The moment all football lovers all over the globe have been waiting for is here, as we literally welcome an August visitor in the mould of the European football season. The transfer buzz is still on though the English transfer window was shut the day preceding the kick off of the English Premier League (August 8, 2019). The traditional Premier League opener, the Community Shield pitched domestic treble champions Manchester City against last season’s league runner-up and Champions League winners Liverpool. City however nicked the shield on penalties (5:4) after the game ended 1:1 in regulation time. Manchester City still hold the bragging rights on the local scene in England.
Liverpool however kick started their Premier League campaign with the visit of Norwich City to their Anfield Stadium. Norwich who made their return to the Premier League(PL) after a 3 year absence did not get the kind of reception they had anticipated losing 4:1 to the Kops. Could this the year of the Kops as Liverpool go into a 30th season with the Premier League title the only club trophy that has eluded them since 1992? Time will tell.
Defending champions Manchester City travelled to Stratford to play West Ham United. Bookmakers have penned the Citizens for a third consecutive title if you consider their transfer activities and that of their so called rivals. Manchester City boast of quality on all fronts and they didn’t disappoint with the 5:0 drubbing of the Hammers. Raheem Sterling went away with the match ball scoring a hattrick and Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Kun Aguero added a goal apiece. The gulf in class between Manchester City and Liverpool in comparison to the other 18 teams in the league is evidently wide and there wouldn’t be surprises if they both finish 1st and 2nd respectively again come May, 2020.
Arsenal visited St. James’s Park to face Newcastle United and they grabbed all 3 points with a 1 nil win. Arsenal is one to look out for when the battle for top 4 gets intense. Last season’s giant killers Wolverhampton Wanderers were hosted by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and the tie ended in a goalless draw.
The biggest game of the opening weekend on paper had to be Manchester United welcoming Chelsea to the Theater of Dreams. The scoreline however didn’t tell the story as United were 4:0 winners with Marcus Rashford scoring a brace and Anthony Martial and Daniel James who had his Premier League debut for United coming off the bench also amongst the goals in a game that saw Frank Lampard’s men hit the woodwork twice. Chelsea were quite dominant but paid for the chances they didn’t take.
Result of other games of the opening weekend saw Brighton beat Watford 3:0 at Vicarage Road which must have surprised a lot of people, Burnley were also 3:0 winners over Southampton. New Boys Sheffield United held Bournemouth to a 1:1 stalemate while Aston Villa despite leading Tottenham for most part of the game lost 3:1. The only surprising thing was Harry Kane scored, a brace at that as he had not scored a Premier League in the month of August since he became first team player for the team. That’s over 1000 minutes of football. Crystal Palace held Everton to a 0:0 draw.
The new football season is sure going to be a blast as always so be prepared to get glued to the TV screens either at home, the pub or even at viewing centers.
Retelling sports with a goal in mind!!!