1. New manager but same old United:
Saturday’s 4-1 victory against Swansea was a clinical performance from the Reds, but this was by no means a glittering performance by United. For moments of the game Swansea were outplaying the visitors in almost all areas of the pitch, that was until Robin van Persie’s breakthrough goal. Despite the constant pressure of Swansea, United showed their class, composure and quality to convincingly win the game, sending a message to their rivals that they are capable of putting up a title challenge; and silencing any doubters that predicted that they would struggle to defend their crown.
2. Arsenal and Tottenham will go to head to head for fourth again:
On Saturday, Arsenal produced a lacklustre and all round poor performance against last season’s relegation strugglers Aston Villa. If ever Arsene Wenger needed proof that new signings were necessary at Arsenal, then he’s not going to get a clearer one than Saturday’s poor performance. Whilst against Crystal Palace on Sunday, Tottenham showed their class, and more importantly, that they have the quality to win without Gareth Bale. Arsenal’s apparent demise could allow Tottenham the opportunity to stamp their mark on a top four position.
3. Chelsea look good, but they won’t walk to the title:
The theatrics of Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea was one of the most talked about and over-hyped appointments of the summer. And it seems that the self-named ‘happy-one’ (or the ‘special-one’) still possesses the ability to transform Chelsea into a serious title contender. But Chelsea’s performance on Sunday against Hull showed that there is room for improvement. In the first half the quality we know that Chelsea has shone through on all areas of the pitch; however, in the second-half, despite a promising performance from Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea looked fragile as they struggled to control the tempo of the game. Manchester United and City won’t be too concerned about Chelsea’s opening performance, and by all accounts the signs are that Chelsea won’t walk to the title as has been suggested.
4. Liverpool are the ones to watch:
If ever there was a score-line that didn’t represent the match, then Liverpool’s 1-0 victory against Stoke has to be a strong contender. It was only through the efforts of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet that Liverpool secured all three-points. Like on numerous occasions last season, Liverpool dominated possession and controlled the game, but if they can’t put more goals past sides like Stoke they will struggle to finish in the top six. But if they improve their finishing, then a top four finish may not be out of reach.
5. Hull and Cardiff will be left fighting for survival:
From Hull’s second half performance against Chelsea, we saw something that looked promising. They were able to close down ‘The blues’ and prevent them from running circles around them, but despite their promising second half performance, question marks still surround their chances to survive the drop.
Cardiff’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham in many ways signals what is to come for the Welsh side. Playing in their first top flight match since 1961, Cardiff failed to get a single shot on target. That said, they should by no means be written off. Cardiff did show some positive signs, but rarely threatened or looked capable of breaking down the Hammers’ defence. And if the Bluebirds were unable to make a mark against West Ham, their future in the league looks anything but certain.
The opening weekend of the Premier League was full of drama, but do you agree with my top-five lessons from the opening weekend?