With the first round of fixtures already over this weekend we look back at a few things that we picked up from the matches.
Arsenal and Liverpool must work on their defense if they are to challenge for title
A 7 goal thriller was served up by Arsenal and Liverpool on Sunday. It was fun and exciting for the free scoring football neutral but both teams’ soft underbellies were laid to bare. If they have any aspirations of winning the title, they will have to work on their defense. For a team with title aspirations, a good defense forms the basis. Defend well and you stand a better chance of winning more matches. Liverpool might have won the game but they were reckless in allowing Arsenal to get back in the game to begin with.
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Leicester City missing Kante already
Last season, N’golo Kante was immense for Leicester City. So immense that it earned him a call up to the national team for the summer games. It was clear that offers would start coming for such a player whose stock had seemingly risen overnight following a successful campaign. Despite calls by manager Claudio Ranieri to his Leicester City players to turn down offers and stay for at least a year, Kante accepted a big summer move to Chelsea that looked to spark an exodus but Mahrez and Vardy stayed despite offers from Arsenal. Kante was the midfield cover for the defense and usually covered a lot of ground to get the ball back once his team lost possession. His services were sorely missed on Saturday with Morgan and co left exposed by Hull City’s players on the counter. Huth was missing but it was the lack of Kante’s buffer of protection to the defense that proved to be Leicester City’s undoing against Hull.
The Premier League still shows its unpredictability
We were all wondering if the Premier League could pull another shock in the opening match where champions Leicester City faced Hull City who had only 13 players to choose from. The only surprise was that we were all surprised when it actually happened. An out of sorts Hull City team gave us an early reminder to expect the unexpected in a league where no one is ever an outright winner until the final whistle in May. Hang on because this season is going to be one hell of a roller-coaster ride.
United leave early marker in the title race this season
Its early days yet but Manchester United have laid down an early marker for the season with a comprehensive over a Bournemouth side who beat them last season in the same fixture. It was not vintage United but this was a far better performance from ones fans had become accustomed in the last 3 years. The players were much more efficient keeping it simple and each understanding their tasks well. Eric Bailly was also outstanding in defense earning him the man of the match award. Zlatan continued his record of scoring in his debut games for all clubs he has played for. Mata who many felt would be the first out the door upon the announcement of Mourinho as manager put in a performance worthy of a stay of execution. It was all round a good performance that gives hope and optimism to a club starved of success for 3 years now.
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City will take time to get the Pep talk
For those who were expecting City to start play tika-taka football from day one, they would have been disappointed. Pep Guardiola might be many things but a magician isn’t one of them. City will need time to adapt to the new manager’s style of play but there were early signs that they are closer to that than we might think. Raheem Sterling was lively as always – drifting into the center forward role at times during the game. Pep’s big call on Saturday was dropping Joe Hart with rumors that he was to sign a new goal keeper. Stones had a decent debut but he seemed to be at fault for the equalizer. Pep will be a success at City for sure but he will need time to impart his ethos and principles into the City players.