The Premier League is back and things outside football have changed significantly. After a year of dismal lockdowns, fans are back in the stadiums that are finally allowing full capacity. This article is the start of a new column at Carrot Magazine that’s dedicated to the Premier League, which will highlight the major happenings of the gameweek, will discuss upcoming fixtures, will feature news (with rumours of course) and finally FPL.
Brentford 2-0 Arsenal
Man Utd 5-1 Leeds Utd
Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace
Burnley 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Everton 3-1 Southampton
Leicester 1-0 Wolves
Watford 3-2 Aston Villa
Norwich 0-3 Liverpool
Brentford return in style to top-flight football for the first time in 74 years.
Brentford made the best possible start to their first top-flight campaign in 74 years as they earned a well-deserved victory over London rivals, Arsenal. Goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard handed Brentford the win while putting pressure on Mikel Arteta on day one of the new campaign. There were some beautiful moments throughout the Friday night fixture at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Man United breeze past Leeds.
A full Old Trafford gave Raphael Varane a warm welcome before the Red Devils put in a fantastic attacking performance against Leeds. Bruno Fernandes bagged a hattrick, his first in the league, as Mason Greenwood and Fred scored the rest. Paul Pogba had an impressive day out with 4 assists to his name, one more than his entire tally for the previous season. While Ole Gunnar Solskjær is yet to prove that he can win trophies, this United team looks like his best bet to do so. Luke Ayling also scored a goal of the season contender.
Chelsea dominate Crystal Palace.
Full disclosure: I’m a Chelsea fan but I will try to be as neutral as possible.
The European Champions got off to a wonderful start to their season as they dominated the Eagles with new boss Patrick Vieira in charge. Thomas Tuchel was a little short of first-team regulars but went with an attacking lineup as they secured a win & a clean sheet. Marcos Alonso curled in a trademark free-kick, Christian Pulisic tapped in the second and debutant Trevoh Chalobah scored a screamer from outside the box.
Brighton make a comeback against Burnley.
Burnley scored an early goal from a corner through James Tarkowski but second-half goals from Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister completed the comeback for the Seagulls. Both teams could be facing a relegation battle come April but an early win for Brighton puts them in a good position.
Rafa returns to Merseyside, albeit in blue.
Rafa Benitez took charge of his first Premier League game for Everton but it started in the worst possible fashion with Michael Keane making a terrible mistake leading to the Saints goal by debutant Adam Armstrong. However, a second-half turnaround from the Toffies made it a positive start for the new manager.
Howling Vardy scores against Wolves.
Jamie Vardy did what Jamie Vardy does best and scored the only goal in the tie to earn Foxes the win. An excellent flick from Ricardo Pereira’s cross beat José Sá and Bruno Lages, the new Wolves manager started with a loss at the King Power Stadium.
Late Villa comeback not enough at Vicarage Road.
Watford took a surprising 2-0 lead at halftime on their return to the Premier League and made it 3-0 in the second half. But a late comeback from the Villans was not enough as the Hornets held on for 3 points. Former Saints striker Danny Ings scored a penalty on his debut for Villa.
Salah sets PL record as Liverpool won at Carrow Road.
Mohamed Salah became the first player in Premier League history to score on the opening weekend of five successive seasons as the Reds won comfortably over newly-promoted Norwich City.
West Ham & Newcastle produce another exciting goal-fest.
The Hammers and Magpies produced a thrilling end-to-end encounter that resulted in six goals and plenty of entertainment. Callum Wilson scored an early goal, his 9th goal in 11 appearances against the East London outfit. Aaron Cresswell scored the equalizer for West Ham before Jacob Murphy gave Newcastle a 2-1 lead at halftime. A second-half blitz from the Hammers resulted in 3 goals in 13 minutes and there was no coming back from that for Newcastle.
Reigning Champions lose to Kane-less Spurs.
Toothless Manchester City lost to a Spurs team that was missing Harry Kane in Nuno Espirito Santo’s first match in charge of the Lilywhites. Son Heung-Min scored the only goal of the fixture following a swift counterattack from the home side.
Games to keep an eye on
Liverpool host Burnley as Anfield will be packed and buzzing again in a very long time. Champions City will be hoping to get their first win as Norwich visit the Etihad. Spurs travel to the Molineux on Sunday as Nuno faces his former employers. Super Sunday finishes with a tasty London derby as Arsenal play Chelsea.
Chelsea completed the signing of Romelu Lukaku who is expected to make his debut against the Gunners on Sunday. His arrival meant that Tammy Abraham moved to AS Roma. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette sat out the loss against Brentford due to covid-19 but could return for the derby against Chelsea.
Vicente Guaita and David Raya are probably the picks of the goalkeepers. They are more likely to face more shots and make saves earning bonus points while facing a possibility of a goalless draw. Trent Alexander-Arnold is a no brainer against an ageing Burnley defence while Luke Shaw is expected to be a menace against his former team. Bruno Fernandes and Mo Salah should be favourites for the armband. Riyad Mahrez could be the differential for City against the Canaries. West Ham duo of Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma could exploit Leicester’s defence.
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