The top stories from the opening weekend of the Premier League season
With the Premier League up and running, already patterns are emerging as to which teams might do well and which teams could struggle in the early stages of the campaign. The opening weekend brought plenty of intrigue, with no shortage of talking points from the first set of fixtures.
As fans continue to analyse the Premier League winner odds, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.
Newcastle off to a flyer
There’s no doubt that the most impressive performers on the first weekend of the season were Newcastle United, as Eddie Howe’s men thrilled the St. James’ Park faithful with a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa.
Having secured Champions League qualification thanks to last season’s heroics, it’s difficult to know what will the aim be for Newcastle this season. But based on the evidence of their opening-day performance, there could be further glory on the cards.
Winning starts for City and Arsenal
Manchester City and Arsenal were the two sides that set the standard last season, and both got their seasons off to a winning start thanks to respective victories over Burnley and Nottingham Forest.
Some are tipping Arsenal to go even closer to clinching the title this time around, and with key additions in the form of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, Mikel Arteta’s side will be tough opposition once more.
As for City, Pep Guardiola’s side will be the side to beat once again. It’s hard to see any serious drop in standards, and if Erling Haaland can stay fit then City could well be looking at four titles on the spin.
Chelsea and Liverpool share the spoils
The showpiece fixture of the opening weekend was Liverpool’s visit to Chelsea, and with both clubs battling to sign the same players in the transfer window, there was an added edge to proceedings at Stamford Bridge.
After a full-throttle opening half hour from Liverpool, in which Luis Diaz gave them the lead, Chelsea came roaring back into the game, and were unlucky not to claim all three points.
Axel Disasi’s equaliser got Chelsea back on track, and from that point on they gave Liverpool real problems. In the end, the points were shared, but there was enough for new Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino to be optimistic about.
Manchester United get lucky
The weekend closed with Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night. Many had expected a walk in the park for the home side given Wolves’ struggles in recent times. Having lost a whole host of players over the summer, along with head coach Julen Lopetegui, the West Midlands outfit are being tipped for relegation.
However, they produced a sensational performance at Old Trafford, and were incredibly unfortunate to come away empty-handed. Indeed, new boss Gary O’Neil was left fuming as his side were denied a blatant penalty towards the end of the match, which could have salvaged a point.
For United, big improvements will be needed if they’re to challenge Manchester City and Arsenal for the Premier League title.