The second Premier League weekend might not have brought the goal fest that the first did, but it was no less enjoyable. Several teams have already delivered statement performances, whereas early worries will have crept into others.
As expected, Manchester City responded to their opening day loss to Tottenham Hotspur by hammering Norwich City 5-0. This didn’t come as too much of a surprise (we predicted a 5-0 win in our Weekend Preview – #justsaying). After a defeat, Manchester City always take their frustrations out on whichever poor team they face next. Liverpool didn’t have too much trouble against Burnley in a 2-0 win, and Aston Villa rebounded from their opening day defeat to Watford by beating Newcastle United by the same score line.
Crystal Palace find themselves with no goals on the board after two games, as Brentford proved stiff competition in a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park. Palace are suffering from the same goal scoring woes that have troubled them for a few seasons now. Their match against West Ham this coming Saturday looks like a big game for manager Patrick Viera already.
Leeds United and Everton played out a thrilling draw at Elland Road, which featured a stunning strike by Brazilian winger Raphinha. Everton have showed real steel under new boss Rafael Benítez, and any doubts over the former Liverpool manager’s appointment are ebbing away after two inspired performances. Brighton continued their fine start to the new season with a 2-0 home win against Watford, taking six points from six.
After the euphoria of thrashing Leeds on the opening day, Manchester United had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Southampton. Tottenham Hotspur had a tough time at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but came away with a 0-1 victory thank to a Dele Alli penalty. Harry Kane also came off the bench in the second half to make his first appearance of the season. Still nothing concrete on whether Manchester City will try to bring the England striker to the Etihad Stadium and the transfer window clock is ticking.
Chelsea looked 100% the title challengers that everyone expected, against a toothless Arsenal side. These two clubs are going in completely separate directions; despite Arsenal being the big summer spenders so far, they look a mid-table team at best. Arteta has a huge project ahead of him, and they’ve got Manchester City on Saturday to look forward to. Things aren’t getting any easier for the Gunners. Chelsea, however, looked fantastic, with Lukaku scoring on his return. This is a title challenging team, make no mistake.
West Ham United were superb this evening against a very poor Leicester side, whose task was made all the more difficult when Ayoze Perez was shown a deserved red card for a brutal challenge on Pablo Fornals, coupled with some comedy defending from Caglar Soyuncu. The Hammers took the Foxes apart in a 4-1 win, which could have been more. Continuing their impressive form from last season, West Ham look the real deal.
With one more round of games this weekend before the international break, teams that have made a poor start to the season will be desperate to put the ball in the net and some points on the board. Pressure from fans and the media can soon start to mount if mediocre performances continue, even in the embryonic days of a new campaign. Conversely, the teams at the top will be desperate keep the momentum going. Title challengers, and those bidding for the European spots, want to keep pace with the chasing pack.
The new season is shaping up very nicely…