Premier League Opening Weekend 13/14: Review

It’s back. The best football league in the world, the Premier League and what an opening weekend it was. From the Special one’s first game back in charge of the blues, to David Moyes’ starting the hardest job in world football, replacing Sir Alex as manager at Manchester United. I’ll be talking about the top 4 clubs and their strengths and weaknesses in their matches.

I’ll start off with the biggest shock of the weekend, Aston Villa beating Arsenal 3-1. Whilst Villa’s biggest success this transfer window was keep Benteke and for him to extend his contract for a further 4 years, Arsene Wenger has had one of the worst transfer summers of his whole career. First being heavily linked with Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain but he ended up going to Italian side Napoli to most recent failure which was Bayern’s defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo with looking almost certainly going the North London club, opted for Wolfsburg.
As for the match, It all started well for Wenger’s men, with Olivier Giroud scoring in the 6th minute and heading for their 12th opening day win in a row. But Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor was brought down after a blistering run by Arsenal’s number one and they got a penalty. Benteke’s pen was saved nicely by Szczesny but he could not save the rebound as Benteke headed the ball in to make it 1-1. With the team looking very shaky and weak, Arsenal could not string a pass together without getting dispossessed they desperately needed a Gonzalo, a Gustavo or a Saurez to change the game. With French centre-half Laurent Koscielny already on a yellow from an earlier challenge, he was handed a 2nd yellow and sent off. The first tackle which produced the first yellow card was later seen to be right by MOTD presenter Alan Shearer who says that Koscielny’s knee had made contact with Gabby’s back leg before he had touched the ball which forced the winger to fall, so the ref made the right call. Arsenal conceded a 3rd goal due to poor defending after taking a corner on the other side of the pitch. Could this match be a wake up call for Arsene to finally splash the cash on good players to strengthen the squad with key players like Arteta,Jack Wilshere and Alex Ox through injury?

On to Manchester United’s impressive 4-1 victory over The Swans. United like Arsenal, have spent virtually nothing this transfer period whereas Swansea having been signing a lot of players to ensure the stay in the England top division with getting Dutchman Johnathan De Guzman back on loan for another season from Villarreal and buying Wilfried Bony to pair with Michu. For the first 30 mins, Swansea were piling on pressure to United’s defence and were very unlucky not to score. In 34th min Ryan Giggs beautifully found a pocket of space for Robin Van Persie to run into and him scoring with a excellent finish.

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2 mins later Danny Welbeck doubled the lead with a simple tap in. Manchester United’s defence were pretty solid throughout the game with Vidic and Rio Ferdinand pairing up nicely, both covering each other and allowing full backs Evra and Jones to make forward runs without worrying too much about the back line in the Serb and the former England star. United’s 3rd goal scored by Van Persie has to be the best goal of the game and arguably the best of the weekend, with Van Persie getting on the ball and the 2 dummy runs by Welbeck and Rooney on both sides of him, he shimmes the defender and scores a screamer of a goal with that blessed left foot of his. Swansea pulled one back, after Welbeck was caught trying to acting cocky in a simple clearance and sub Wilfried Bony scoring a first time shot into the bottom right corner. Welbeck bettered his last season’s goal tally by scoring a nice chipped shot after the ball being played by Wayne Rooney. Manchester United’s weakness is still a lack of creativity in midfield and with Paul Scholes retired for the 2nd time a new midfielder is needed. After failing to get Thiago and him going to Bayern and also all 3 of their bids rejected for former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, someone like Ozil would help the team or even the return of the legend Cristiano Ronaldo is imminent.

With Jose Mourinho back at helm at the London club, Chelsea comfortably beat Premier League new boys Hull City Tigers 2-0 with goals from Oscar and all time top scorer, Frank Lampard. The Blues dominated through out the match and were playing fluidly and swiftly moving the ball from end to end.The build-up to Oscar’s goal was top class with a series of short passes until the gap was found for Oscar to run into and toe poke it home for Jose’s first goal back as manager. The 2nd goal was beautiful free kick from 40 yards out that has a Cristiano Ronaldo feel to it. The way the ball went up and over the wall and the tip at the final second to the swerve of the ball that made it near enough impossible for the keeper to save it, who had been pretty good in the game to keep it 1-0 up to that point. Chelsea are hot favourites to win the league and I honestly think it’s out of Chelsea and Manchester City. United even though they won their first match, still look very weak in the middle of the park and have not bulid up the squad whilst City have spent over £100m and Chelsea have spent money to widen their squad.

Finally I move on to the City’s opening match against Newcastle. City won their match by 4 goals to none with goals by David Silva,Aguero,Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri. After spending a huge amount of money in the transfer window, this is exactly what new manager Manuel Pellegrini what would have wanted for his first match as the City mananger. The Magpies started the match poor and hardly improved in the match. Star man Hatem Ben Arfa was their best player, breaking into the City defense a number of times, although failed to convert. Man City’s keeper Joe Hart preformed well, after his less than decent match against Scotland for England in an international friendly. New boy Jesus Navas also had an okay start to life in the Premier League, but was not used much as City went from a much direct approach to score rather than attack from the wings which Navas is best used.

Top 4 prediction

  1. Chelsea
  2. Manchester City
  3. Manchester United
  4. Arsenal

Bottom 3 prediction (In no order)

  • Palace
  • Cardiff
  • Hull
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