and drive to that of the other two. City are on top and United are second, is this a sign of what we should expect this season?