Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Week 1 Results: Liverpool Drops Points; Haaland Flies Out of Gate; Spurs Impress; Manchester United A Mess

Liverpool were the victims of the biggest surprise result on opening weekend as the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw with Fulham. Fulham twice took the lead on goals by striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Liverpool responded with goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah. Nunez assisted Salah’s goal in a productive Premier League debut. Liverpool’s defensive stars failed them against the newly promoted side. Trent Alexander-Arnold was far too passive on Mitrovic’s opening header at the far post. Virgil van Dijk was later guilty of committing a penalty on Mitrovic, leading to the Serbian’s second goal from the ensuing kick. Liverpool immediately falls two points behind Manchester City which defeated West Ham 2-0. There are still 111 points available to be won this season, but Liverpool supporters can be excused for remembering that only a single point deprived them of the league title last season.

The titlists from last season received a fittingly sensational debut from their pricey offseason acquisition. Erling Haaland scored a brace and was critical of being substituted as he desired and expected to score a hat trick in his Premier League debut. Manchester City will only become more formidable as teammates become accustomed to Haaland’s play and vice versa.

Tottenham Hotspur put down a marker that it may be more than a two-team race as Antonio Conte’s club overwhelmed Southampton in a 4-1 victory in London. Spurs dominated the match despite none of their offseason transfers seeing action and neither Kane nor Son scoring.

Chelsea eked out an ugly win over Everton as a penalty kick by Jorginho delivered the only scoring in a drudge match at Goodison Park. The worries for Everton Manager Frank Lampard became even greater with a fractured leg suffered by center back Ben Godfrey. Chelsea Manager Thomas Tuchel will gladly accept the three points but saw his questionable attack sputter once again against one of the league’s worst teams.

Manchester United delivered a predictably mediocre performance in falling to Brighton 2-1 at Old Trafford. It has been a poor transfer window to date for the Red Devils who badly need more talent infusion to recover from last season’s worst ever Premier League finish. It’s far too early to draw anything from Eric ten Hag’s performance though Graham Potter’s Seagulls were the far more fluid and efficient club. Signs of desperation emerged with Manchester United reportedly bottom fishing for transfer targets such as Adrien Rabiot and Marko Arnautovic. Both players have discipline issues in their past which would present further potential trouble for an already toxic locker room.

Arsenal looks to have smoothy incorporated talent upgrades into the Gunner line-up. Striker Gabriel Jesus was active all match versus Crystal Palace and is working well with fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli. Fellow newcomer Oleksandr Zinchenko’s headed the assist for Martinelli’s first goal of the match in a 2-0 win over the Eagles.

Arsenal defender William Saliba, a candidate for man of the match, looks to have been worth the wait for Arsenal after spending three seasons on loan in Ligue 1. Crystal Palace looks condemned to another season of underwhelming attack. Despite parting ways with miss master Christian Benteke this past week, the Eagles continue to miss the net with Eberechi Eze and Odsonne Edouard the guilty parties for egregious missed chances in their opening defeat.

Bournemouth was one of two promoted clubs to avoid defeat on opening weekend. The Cherries shocked Aston Villa in a 2-0 victory that amplified questions regarding Aston Villa Manager Steven Gerrard. Gerrard’s record at Aston Villa now reflects 13 losses against 10 wins and 5 draws for a club from which much more was expected. Gerrard’s former manager, Brendan Rodgers, could also be on the hot seat this season.

Leicester relinquished a two-goal lead at home to draw 2-2 with Brentford. Things could get even worse for the Foxes in coming weeks if transfer rumors regarding James Maddison and Wesley Fofana come to fruition. Brentford, meanwhile, received a big confidence boost from the comeback after the loss of Christian Eriksen this offseason raised concern for the new campaign.

Leeds grabbed all three points in 2-1 home victory over Wolverhampton which saw fiery Leeds Manager Jesse Marsch engage in a post-game shouting match with Wolves head man Bruno Lage after the hard played match. Four new players were in the lineup for Leeds, three of whom have played for Marsch in the past, as the American manger now has opportunity to imprint his ideas on the squad after last season’s necessarily pragmatic survival fight.

Newcastle rudely welcomed  newcomers Nottingham Forest as the Magpies eased to a 2-0 victory at St. James Park. Eddie Howe signed a new long-term deal with Newcastle entering the weekend, recognizing his excellent work since arriving last season and establishing himself as more than the short-term answer for the ambitious Newcastle project under their Saudi Arabian ownership.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: