The new Premier League season got underway over the weekend and despite we’re yet to see both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in action, there were several key takeaways from the opening fixtures.
I highlight the three most notable ones separately and also share my thoughts on how they can affect the teams involved.
Arsenal’s Debutants Impress
The Gunners started their Premier League campaign with a tricky visit to Scott Parker’s Fulham side but romped to a convincing 3-0 victory.
Fulham did look menacing in the opening stages, however, Mikel Arteta’s side quickly shut them down with an Alexander Lacazette goal out of the blue and then completely controlled proceedings afterward.
Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian made their official debuts and both players had a good case of getting the man of the match award.
Willian ended the game with three assists and went close to opening his account for the club after his brilliant first-half free-kick hit the base of the post.
The new defensive addition Gabriel looked solid at the back throughout the whole tie and he even managed to score after connecting with a superbly-executed corner by fellow countrymen Willian.
Arsenal’s bid to return to the Champions League still looks quite uncertain but the way these two debutants entered the stage bodes well for the team’s chances going forward.
Leeds United Show They Are Ready for a Fight
In what was undoubtedly the most entertaining game of the weekend, newcomers Leeds United threatened to spoil Liverpool’s opening fixture after tieing the game three times before succumbing to a late Mohamed Salah penalty.
There is still a big debate whether this Leeds group can survive in the Premier League but their performance against the champions will prompt a lot of doubters to rethink their position.
Without boasting any world-class talent in the ranks, the Yorkshire side looked very organized, composed on the ball, and did not shy away from taking risks in attack.
Patrick Bamford and Helder Costa, two players who have tried their luck at this level in the past and failed, looked quite comfortable on the Anfield pitch and Bamford even managed to open his scoring account for the season.
Another star performer was captain Luke Ayling who was not only great defensively but also contributed heavily going forward.
It was an inspired performance from a player who has only played in the lower tiers of English football and the Arsenal Academy graduate looks ready to take his chance at the top now.
Leeds’ survival will surely hit a few bumps, however, this group looks ready to fight and I won’t be too surprised if we see Marcelo Bielsa’s boys take a few huge scalps along the way.
Tottenham Continue to Struggle
The Spurs had a miserable outing at home to Everton and eventually fell to a Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal in the second half
Jose Mourinho fielded what could easily be the team’s best eleven, however, the players looked deflated and there was absolutely no spark provided from stars Son Heung-min, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane upfront.
The defense department didn’t have a good day at the office either with new addition Matt Doherty looking a bit lost and Toby Alderwiereld lacking the focus and agility to stop Everton’s advances.
There is still a long way to go but the atmosphere around the club is definitely rotten right now and this could play a big role in their upcoming campaign.
Jose Mourinho has a lot to think about and he will need to get this group going very soon if he doesn’t want to add another sacking to his management portfolio.