The first matchday of the new Premier League season is in the books. It featured several surprises and, for the most part, low-scoring matches. Thirty-seven games remain in the race for the Premier League title. With Premier League matchday 1 finished, here are 5 things we learned from the weekend.
- Chelsea have no cutting edge
Frank Lampard got off to the worst possible start on Sunday as Chelsea lost to Manchester United 4-0. The Blues kept more possession (54%) and outshot Manchester United 18-11. Yet, they were slow, struggled to cut through Manchester United’s defence, and attempted to press high up the pitch though not having the personnel to make it successful.
Chelsea’s season doesn’t get any easier. On Wednesday night, they play Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup before facing Leicester City next weekend.
- Manchester City and Liverpool still look strong
Manchester City and Liverpool combined for nine goals in their two matches over the weekend. Liverpool kicked the Premier League season off with a dominant 4-1 win over Norwich City. Manchester City followed it up less than 24 hours later with a 5-0 demolition of West Ham.
Both clubs picked up where they left off last season. In Liverpool’s case, they will be without goalkeeper Alisson Becker for around six weeks after he tore his calf muscle. If the Reds can weather the storm without him, they will be in great shape in the title race and neck and neck with the Cityzens.
- Clean sheets galore
Seven of the 10 matches over the weekend finished with at least one team being shut out. Two of those seven games saw no goals whatsoever. The early start to the Premier League season coupled with the summer international tournaments took their toll on players.
In addition, Premier League clubs have continued to upgrade players thanks to the money streaming into the league. Better players mean teams are either more equal or stronger. The improved, upgraded talent has so far resulted in closer, more even matches.
- Brighton may have struck gold
Brighton signed 22-year-old French striker Neal Maupay from Brentford for £20 million last week. Maupay scored 25 goals in 43 matches last season for the Bees. The striker got off to a flying start on Saturday against Watford scoring a goal on his debut in the 77th minute.
Maupay scored nearly the same number of goals singularly as Brighton did as a team. Brighton struggled with goals last season scoring a mere 35. Maupay could be the bargain buy in the Premier League if he can reach double digit goals and Brighton stay up.
- Europa League taking toll on Wolves
Wolverhampton Wanderers are three matches into their Europa League qualifying campaign. It is a campaign that could take a major toll on Wolves in the Premier League. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has played strong squads in an effort to reach the group stage and many of those players featured against Leicester City on Sunday.
Wolves’ players looked tired in the second half of the match. The Black Country club did have a goal taken away due to VAR, but Wolves were under pressure for much of the final 30 minutes. Wolverhampton Wanderers are good enough to crash the top six. With added Europa League matches, however, that may not occur.