TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 V 0 MANCHESTER CITY
Tottenham made light of the absence of unsettled Harry Kane to start the Premier League season with a win over champions Manchester City.Manchester City had a ten minute spell at the start of the game where they looked like the champions, but after going 15 minutes without a goal on the scoresheet, they lost their way, and it was Spurs who showed far more desire to win the game, winning most of the challenges and loose balls, catching Man City on the counter attack time after time, City were nulified and looked a very ordinary side after Spurs had taken the lead.
It was Son Heung-min who gave new manager Nuno Espirito Santo the perfect start to his reign with a low shot that snaked beyond Manchester City keeper Ederson 10 minutes after the break.Spurs fully deserved their win as they survived a shaky opening phase to play with real purpose, already showing signs of the Nuno trademark with fierce defensive discipline allied to pace on the break.Grealish had a quiet debut, being shown a yellow card late on, and it was actually Spurs who had the best opportunity after Son’s goal, only for Steven Bergwijn to shoot wide when clean through.City had fleeting opportunities but rarely tested Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris as they looked a shadow of the team we saw at the end of last season.
BRENTFORD 2 V 0 ARSENAL
What a great start for Brentford’s first game in the English Premier League. I saw Arsenal lose to Spurs last week in the ‘Mind’ tournament, they were very poor that day and were even worse at Brentford, the team lack desire, passion, and effort in both games and there are serious problems for Arteta to sort out. Brentford celebrated their return to the top tier after a 74-year absence with a memorable, magnificent victory over woeful Arsenal as they opened their Premier League campaign in style. Thomas Frank’s side was vibrant, skillful, and energetic on a night of high emotion at the Brentford Community Stadium, making the perfect start to the season, but inflicting serious pain on the Gunners in a sobering 90 minutes for the visitors. Brentford took to life in the big time with ease and fully deserved the lead given to them after 22 minutes when Sergi Canos drove low past keeper Bernd Leno at the near post, although Arsenal complained bitterly that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. Only Emile Smith Rowe truly rose above the mediocrity for Arsenal, forcing a save out of Brentford keeper David Raya – who also brilliantly denied Nicolas Pepe late on – before the home fans exploded in noise and elation when they scored a second with 17 minutes left. Arsenal, without strike pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through illness, paid the price for a hopeless attempt to defend substitute Mads Bech Sorensen’s routine long throw. New £50m defender Ben White was particularly culpable as Christian Norgaard arrived to head home. Brentford’s supporters, understandably, celebrated wildly at the final whistle, but this was a result and performance that instantly turns the spotlight on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as he desperately needs an improvement on last season.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 V 4 WEST HAM UNITED
An incredible performance from West Ham to come from behind twice to get their Premier League campaign off to the ideal start by beating Newcastle United in a hugely entertaining match at St James’ Park. The Hammers trailed 2-1 at halftime but staged a remarkable fightback after the break with goals from Said Benrahma, Tomas Soucek, and Michail Antonio. Callum Wilson put Newcastle ahead after just five minutes, heading home Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross to delight the 50,000 vocal fans in the stadium. West Ham equalised midway through the half after a VAR review ruled Aaron Cresswell’s cross-shot had gone all the way into the net untouched, despite the flag initially going up against Jarrod Bowen for offside. Newcastle regained the lead just before the break when Jacob Murphy nodded in Matt Ritchie’s cross but West Ham leveled again soon after the restart as Benrahma headed in. After Pablo Fornals was adjudged to have been fouled by Murphy inside the box, Antonio saw his penalty kept out by debutant keeper Freddie Woodman but Soucek reacted quickest to the rebound to put the Hammers ahead for the first time. Antonio then wrapped up the win, driving in a thunderous shot for his 47th Premier League goal for the West Ham.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYLi9r6x3Y4
MANCHESTER UNITED 5 V 1 LEEDS UNITED
This was an amazing performance from United to start the season and has sent a message to the Premier League of their intentions. Bruno Fernandes scored an opening-day hat-trick as Manchester United swept Leeds aside with a devastating second-half display. The Portugal midfielder opened the scoring on the half-hour at a packed Old Trafford, but Luke Ayling’s thunderous strike drew Leeds level early in the second half. Mason Greenwood restored the host’s lead with a crisp finish less than two minutes later before Fernandes’s low shot was ruled to have crossed the line by referee Paul Tierney after a check of goalline technology. However it was Pogba, who joined Fernandes with the man of the match, after all the speculation concerning his future, he was the conductor on his podium, orchestrating the victory.
His four assists included a sublime pass for Greenwood’s goal, and he left the field to a standing ovation 15 minutes from time as £74m new-boy Jadon Sancho was introduced for his debut.
BURNLEY 1 V BRIGHTON 2
In a game that has the hallmarks of a relegation battle even before the season has started, saw Brighton fight back after being a goal down to turn it around, Substitute Alexis Mac Allister scored a late winner as Brighton began the new Premier League season with a victory over Burnley at Turf Moor. Argentine Mac Allister met Pascal Gross cross just two minutes after being introduced by manager Graham Potter Neal Maupay had canceled out James Tarkowski’s controversial second-minute header as he slid in to meet Jakub Moder’s cross. It appeared as though Tarkowski’s early goal from Ashley Westwood’s corner would be ruled out after the Burnley defender pushed Maupay to the ground in the build-up, but a video assistant referee review went in the host’s favor despite Brighton protests. Burnley has now equaled their club record of 11 league matches without a home win. The relegation dogfight has begun!
CHELSEA 3 V 0 CRYSTAL PALACE
Welcome to Premier League management Patrick :-)Chelsea underlined their Premier League title credentials with a thoroughly comfortable win over new manager Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace. The highlight in front of a passionate Stamford Bridge crowd was when academy product Trevoh Chalobah smashed home their third from 25 yards on his Premier League debut. Chelsea was quality in their league opener as Vieira’s first game as a manager in England resulted in a weak performance. Marcos Alonso whipped in Chelsea’s opener with a free-kick from about 22 yards, Christian Pulisic then blasted in a second via the underside of the bar after Vicente Guaita spilled Mason Mount’s cross and Chalobah, who joined Chelsea’s youth set-up 14 years ago, drove home from distance to seal the win.
EVERTON 3 V 1 SOUTHAMPTON
Rafael Benitez got off to the perfect start as Everton manager, with his team coming from behind to beat Southampton in front of an ecstatic Goodison Park. The former Liverpool boss received a warm reception before kick-off which led to a positive start. But Southampton looked like they could be the party poopers as Michael Keane gifted an opener for Saints debutant Adam Armstrong, as he latched on to Che Adams’ ball to curl into the top corner. Everton struggled for the rest of the first half, but Benitez’s decision to put Richarlison upfront paid off immediately after the break as he poked home from debutant Andros Townsend’s header. (an ex-Spurs player creating this goal 🙂
Everton then upped the ante with two goals in the space of five minutes. First, Abdoulaye Doucoure turned in the penalty box before smashing into the top corner. And Benitez’s tactical switch proved a masterstroke as Richarlison, fresh from an Olympic gold medal with Brazil at Tokyo 2020, crossed for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score with a diving header at the near post.
LEICESTER CITY 1 V 0 WOLVES
Jamie Vardy was outstanding with his fine finish for Leicester meant Bruno Lage’s Wolves tenure began with a defeat at King Power Stadium. The Foxes’ number nine was the most lively player on the pitch and struck just before half-time courtesy of a well-timed run and an angled header from Ricardo Pereira’s right-wing cross. The 34-year-old, who netted 17 times last season including two on the final day against Tottenham, had earlier seen a finish from a tight angle ruled out for offside. Wolves, beginning life under Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor Lage, missed a golden chance before Vardy’s header but, having run clear of the defense Adama Traore side-footed tamely wide, Lage had promised a more attacking approach than that seen in Nuno Santo’s final season at Wolves and there was certainly evidence of greater adventure after the break as they pushed forward in pursuit of an equalizer. Wolves probably should have got a point at Leicester, but good defending stemmed the Wolves attacks,
It was great to see a return to action for Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who was quiet in his first game since fracturing his skull last November.
WATFORD 3 V 2 ASTON VILLA
Watford marked their Premier League return with a thrilling opening day victory over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road. The Hornets, who sealed automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, saw off a late Villa comeback to hold on to all three points. Xisco Munoz’s side took the lead on 10 minutes through forwarding Emmanuel Dennis on his debut. Ismaila Sarr doubled the hosts’ lead three minutes before half-time, beating goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez with a cruel deflection off Villa captain Tyrone Mings. There was another debut goal for Watford substitute Cucho Hernandez, who added a third from the edge of the box seconds after coming on to the pitch. But complacency set in and the Watford fans had their hearts in their mouths as Villa scored two goals a brilliant half-volley from John McGinn and
Danny Ings then scored his first Villa goal from the penalty spot in injury time after Bertrand Traore was tripped by Adam Masina, but it was too little too late for Villa.
NORWICH 0 V 3 LIVERPOOL
Mohamed Salah scored one and provided two assists as Liverpool got their Premier League title bid off to a winning start with a comfortable victory at newly-promoted Norwich City. Salah got his side’s third to become the first player to score on the opening weekend in five consecutive Premier League campaigns and cap a fine display after earlier setting up Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. The Reds were boosted before kick-off by the return of talismanic defender Virgil van Dijk after 10 months out through injury and their day got even better when they took the lead midway through the first half. Trent Alexander-Arnold found Salah inside the box and the Egypt forward’s touch fell into the path of Jota for Portugal forward to finish clinically. Once Liverpool went in front there was only going to be one winner as Norwich struggled to halt the Liverpool onslaught. Max Aarons cleared a goal-bound effort from Sadio Mane six minutes after the break but a second goal duly arrived shortly after the hour mark when substitute Firmino struck.Brazil forward had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he tapped in from close range after unselfish work from Salah, who opted to pass to his teammate when he had the chance to shoot from a tighter angle. Salah then wrapped up the perfect opening day for the Reds when he collected the ball after a corner had only been half-cleared and curled a fine strike into the back of the net. Liverpool have laid down the challenge 🙂
I had the same excellent start as Spurs and Man United, in my predictions I had eight correct results 🙂
Please see following my predictions for week 2
Liverpool 4 v 1 Burnley
Aston Villa 3 v 1 Newcastle United
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Brentford
Leeds United 1 v 2 Everton
Manchester City 3 v 1 Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 v 1 Watford
Southampton 1 v 3 Manchester United
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 v 3Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal 1 v 2 Chelsea
I hope that your team had a good start to the season
Have a nice week
Dr Gary Mabbutt MBE, Hon Doctor Health, Hon Doctor Law, Hon MSc