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Premier League Match Day 1 Round Up: Unimpressive Big Teams

The Premier League has finally started and the first match day brought quite a few unexpected results. Arsenal were unable to get past Sunderland at home in the opening match of the new season, Liverpool got beaten quite heavily at West Brom while Manchester United wrapped up the proceedings with a defeat at the hands of Everton. Robin van Persie made his debut for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team but failed to impress, as did Podolski for the Gunners.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened during the first Premier League weekend:

Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland

Arsenal had 70% ball possession but just three shots on target and I guess that pretty much sums up their game. New signing Lukas Podolski was unable to do much upfront while fellow new striker Olivier Giroud came off the bench to waste the biggest chance of the match in the closing 10 minutes.

Man of the Match: Santiago Cazorla – the Spaniard was the only Arsenal player that constantly created threats in attack. He had two efforts on goal in the first half and a few more interesting actions after the break, he will surely be a man to watch this season.

Fulham 5 – 0 Norwich City

Goal scorers: D. Duff 27′, M. Petrić 42′, M. Petrić 54′, A. Kacaniklic 66′, S. Sidwell (PG) 87′

A great start to the season for Fulham who left no room for doubt in their match against Norwich. Chris Hughton’s Premier League debut as Norwich manager was a total disaster but they still have time to turn things around. Not too much time though.

Man of the Match: Mladen Petric – he had a dream debut, with two goals scored plus an assist on the fourth goal.

Queens Park Rangers 0 – 5 Swansea City

Goal scorers: Michu 8′, Michu 53′, N. Dyer 63′, N. Dyer 71′, S. Sinclair 81′

The Swans gave new manager Michael Laudrup a great debut win. However, QPR goalie Robert Green gave them a big helping hand, at least on the first goal.

Man of the Match: Michu – the Spaniard had a wonderful debut, capitalising on a goalkeeper error on the first goal before scoring a real beauty before the hour mark.

Reading 1 – 1 Stoke City

Goal scorers: M. Kightly 34′, A. Le Fondre (PG) 90′

Reading needed a late goal to snatch a point there at the end of an even and not very spectacular match. New signing Pavel Pogrebnyak was a disappointment for the home side, the Russian striker will have to do a lot more in the future if Reading want to remain in the top flight.

Man of the Match: Robert Huth – he was on the pitch after an incredible recovery from viral meningitis and he even played a very good game, solid at the back and always ready to start off the attacks.

West Bromwich Albion 3 – 0 Liverpool

Goal scorers: Z. Gera 43′, P. Odemwingie (PG) 64′, R. Lukaku 77′

Liverpool got just two shots on target and that says about everything there is to say about this game. The only good thing for the Reds was that Joe Allen played a pretty good debut game, but that’s about all.

Man of the Match: Youssuf Mulumbu – he bossed the middle of the park, forcing Liverpool to direct their attacks on the flanks where Stewart Downing misplaced most of his crosses while new signing Fabio Borini often got robbed of the ball.

West Ham United 1 – 0 Aston Villa

Goal scorer: K. Nolan 40′

Aston Villa probably deserved a draw here, even though they were unable to create clear cut chances. The visitors dominated possession but they were punished on a dead ball situation.

Man of the Match: James Collins – the centre back played a very good game against his former team, always safe at the back and threatening on attacking set pieces.

Newcastle United 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Goal scorers: D. Ba 55′, J. Defoe 76′, H. Ben Arfa (PG) 80′

A great strike from Demba Ba paved the way for a losing start for Andre Villas-Boas as Spurs boss. Newcastle proved that they are a strong team that can probably defeat any team in the league but whether they have what it takes on the long run remains to be seen.

Man of the Match: Hatem Ben Arfa – the Frenchman had a very good second half that culminated with around 10 minutes left on the clock when he drew the foul for the decisive penalty kick that he also converted.

Wigan Athletic 0 – 2 Chelsea

Goal scorers:  B. Ivanović 2′, F. Lampard (PG) 7′

Chelsea were impressive for just 10 minutes but that was enough to secure the three points. The Blues had just one corner kick during the whole 90 minutes while Wigan certainly deserved at least a consolation goal.

Man of the Match: Eden Hazard – the Belgian wonderkid had an excellent debut as he set up the first goal before producing the penalty that was converted by Lampard. He probably is the best signing of the summer in the Premier League.

Manchester City 3 – 2 Southampton

Goal scorers: C. Tévez 40′, R. Lambert 59′, S. Davis 68′, E. Džeko 72′, S. Nasri 80′

The Saints came very close to a huge upset as they converted their only two shots on target to take the lead against the run of play with a bit more than 20 minutes left on the clock. The defending champions fought back just in time to avoid a catastrophic debut but there are question marks all over the defence after conceding those two goals.

Man of the Match: Samir Nasri – the Frenchman provided the assist for Tevez on the opening goal and then netted the decisive strike with 10 minutes left, a way better display than David Silva who seemed totally out of the match.

Everton 1 – 0 Manchester United

Goal scorer: M. Fellaini 57′

A sensational season opener for Everton who played a great game against title favourites Manchester United. David De Gea kept the visitors in the game with a string of fantastic saves in the first half but then Fellaini broke the deadlock and the Red Devils were then unable to break through the compact Toffees defence. Robin van Persie came in as a substitute but failed to produce plays worthy of his transfer fee.

Man of the Match: Marouane Fellaini – the Belgian giant played his heart out and surely deserved to score the only goal of the match. He will probably be Everton’s next big sale.

You can find the Premier League table and results here, while the live scores will be shown here

That’s about all I had to say but I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

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Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Johnny
I was quite shocked thatArsenal, Lverpool and United all failed to gain a win in their opening games. Having saw the Everton – United highlights last night it seems that Fergie’s team got off light with a 1-0 defeat.
Is the EPL round up going to be a regular feature – I like it!

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

We were a little unlucky to not have scored later, around the 60-something minute when Kagawa flicked it to Cleverley who couldn’t put it away.

saltwater
saltwater
9 years ago

Goal of the week – Has to be Gera v Liverpool, closely followed by Ba v Spurs, and then Michu’s second vs QPR
Player of the week – Last night Fellani was just incredible. He was involved in everything that night, offensively and defensively.

TheZiggy
9 years ago

We won’t talk about my team, as it is way to horrific, especially to get thrashed so badly at home.

If United are going to get the best out of van Persie, then they need to be getting the right balls through for him. He thrives on getting on the end of fantastic passes into space. I remain to be convinced whether it was worth spending so much money on him, epsecially when it’s clear they have defensive problems again. For a second season in a row they’re struggling with injuries at the back, and you’d think a top team would have done something about it. Having to play Carrick at centre back and Valencia at right back, can’t be a good sight for any United fans.

Bhargav
Bhargav
9 years ago
Reply to  TheZiggy

On the bright side, Shagawa had a great debut!

Almaars
Almaars
9 years ago

Hi Johnny, good post.
I’m an Arsenal fan so I’m slightly disappointed with a draw. We played quite well and Sunderland were happy with just a point. Carzola was excellent, but we still need another player in the middle I think. We wont challenge for the title, but I’d like to see us win a trophy this season.

As for Van Persie, I’m sure he’ll pick up. He’s only ever really played as a lone striker and he needs to adjust to having a strike partner. But that was a very poor display from Man Utd. Everton held them off at ease. It’s never an easy game agaisnt the Toffees, and I know they had Carrick at CB but they will have to play better if they want to get back to winning ways.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 years ago

All of the top guns showed some serious flaws, with the exception of Chelsea. It’s going to be a fantastic race among City/United/Chelsea, then throw in Arsenal/Tottenham/Liverpool/Newcastle/Everton in the race to Europe.

Darren Smith
9 years ago

Hey Johnny, my eyes were firmly gripped by the TV this weekend. And it was an interesting start to the season. Arsenal played OK but as always struggled to fashion any deadly chances in front of goal bar one, and it was also interesting to see Southampton take Man City to wire let alone United struggling last night. As always the EPL is shaping up with a few surprise results and long may it continue (as long as the Toon keep winning.)

George Boris Dobson
9 years ago

Great update Johnny I made an 11 hour round trip to Ipswich on Saturday to watch Blackburn we drew and weren’t very good but it was good fun I hope your prem updates are a regularly feature.

Ana Garcia
9 years ago

I wish I had read this post before posting my own!!

Its almost the same layout LoL! Wont matter too much I guess but nice to see some Spanish players doing well.

Santi Cazorla should be a star this season at least I hope so as I rate him very high as a player Michu also!

Always an under rated player in la liga but Michael Laudrup has a good knack of finding some talented players for very little money shame he doesn’t stick around teams he managers for a little longer. ;)

Shame to hear about David Silva seems a little of colour at the moment and fingers crossed for Fernando I just hope he can have a great season as I miss his smile! :)

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Fellaini always does well against Man Utd, he is a huge threat in the air (wonder why Carrick was marking him, surely he is not going to win a battle with him in the air)

The Southampton match was very interesting, City had a lot of possession but just couldn’t get the break through (probably a bit disrupted by Clyne injuring Aguero early on), the Saints were devastating on the counter with Adkins doing some great substitutions (Lambert and Davis both came on and scored! ;))

Torres should have scored a goal at least, but at least Hazard showed some great glimpses of quality, will be interesting to see how he does against stronger teams in the league (seems that he got kicked around a lot by Wigan, he’ll have to get used to that! :P)

Wonder how long Villas Boas will last at Tottenham, surely William Gallas as captain is a bit of a joke? Sigurdsson is a great player though, hope he gets the chance to shine

CsAtlantis
9 years ago
Reply to  CsAtlantis

Oh yeah, forgot to add in this at the end, thanks for the write-up Johnny!

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