The Premier League returned to action this weekend for another season of excitement. There was a lot to take from the opening round of fixtures, and Last Word On Football has taken a look.
Five Things Learnt from the Premier League Opening Weekend
Manchester City are Still Very Good
The last time a side won 5-0 on the opening day of the season in the Premier League was the 2012/13 season. In fact, it happened twice that day as Fulham decimated Norwich City and Swansea City powered past Queens Park Rangers.
Now, Manchester City have joined the group of emphatic opening day winners as they brushed past West Ham United by five goals to nil. Pep Guardiola’s side eased past their opponents, and at times, operated in second gear.
It was Raheem Sterling who shined the brightest at the London Stadium Saturday lunchtime. The 24-year-old registered an opening day hat-trick to take home the match ball.
Chelsea Need to Improve Drastically in Defence
Kurt Zouma allowed United to score their first from the penalty spot after he made a needless tackle in the box. The Frenchman made his first start for Chelsea since his return to Stamford Bridge following last years loan with Everton.
The Chelsea defence at times lacked shape and cohesion. They were cut open frequently as United probed the gaping holes in their defence. Frank Lampard will have to drastically improve his defence, otherwise it could be a long season.
First Weekend of the Premier League, but a Tight Relegation Battle Lies Ahead
It is still early days in the season, but we could see a relegation dogfight that goes right to the wire this season.
Sheffield United battled to a late equaliser to salvage a draw at Bournemouth. Many had predicted the Blades to go down at the start of the season; however, if they play with the passion and spirit demonstrated shown on the south coast, it could see them survive.
Brighton & Hove Albion under new manager Graham Potter were the surprises of the opening weekend. The walked away from Vicarage Road with three points after beating Watford 3-0. The Seagulls are predicted to struggle but could shock the pundits this season.
Norwich are Here to Play Attacking Football
Liverpool destroyed Norwich in the Premier League opener. They were 4-0 up by half-time, and found weaknesses and holes in the Norwich defence.
However, Norwich boss Daniel Farke showed that they will not roll over to the big boys this season. They threatened Liverpool a number of times, even after going 4-0 down, and registered five shots on target. It brought a fresh mentality to the Premier League.
VAR Will Take Time to Get Used To
Last but not least of the five things we learnt from the first weekend of the Premier League surrounds VAR. Of course, it was going to be a talking point following the first weekend of Premier League action. The new technology will take time to get used to.
Despite being correct on every occasion, there was still confusion. Raheem Sterling was only marginally offside when Gabriel Jesus saw his second of the afternoon. There was also confusion about what was actually being checked.
The use of VAR will certainly have to improve if it is hero stay.