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Five things we learned from the opening round of Premier League fixtures

By: Joe Morgan 19 Aug 2014 12:51:12

Five things we learned from the opening round of Premier League fixtures

1. Manchester United are still a club in turmoil

The Moyes era began with an easy 4-1 win against Swansea, this time around the Swans ground out a 2-1 victory and it became clear that United's problems will not be fixed immediately. They will struggle to challenge if they do not invest in a new crop of players with the current XI being well below the standard of the Alex ferguson years. If David Moyes had played Ashley young as a wing back people would've been up in arms, now Van Gaal is doing it it shows the lack of talent and quality players available. It was saddening for such a big club with an illustrious history to have Tyler Blackett in the heart of defence when Rio Ferdinand was dishing out a defensive master class in front of the QPR goal the very same day, and Vidic was probably eating a panini in a quiet Milan cafe.

2. Leicester could surprise us this season...but Burnley might not

As the home side fought back from behind twice to earn themselves a valuable point against a well fancied Everton we learned the foxes could be tough customers this term. If they can continue to fight hard in every game like they did on the opening day they will surely pick up points along the way. It's a cliche that newly promoted teams must make their home a fortress but if Leicester keep up their dogged determination the king power stadium will be a formidable place to visit. Burnley on the other hand faired worse, despite a promising Scott Arfield opener they shipped in three goals against Chelsea. Arfield's name certainly won't be remembered as fondly a Robbie Blake's, who scored the winner against United the last time Burnley made the top flight, and the words Turf Moor probably won't be striking fear into the hearts of the premier league elite this season.

3. Arsenal finally have belief again (and still have Aaron Ramsey)

The dramatic late victory against Crystal palace thanks to Ramsey's late winner shows that arsenal now have the belief and staying power to win tough matches. Last season they buckled under the pressure of Aston Villa on the fist day, posting a 3-1 loss, but this was far from the case on Saturday as they came from behind to win. Palace tried to stop them from playing but could not prevent them winning. Arsenal led the premier league for 128 days last season but in the end just didn't have the staying power to remain on top at the end, now it seems they have regained the belief that they can win matches, even from behind after their emphatic FA cup comeback ending the nine year trophy drought. (also largely thanks to Ramsey)

4. Southampton are better than Southampton

Liverpools summer plunder of he south coast club has been well documented, a loss against them in the first match would've been humiliating. Luckily, despite the best efforts of new boy Dusan Tadic, Liverpool emerged victorious thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool's first defeat of the season last year was against Southampton, so the saints raid has proved successful so far. The defeat did also show that all is not lost for Southampton, who still challenged Liverpool despite a more streamlined starting XI.

5. Chelsea mean serious business

After a shaky few minutes at Turf Moor after going behind chelsea moved the ball around with the arrogance of true title contenders, their pricey new additions in Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have shown in just one match that they give chelsea the cutting edge. You wonder how anybody can look further than Morinho's men for the league this season with a team sheet full of quality and what finally looks like a reliable striker, which has evaded them the last couple of seasons. Costa and Fabregas have clearly improved the side, inspiring the comeback on Monday practically by themselves.

Bonus lesson: Free kicks are easy

A pitch invader spiced up an otherwise dull 10 v 10 affair at Upton Park. As Christian Eriksen lined up a free kick the invader sprinted away from stewards and fired away a hopeful shot toward the goal mid-stride, forcing a save from the West ham 'keeper as the ball sailed toward the top corner. That was far more than could be said for Eriksen's free kick, which soared way over the bar. Perhaps the pros should stop making such a meal of it.


DSG

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