5 things we learned from the Premier League weekend
There were comfortable wins for Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
None of the newly-promoted teams managed to win but all of last season’s top-five began the new campaign with victories.
Here are five things we learned following the opening weekend of the 2018/19 season.
City are still slick
Pep Guardiola’s side were a cut above the rest of the league last season and are deservedly favourites to be champions again and become the first team in a decade to retain the Premier League trophy. They began quickly at the Emirates and put down an early marker, with Raheem Sterling giving them an early lead. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Leroy Sane not even in the starting line-up, City’s strength in depth is frightening. Guardiola’s side looked unstoppable for the first half an hour but then took their foot off the gas and allowed Arsenal back into it, although they won at a canter.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal offer hope to Gunners fans
It was a 2-0 defeat for the Spaniard in his first game in charge after goals from Sterling and Bernado Silva but there were positives to take. Sunday was the first real chance to see how Emery’s Arsenal would play and for the most part, Gunners fans should be optimistic. As you would expect, the champions took the game to their hosts but Arsenal stood up to the onslaught. There was the odd mistake, most notably from goalkeeper Petr Cech, but Emery’s influence is already visible and had they not been playing Guardiola’s team, Arsenal would probably have taken something from the game.
Naby Keita could be the signing of the summer
It is quite a statement after only one match but he was a player who Jurgen Klopp was determined to bring to Anfield, and against West Ham on Sunday you could see why. Able to pass, tackle and run, Keita looks like the complete central midfielder. Liverpool had to wait a year to get him from RB Leipzig but on his debut Keita looked like he had been playing in a Reds shirt for years, fitting in seamlessly and sharing the same wavelength as his team mates.
Jorginho as cool as Eden Hazard when it comes to taking penalties
We’ve all seen how nonchalant Hazard can be when scoring from the spot, waiting for the goalkeeper to move and commit himself before casually rolling the ball in the opposite corner. Well, in Hazard’s absence from the Chelsea starting line up at Huddersfield on Saturday, summer signing Jorginho got the chance to prove he also has nerves of steel. The Brazilian, signed from Napoli for a reported fee in the region of £50million, was the coolest player on the pitch as he skipped to the ball, forced Ben Hamer to drop to his right, and then calmly slotted the ball the other way.
Welcome to the big time
Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham were all taught about the harsh reality of the Premier League on Saturday as all three promoted sides failed to win their opening match. Much is expected of Wolves after they took the Championship by storm last season, winning the title in style, and they began with a point in a 2-2 home draw with Everton. However, Wanderers will be disappointed it was not more having played against 10 men for the majority of the game. Fulham and Cardiff both lost and you worry that perhaps all three newcomers might not score enough goals this season.