Premier League Week One: What we learned
Coral round-up the weekend results
Wow. The English Premier League is back, and what a way to start. Arsenal and Leicester kicked us off with a gripping seven-goal Friday night battle. The Foxes weren’t given a chance before the off, and looked deep in trouble with Lacazette scoring after just two minutes.
Arsenal eventually won the tie 4-3, but needed two late goals from Ramsey and Giroud to make home advantage count. There’s plenty more for football fans to talk about on Monday – Chelsea beaten, Everton unconvincing and Huddersfield’s fighting spirit.
Here’s three things we learned from week one of the Premier League…..
Chelsea need new faces
Chelsea’s squad is down to the barebones – for a side with their ambitions. Last season’s title winning manager Antonio Conte would’ve hoped to have the bulk of his transfer activity done already, but a few star names on the injury list and the hosts struggled to fill the gaps.
If the board don’t back their manager soon, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him walk, or be pushed, as he’s not one to hide his feelings.
The Blues had Cahill sent off after just 14 minutes, and Fabregas walked in the second-half for a second bookable offence. New signing Morata marked his debut with a goal, and David Luiz made things interesting, but a Vokes double and third from Ward gifted Sean Dyche’s crew a famous upset.
Chelsea now begin the rebuilding project, and are expected to make an improved offer for Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater sooner rather than later. That’s a start.
Terriers up for a fight
Just a matter of days ago, newly-promoted Huddersfield, who finished fifth in the Championship last season, would’ve featured in the ante-post bets of many to go down this season, but that’s not looking very likely on what we saw on Saturday.
David Wagner’s side were handed a tricky opening tie, off to London to face a Crystal Palace side led by former Ajax star Frank de Boer. Eagles fans are hoping the Dutchman can provide stability at Selhurst Park, but it wasn’t a great start.
Huddersfield marked their top-flight bow with an incredible 3-0 win. Ward knocked the ball into his own net on 23 minutes, and Mounie doubled the visitor’s advantage less than three minutes later. 22-year-old Benin striker Mounie grabbed a deuce later in the day to wrap up the points.
An afternoon that’ll live long in the memory of Huddersfield fans, making their first outing in the Premier League, while followers of Palace will want to put it down to a slow start and move on.
Plenty of fight in this Terriers team, and they’ll be no soft touch this season. Remember – de Boer was sacked from his last job after just 85 days.
Everton fans must be patient
One of the more interesting fixtures of the weekend went ahead at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon as Everton met Stoke City. The Toffees have already spent £100m this summer, and are edging closer to a club-record £50m for Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Football fans were excited to see how the new-look side would shape-up, but it was obvious from game one that they need time to gel.
Returning hero Wayne Rooney, who traded places with Romelu Lukaku plus £75m, scored the winner, and told reporters after the match that it was an emotional goal, releasing a lot of pressure he had placed on himself. Rooney was back in Everton blue after 13 years, and capped a special day with a match-winning strike in first-half stoppage-time.
Alongside Wayne, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was the other standout, pulling off a late save to protect the points. More to come from Everton, but fans must be patient.