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5 key takeaways from the opening Premier League weekend

15 September 2020 | Premier League | Opinion
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5 key takeaways from the opening Premier League weekend
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The opening round of the 2020/21 Premier League season dished up plenty of drama. Liverpool started the defence of their crown with a thrilling 4-3 victory over newly-promoted Leeds, while there were also wins for top-four hopefuls Arsenal, Leicester, Wolves and Chelsea.

Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Everton got the better of Southampton, West Ham and Brighton respectively, with no draws being recorded on the opening weekend.

Here are five major talking points from the first round of Premier League fixtures.

 

Leeds will be tough opponents this season

Leeds are back in England’s top flight following a 16-year absence, and Marcelo Bielsa’s men pushed reigning champions Liverpool all the way on their return to the big time.

The newcomers came from behind on three occasions before conceding a late penalty to eventually lose 4-3. However, Leeds showed enough quality against the Reds to suggest that they will be difficult to beat this term.

Everton’s midfield looks strong

Everton have been busy in the transfer window, spending a combined total of around £60 million on James Rodriquez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan. Carlo Ancelotti threw the trio straight into his starting XI on the opening day, and they did not disappoint.

With Allan screening the backline, Doucoure offering his box-to-box qualities and Rodriquez adding a creative spark, the Toffees comfortably beat Tottenham. It’s certainly an exciting time to be an Everton supporter.

Chelsea desperately need a new goalkeeper

Everton have spent big in the off-season, but Chelsea’s acquisitions have been colossal. Kai Havertz (£72m), Timo Werner (£47.7m), Ben Chilwell (£45.18) and Hakim Ziyech (£36m) have all been brought in for huge fees, but the Blues’ goalkeeping problems were exposed once again against Brighton.

For all of Chelsea’s attacking promise, they can’t expect to challenge for the title with Kepa between the sticks. The Spaniard let Leandro Trossard’s shot squirm under his arms on Monday, adding to his long list of mistakes.

Fulham and West Brom could struggle

Fulham and West Brom both suffered 3-0 defeats on the opening weekend, with the Cottagers losing to Arsenal and the Baggies losing to Leicester. Of course, it is still early days. But the early signs don’t look good for the two newbies.

Both sides created very few goalscoring opportunities in their first games and were dominated by two of the division’s top teams. Fulham and West Brom will surely pick up points against some of the lesser teams in the league, but they could struggle to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Sheffield United still can’t score goals

Sheff Utd enjoyed a remarkable comeback campaign in the Premier League last season, securing a hugely respectable ninth-place finish. However, only four teams scored fewer goals than Chris Wilder’s side last term, and two of them – Watford and Norwich – were relegated.

The Blades fired a blank on Monday and only managed to register two shots on target in a 2-0 defeat to Wolves. It looks like Sheff Utd will be among the lowest scorers again this season.

Premier League Regular Season
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Leicester City 6 2 2 0 0 7 2 5
2. Everton 6 2 2 0 0 6 2 4
3. Arsenal 6 2 2 0 0 5 1 4
4. Liverpool 6 2 2 0 0 6 3 3
5. Crystal Palace 6 2 2 0 0 4 1 3
6. Tottenham 3 2 1 0 1 5 3 2
7. Wolverhampton 3 1 1 0 0 2 0 2
8. Brighton 3 2 1 0 1 4 3 1
9. Leeds United 3 2 1 0 1 7 7 0
10. Chelsea 3 2 1 0 1 3 3 0
11. Newcastle United 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1
12. Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13. Manchester City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14. Burnley 0 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2
15. Manchester United 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2
16. Sheffield United 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
17. West Ham 0 2 0 0 2 1 4 -3
18. Fulham 0 2 0 0 2 3 7 -4
19. Southampton 0 2 0 0 2 2 6 -4
20. West Bromwich 0 2 0 0 2 2 8 -6

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