The 2019/20 Premier League campaign got underway last weekend and there were a few shock results .
Premier League champions Manchester City and title rivals Liverpool both launched their 2019/20 campaigns with convincing victories.
There were also wins for their Big Six rivals Tottenham , Arsenal and Manchester United , who delivered an emphatic triumph over Frank Lampard’s shell-shocked Chelsea side.
Elsewhere, Sheffield United ensured they avoided defeat on their return to the top-flight after Billy Sharp’s late effort sealed a draw at Bournemouth.
And Wilfried Zaha made a late substitute appearance for Crystal Palace against Everton, having missed out on a deadline day move to the Toffees.
Here, are five things learned from this season’s opening round of fixtures…
1. Kane gets off to stunning start :
Maybe Harry Kane was stung by the criticism of his performance in the Champions League final when fans thought he appeared sluggish following his injury lay-off.
Kane started that day for the first time in six weeks but was clearly struggling for match sharpness.
So fans were quick to spot his trim new look when he took to the pitch on Saturday against Aston Villa and scored two late goals to secure all three points.
He may have had a disappointing end to last season but the England captain looks like he intends to be a lean, mean, scoring machine this time round.
2. Wilder sticks to his philosophy :
Newly-promoted sides are supposed to close ranks, shut teams down and play the percentages, aren’t they? Not according to Chris Wilder.
The Sheffield United boss had vowed to stick with the attacking style that had fired the Blades into the Premier League.
And he was good to his word as his newly-promoted team held their own to claim a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.
Overlapping centre-backs might just catch on.
3. Eriksen proves his worth at Spurs :
The excitement among Tottenham fans at actually seeing new signings arrive at White Hart Lane has deflected attention away from the club’s success in preventing a talent drain.
Christian Eriksen could yet move to a European club this month.
But his display off the bench against Aston Villa showed why Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t want him to leave.
Spurs were trailing 1-0 when the great Dane appeared to provide the creative spark that fired his side’s 3-1 win.
4. United’s new look defence :
Two of Solskjaer’s big-money summer signings came straight into the United starting line-up to make their debuts against Chelsea.
And Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the £45million arrival from Crystal Palace, and £80m-centre back Harry Maguire, who joined from Leicester, gave us a glimpse of what we can expect from United in years to come.
Wan-Bissaka took little time displaying his undoubted ability. Just one minute, to be precise, with the full-back thwarting Emerson early on before calmly playing the ball out of danger.
Maguire also fitted seamlessly into this new-look defence, the England international looking composed in the heart of United’s defence – and Solskjaer will no doubt be hoping they can kick on from here.
5. City show their class :
City started as they mean to go on. Classic poaching for first, classy counter-attacking for the second. Gabriel Jesus with the first, Raheem Sterling with the hat-trick and Sergio Aguero with the other.
West Ham’s new-look line-up will eventually prove to be an upgrade on the usual white-flag wavers – but here they were put to the sword by the ruthless efficiency of Pep Guardiola’s Champions.
For all their attractive approach play, Manuel Pellegrini’s side could not lay a glove on their visitors. Wilshere prodded and probed, VAR denied Lanzini a penalty after he’d robbed Rodri in the box and Michail Antonio was hooked at half time.
New boy Sebastien Haller did get the touches of the ball he was after. But none of them could hurt Manchester City . This will have been a good loosener for the title holders. Anything Liverpool can do…
6. Palace fans welcome Zaha back to first-team fold :
Zaha was linked with a summer move away from Selhurst Park with Everton attempting to land the Ivory Coast international in the closing days of the transfer window.
In a quirk of the fixture list, the Toffees faced Palace in south London on the opening day of the season, with the sides playing out a 0-0 draw and Zaha coming off the bench for the last 25 minutes.
Despite handing in a transfer request and being relieved from training on deadline day, the Crystal Palace fans cheered Zaha’s introduction after chanting his name throughout a forgettable contest.
And he showed glimpses of why he is adored so much by the Eagles faithful, impressing in his cameo appearance. Whether he will start this weekend remains to be seen, but there’s no doubting the star ability of this much-loved winger.
Source: The Mirror