So the first weekend of Premier League football has come and gone, and usually a first weekend really tells us a lot about who is going to do well this season and what we can expect moving forward.
Well this weekend it seemed like business as usual in the Premier League, as if it had never gone away. Although there were some shock results, to me those shocks seemed all too familiar. Let's rattle through some of the things that we really should have expected.
Arsenal 0-2 West Ham
Arsenal are Arsenal, they are making a habit of disappointing. This year was supposed to be their year but they have lost on the opening day. The thing is, we know Arsenal are capable and will be there or there abouts come the end of the season. We know West Ham are capable of beating them on their day. This result doesn't change what we expect from these two teams. Arguably Dmitri Payet and Reece Oxford are the two main talking points who looked like great players for West Ham United.
Chelsea 2-2 Swansea
Perhaps a little surprising, but Chelsea seem to have started where they left off last season. They looked sluggish and lacked a cutting edge attack. Swansea were dynamic and exciting. Again, we know Chelsea will be fighting for the title and we can safely assume that Swansea will make a good go of it this season. Andre Ayew was a bright spark for Swansea along with Jefferson Montero while Chelsea's Diego Costa continues his baffling recoveries from a hamstring injury.
Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
The strangest thing about this game was that Chris Smalling and Sergio Romero were the two best players. Spurs held their own in the game and United certainly didn't look the superior team however, in true Spurs fashion, the only goal was a Tottenham own goal after a lazy pass from Nabil Bentaleb in the Spurs midfield. Tottenham Hotspur look good but are the masters of their own downfall and Manchester United look like they have potential but are not spectacular and will grind out a result. Very much business as usual from the last few seasons.
Stoke City 0-1 Liverpool
This may not be a result that is 'business as usual' since the last time the two sides met Stoke beat Liverpool 6-1. However, we know that (in theory) Liverpool are a better team than Stoke and we know that Liverpool probably won't be the finished article this season.
These particular statements were played out to perfection in this game. Based on that performance, for me, Benteke will have to improve his ball playing abilities if he wants to stay in that Liverpool team long term.
Leicester City 4-2 Sunderland
We know that Sunderland have a terrible defence and Younes Kaboul certainly isn't going to improve that. We also know how Leicester are likely to play and this game told us that despite their comfortable victory. They will be hit or miss this season. Conceding two goals to a poor Sunderland side is not something to get too excited about plus they can put the win down to a rampant Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez who, by the way, was capable of that last season but while his performance was good, he was far too often going for goal himself instead of finding a better placed team mate.
Everton 2-2 Watford
So we learnt that Watford weren't a total shambles but having said that I don't have high hopes for Everton this season either. Can Ross Barkley finally unlock his potential? Well Everton will be hopeful, as he could be the key to a more successful season. I think it will come to be that this Watford side do struggle and that this Everton side, that made them look good, will struggle as well.
Newcastle 2-2 Southampton
Two good teams. Newcastle despite the end of last season, ultimately have a decent squad and their signing of Giorginio Wijnaldum in particular looks to be a good one. However, Southampton are possibly an even better team and the two fighting out for a score draw is not a surprise result.
Norwich 1-3 Crystal Palace
With the signings that Crystal Palace had made we were all so hopeful that they would deliver and they did, to an extent. They were actually lucky to stay in front. We saw that Norwich have some fight in them and we remembered that despite their signings Crystal Palace will not be challenging for the top four.
Bournemouth 0-1 Aston Villa
For me, this taught me that perhaps Aston Villa will do better than I expected this season. Bournemouth held their own against the veteran Premier League side and were unlucky to lose. It was a hard fought game that could have gone either way and so all we really learn't is that there probably isn't an abundance of quality in each team that could hinder them as the season goes on.
A lot of these results were actually fairly predictable but even the ones that weren't were always a possibility. The season has a long way to go and the results on the first day were never actually going to be a reflection of what comes next.
Who do you think looked the best on the opening weekend?
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