Opening EPL Weekend Continues Right Where It Left Off Last Season
Anyone expecting great change and a new shape of the English Premier League this year will have been rather disappointed by the way the action shaped up on the first weekend of the season. While there was a surprising number of away teams that got results, most of the big teams came away with their desired 3 points while the struggles of last year for several clubs seem to have continued into the new season.
At the top of the table, it was business as usual for the Premier League big boys of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City, who each won their opening day game. While both Liverpool and Arsenal narrowly managed to squeak out wins, they nevertheless got the results that will bode so well for their hopes this season. However, since each team won their games the current race is a stalemate thus far, with each side looking a bit lethargic but still getting their wins.
The one surprising slump came from Manchester United, who was stunned at home by Swansea City in manager Louis Van Gaal’s first game with the mega club. Winning a game at Old Trafford used to be a mere dream for visiting EPL teams, but last year that aura was shattered as team after team came to town and won. Swansea has done so in the season’s first game.
And such a result means that Manchester United will be feeling the heat from the media for their poor start. While still featuring world class players, the team simply gets outplayed and doesn’t have the steel it once did under Sir Alex Ferguson. Perhaps new transfers can help in the coming weeks, but right now it looks as if the mighty Red Devils are in for another tough season.
Elsewhere throughout the league is was the away teams stealing points as Tottenham, Hull City, and Aston Villa took victories. Sunderland, Everton, West Bromwich, and Leicester City all walked away with draws.
It will have been hard for Southampton (who lost by a slim margin to Liverpool) to see several of their key players from last year’s success now playing for the opposition but it speaks to the strength of that club to develop stars and hopefully they’ll be able to get a few transfers in the next 2 weeks and create a strong side again.
But all in all, there was little surprising this weekend. The season is certainly a long one, and future games will test the real merits of these sides, especially as the cold weather and injuries mount up for everyone come wintertime. But for now, we can all rejoice in a Premier League season that has kicked off once again. Sure, we only had a taste of the marvelous surprises that this league routinely throw at us, but this weekend gave us a first glimpse into a league that is extremely competitive and absolutely loaded with talented soccer players. Here’s to what should be another grand season of soccer in England!