Yes! The Premier League is back and the first full weekend of fixtures are now complete. It doesn’t seem five minutes since last season closed in May but what a great start. Some great performances and some awesome goals to start the new campaign with a bang.
Here is the full list of results and a few of my own thoughts on the main talking points from week 1.
Saturday 17th August 2013
- Liverpool 1 v Stoke City 0
- West Ham 2 v Cardiff City 0
- Sunderland 0 v Fulham 1
- Norwich City 2 v Everton 2
- West Brom 0 v Southampton 1
- Arsenal 1 v Aston Villa 3
- Swansea City 1 v Man United 4
Sunday, 18 August 2013
- Crystal Palace 0 v Tottenham 1
- Chelsea 2 v Hull City Tigers 0
Monday, 19 August 2013
- Man City 4 v Newcastle 0
Well, some of those results were somewhat expected but the ones that stand out most are Manchester United’s 4-1 victory at Swansea, Aston Villas defeat of Arsenal at the Emirates and Manchester City demolishing Newcastle.
United were touted to struggle against a very impressive, attacking Swansea outfit. The game itself was fairly even in possession, passing and attempts at goal but in truth United looked comfortable throughout and with Van Persie hitting two sublime goals and Danny Welbeck contributing a fine brace United were just the more clinical. A good start for David Moyes United career. What was evident, to the surprise of nobody, was the need for some midfield spark, some creativity. Cleverley is a good player, but he is never going to scare the likes of Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. As I said in my Community shield review, tidy but not amazing.
Swansea were unfortunate not to have Bony available from the start, he looks like a good addition to the Swans, a tidy finish for their consolation gave us a glimpse of what might be on the way for the rest of the year. A little bit more composure from the wide areas and they could have caused United more problems but they will have a safe season and with the squad they have could be pushing for automatic Europa qualification come the end of the season.
On paper Arsenal were expected to beat a fairly new look Villa and after 5 minutes Villa fans must have been fearing the worst as Giroud swept in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains accurate cross. However, as I wrote about in my pre-season report Arsenal were very poor at the back with Koscielny being given an early exit when stupidly picking up a second yellow card on 66 minutes for scything down Andreas Wiemann after only being booked a few minutes earlier. Stupidity that cost Arsenal dear. Two penalties, the second a little bit controversial and a fine goal by new boy Antonio Luna late in the game saw Villa pick up a good 3-1 away win. Already Villa look better than last year and should see them finish in a comfortable mid table position. Arsenal however are looking very shaky and after a farce of a summer in the transfer market the Gunners fans were not happy at all.
Oh dear, what the hell has happened to Newcastle over the last three months. When they gained promotion back into the premier league a few seasons ago they had a great first season back and Pardew looked the man to keep them progressing. Fast forward 15 months and they club is once again in a mess. What was Mike Ashley thinking in bringing in Joe Kinnear? What on earth does he add to the football club? Nothing! I hate it when chairmen bring in people to conduct the transfer business for a team, why can that not just be left to the manager? As a Sunderland fan I know said this morning to me “I swear Mike Ashley is trying to ruin that club purposely” I had to agree.
This has all transferred onto the pitch as Man City ran riot over the desperate Magpies. What Steven Taylor, one of Newcastle’s most experienced defenders was thinking as he gave Aguero a clothesline to the back of the head I will never know. It was 15 yards from the referee and even though they were already getting a bit of a lesson with goals from the excellent Silva and the a particularly awesome Aguero strike the result was pretty much guaranteed by half time. Two more after the break from Toure and Nasri saw City pick up a 4-0 win and go to the top of the premiership on week 1. I fear for Newcastle as much as I fear Man City this season.
Yes this was only week one but it is a good indication of how a team is set up for the campaign and United, City and Chelsea look strong. Spurs are looking more like a team who could seriously join in the chase for the title as well, this could be a great season ahead.
Team of the Week: Manchester City
Disappointment of the Week: Arsenal
Surprise of the Week: Aston Villa