By Niall Clarke

  • Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week one
  • Full results

The Premier League season has started with a bang with some big upsets and some thrilling encounters. Here are five lessons we learned from the first week of the new campaign.

 

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Chelsea still need to invest more this transfer window

Chelsea’s title defence got off to a nightmare start as they were beaten 3-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge. But further problems arose as they also had Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas sent off, meaning they will miss next week’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Chelsea captain saw Red after just 14 minutes for a rash challenge on Steven Defour. Burnley would take advantage of their extra man to take an extraordinary 3-0 lead by half time. Sam Vokes’s double sandwiched Stephen Ward’s effort as the Clarets were in dream land.

Chelsea brought on £70 million striker Alvaro Morata to try turn the tide in the second half, and the Spaniard made his presence known with a goal and an assist for David Luiz as they lodged an unlikely comeback. Fabregas saw Red with 10 minutes to go and Chelsea could not turn around the deficit as their title defence started with defeat.

Chelsea went the whole of last season without a single red card, and already they have two this campaign. With both Cahill and Fabregas missing for the next game, the lack of real depth in the squad becomes a concern.

With a lack of midfield options available against Spurs next week,  there will be no surprise if Chelsea look to invest in another midfielder to fill that void. It seems like they let one too many go in the summer and may pay for it if they do not replace the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nemanja Matic.

 

Savour the moment Huddersfield fans, you are second in the Premier League

Not many people will have predicted Huddersfield Town to finish the first match-week at the top of the Premier League, but for now the Terriers are near the top of the table. The West Yorkshire side, playing their first ever Premier League game, not only beat Crystal Palace 3-0, they dominated the game at Selhurst Park. Welcome to the Premier League.

Huddersfield took the lead after Mathias Jorgensen’s header flew in off Joel Ward for an own goal on 23 minutes. Only a couple of minutes later, the Yorkshire side doubled their advantage through Steve Mounie, much to the delight of the travelling fans.

The Terriers further punished a poor Palace side with a third goal 12 minutes from time as their record signing scored his second goal of the match to secure a dream start for David Wagner in the Premier League.

Many have doubted Huddersfield’s chances of staying in the division, but this performance showed they are ready to prove their doubters wrong. Huddersfield sat top of the Premier League for 24 hours, and even if it was just for day, it is an image their fans will savour for a long time.

 

Title contenders Man City, Man United and Spurs start with victories

Manchester City and Tottenham kicked off their title bids with 2-0 away wins against newly promoted sides on the opening weekend of the season.

The Citizens travelled south to the AMEX to play a stubborn Brighton side full of courage but lacking in quality. Pep Guardiola’s side dominated proceedings throughout, but struggled to break down a well organised Brighton defence.

Eventually though, Chris Houghton’s side were broken down by none other than Sergio Aguero. The Argentine latched onto David Silva’s pass to fire home another goal on the opening game of the season. Five minutes later their lead was doubled after Lewis Dunk headed Fernandinho’s cross into his own net.

Spurs had similar problems against Newcastle in the first half, but after Jonjo Shelvey stupidly got himself sent off for a stamp on Dele Alli, last season’s runners up took complete control of the match. Alli opened the scoring before Ben Davies added a second to complete a comfortable victory for Tottenham.

Manchester United had no trouble with dispatching West Ham at Old Trafford as the Red Devils hammered Slaven Bilic’s side 3-0 on Sunday to go top of the Premier League

Romelu Lukaku got his Man United career off to a perfect start with a brace on his Premier League debut. The Belgian netted either side of half time to give United a clear two goal lead. Jose Mourinho’s side grabbed a further two goals through Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to leapfrog Huddersfield into first place and cap off a dominating performance.

With Chelsea suffering a shock defeat to Burnley, avoiding a shock of their own was even more important for these title contending sides. They have already established a three point advantage over the defending champions, and every point is vital during the course of a season.

 

It was a good weekend for debut players

With many big signings keen to prove their worth, the opening weekend of the Premier League season saw many debutants get on the score-sheet for their new clubs. Alexandre Lacazette netted his first Premier League goal within two minutes of his debut in Arsenal’s 4-3 win over Leicester on Friday night. Mohamed Salah also got his first goal for Liverpool in their 3-3 draw with Watford.

Morata scored and assisted in his Premier League debut, whilst Lukaku and Mounie got braces in their Premier League debuts for Manchester United and Huddersfield.

Wayne Rooney marked his return to Everton with a goal of his own to give the Toffees a 1-0 win over stoke on Saturday. And despite not getting on the score-sheet, Kyle Walker was named man of the match in his Manchester City debut against Brighton.

Overall it was a positive weekend for new signings and clubs of these of particular players will no doubt be pleased with what they saw on their debuts.

 

Weekends just got a whole lot better

During the three months of the off-season, football fans may have turned their attention to other sports to keep them entertained over summer. With Wimbledon, The Open, test cricket and the new Formula One season in full flow, there was certainly plenty to choose from for the Sports fan to get their teeth stuck in to.

But when the Premier League returned on Friday for Arsenal vs Leicester, there was a collective cheer from football fans around the world, the beautiful game is back.

Weekends are not the same without live football, and to many the start of the new season is a sigh of relief. The end of the week is no longer spent wondering what to do, football is back and they have just got a whole lot better.

The season kicked off in style with the first two games providing 13 goals between them. Saturday’s 3pm kick offs provided shocks such as Chelsea’s defeat to Burnley and Huddersfield’s win over Crystal Palace. And Super-Sunday saw two title hopefuls strut their stuff to get their campaign up and running.

Overall it was a cracking start to what promises to be an exciting season of football, and you can follow it all with Britwatch Sports.

 

Predictions round-up

Niall got off to a good start with 13 points in the opening weekend. He correctly predicted the scores of three games over the weekend on top of the four other results he successfully predicted.

Neil went bolder with some of his predictions, but his gutsy guessing provided little glory in the opening weekend. He did not get any scores correct, but he successfully picked Arsenal, Man City and Man United victories.

So Niall has a ten point advantage after the first week, leaving Neil with some early catching up to do. But there are still 37 weeks to go in the season, so there is plenty of time for Neil to turn it around.

 

Team Predictions

Niall Points Neil Points
Arsenal 2-1 Leicester  1 Arsenal 2-1 Leicester  1
Watford 2-2 Liverpool  1 Watford 1-3 Liverpool  0
Chelsea 3-0 Burnley  0 Chelsea 3-1 Burnley  0
Crystal Palace 3-1 Huddersfield  0 Crystal Palace 1-1 Huddersfield  0
Everton 1-0 Stoke  3 Everton 0-1 Stoke  0
Southampton 2-0 Swansea 0 Southampton 1-0 Swansea  0
West Brom 1-0 Bournemouth  3 West Brom 2-2 Bournemouth  0
Brighton 1-4 Man City  1 Brighton 1-3 Man City  1
Newcastle 0-2 Tottenham  3 Newcastle 3-2 Tottenham  0
Man United 2-1 West Ham  1 Man United 2-1 West Ham  1
Week 1 Score
13 Week 1 Score 1
Total Score
13
Total Score
3

Full Premier League results

Friday

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester

Saturday

Chelsea 2-3 Burnley

Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield

Everton 1-0 Stoke

Southampton 0-0 Swansea

West Brom 1-0 Bournemouth

Brighton 0-2 Man City

Sunday

Newcastle 0-2 Tottenham

Man United 4-0 West Ham

The Premier League returns on August 19th

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