What we learned about the four title challengers on the opening weekend

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The Premier League is famed for its competitive edge and as we all know from that Thierry Henry advert it is probably the best league in the world, well for entertainment purposes anyway, quality wise there is still an ongoing debate.

However, the first weekend of the season offered the usual scenarios we have become accustom to in the Premier League, drama, late goals and above all surprising defeats.

Let's take a look at the four teams fighting for the coveted crown and how they fared during a rather entertaining weekend of football - the league lived up to its name once again.


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The favourites for the title received somewhat of a reality check at Stamford Bridge as Swansea valiantly fought back twice to secure a 2-2 draw.

Surprisingly Chelsea looked rather insecure at the back with Thibaut Courtois receiving a red card and John Terry looking rather sluggish compared with his normal impeccable self.

Offensively Chelsea also looked rather stagnant with Diego Costa looking nowhere near fully fit and star man Eden Hazard struggling to have an impact on the game.

After a rather poor pre-season it may come as no shock that Chelsea struggled to hit the ground running but Mourinho has a task ahead of him to rally up his troops ahead of a difficult away trip to Manchester City.

Not the start they would have wanted but Mourinho's men are famed for bouncing back, although there defensive frailties shown against Swansea will give the other challengers a degree of hope for sure.

Manchester City

Talking of hitting the ground running, this is exactly what Manchester City did. The two time champions blew away West Brom with Yaya Toure returning to form and David Silva reminding the world that he is one of the finest playmakers in the game.

Raheem Sterling showed promise on his debut but his lack of clinical finishing was once again the centre of attention and it is a trait he simply has to start rectifying.

Nevertheless, City looked strong and with Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta set to return to the starting line-up after their Copa America campaign things look bright for Manuel Pellegrini's men.

Vincent Kompany also put in a commanding display and even though West Brom offered little going forward City fans will be pleased to see their captain put in a display of this calibre, a promising start indeed - Chelsea beware.


Every time there is talk of Arsenal finally looking like they are about to do something special their players and fans are brought back down to earth in the harshest way possible, this time it was West Ham who delivered the blow.

They ran out 2-0 winners at the Emirates and the poor display put in by Arsenal was a slightly worrying sight. The lack of discipline and width in the midfield was of some concern, but it was the debut of Petr Cech which left the most jaws dropped.

Two mistakes in a hugely uncharacteristic display was a perfect reflection of Arsenal's terrible start to the campaign. They face a tricky task against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park next in a game which could possibly make or break their season even at these early stages.

Two defeats out of two could damage the whole team's morale and a defeat is certainly not off the cards against an in form Palace side, not the start the Gunners were looking for.

Manchester United

An opening day victory for Louis van Gaal's side against Tottenham should be reason to be optimistic but the manner in which they achieved the result was rather tedious.

Kyle Walker scored an own goal to secure the 1-0 victory but United actually failed to register a shot on target of their own. A brilliant debut performance by Sergio Romero in goal kept Tottenham at bay but the lack of penetration and fluidity in United's forward line could be cause for concern.

However, there were reasons to be positive at the back with Chris Smalling looking like a true leader and new signing Matteo Darmian putting in an assured performance on the right of the defence, giving United a new dimension.

Three points is all that matters though in reality, but if United are to challenge for the title they will need to perform better which they are certainly capable of. A tricky visit to Villa Park up next will be a true test of their credentials.

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