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EPL review week 1: business as usual for City and Liverpool

TAGs: English Premier League, liverpool

A new campaign, but nothing new about the results, as Manchester City and Liverpool, open the season with big wins.

It’s a new season, but the mural remains the same, unblemished by an opening day that saw the three big guns strap on their seat belts as they drove their opponents headfirst into a wall.

epl-review-week-1-business-as-usual-for-city-and-liverpoolWe begin with the Champions.

West Ham 0 v 5 Manchester City

To say that the London Stadium is a happy stomping ground for Manchester City is an understatement. In their previous four visits, City had scored 17 goals with only one fired back in response, and this one-sided affair would end similarly.

Riyad Mahrez and David Silva had come close to opening the scoring before Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring on 25-minutes; Kyle Walker flew down the right-hand flank like an Olympic sprinter before cutting the ball across for Jesus to finish at the near post amid a huddle of defenders.

City had to be patient before the second goal arrived when seven-minutes after the restart, Kevin de Bruyne drove down the middle of the park before releasing Raheem Sterling on the left, and the England forward finished sweetly with his left peg.

Barely two minutes had passed, and City thought they had secured a 3-0 lead after Jesus finished from close range after neat work from Oleksandr Zinchenko, Silva and Sterling, but VAR spotted a tight offside and ruled out the goal.

The decision didn’t stop the flow of City’s attacks as they kept on piling on the pressure, and then in the 75th-minute, Mahrez found Sterling seven-yards from goal, and he lobbed Lukasz Fabianski to score his second.

Mahrez was inspirational throughout, and it was his jink in the penalty area, that led to a West Ham defender bringing him down on 83-minutes. Fabianski saved Sergio Agüero’s weak penalty only for him to score on his second attempt after VAR penalised Declan Rice for encroachment.

Then with time ebbing away, and West Ham wishing the final whistle away, Sterling scored his third with an assuredness that’s becoming commonplace for a player who not that long ago, couldn’t hit a Boeing 747 hangar from ten-yards.

Liverpool 4 v1 Norwich

Man City and Liverpool went stiletto to stiletto throughout last season, and they begin this one as if the summer break never existed. Few expected the Canaries to make much of an impression at Anfield, and that’s how the game went with Jürgen Klopp’s men running out comfortable winners.

Divock Origi started in place of Sadio Mané, and the Belgian was instrumental in Liverpool’s first goal when Grant Hanley skewed his low cross from the left into the back of the Norwich net with only seven-minutes played.

Liverpool was two-up within 20-minutes.

Mohamed Salah lost the ball on the right-hand side of the penalty area, only for the ball to fall to the feet of Roberto Firmino. The Egyptian reacted instantly, running into space, the Brazilian found him, and Salah took one touch to control the ball before scoring from a tight angle with his second.

Salah turned provider for Liverpool’s third goal, sending over a pinpoint missile of a corner that Virgil van Dijk headed home after proving far too strong for Jamal Lewis.

Then three minutes before half time, Trent Alexander-Arnold fired a David Beckhamesque cross with the outside of his right foot onto the head of Origi, who finished with aplomb.

Teemu Pukki pulled one back for Norwich in a more subdued performance from Liverpool in a second-half overshadowed by Alisson who injured a calf muscle when taking a goal kick. As a precaution, the Brazilian star misses the UEFA Super Cup Final in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The best of the rest

Spurs begin the new campaign with three-points despite leaving it late against Aston Villa. The Premier League new boys opened the scoring in the ninth minute thanks to a strike from John McGinn. Spurs had to wait until the 73rd minute for an equaliser courtesy of a strike from new signing Tanguy Ndombele. Harry Kane secured three-points with two late strikes.

Brighton sits third after a stunning win at Vicarage Road. Watford had an outstanding season finishing 11th, but they showed none of that grit and spirit in this one. Goals from Florin Andone and Neal Maupay and an own goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure secured three points for the Seagulls.

It was an annus horriblis for Sean Dyche, but he starts this term with a win. Veteran striker Ashley Barnes scored twice in a three-nil win against Southampton. Johann Berg Gudmundsson added a third.

Here are the results in full.

Results in full

West Ham 0 v 5 Man City
Crystal Palace 0 v 0 Everton
Burnley 3 v 0 Southampton
Watford 0 v 3 Brighton
Bournemouth 1 v 1 Sheff Utd
Spurs 3 v 1 Aston Villa

To be played (Sun)

Leicester v Wolves
Newcastle v Arsenal
Man Utd v Chelsea

Premier League table

1. Man City – 3 pts
2. Liverpool – 3
3. Brighton – 3
4. Burnley – 3
5. Spurs – 3
6. Bournemouth – 1
7. Sheff Utd – 1
8. Crystal Palace – 1
9. Everton – 1
10. Arsenal – 0
11. Chelsea – 0
12. Leicester – 0
13. Man Utd – 0
14. Newcastle – 0
15. Wolves – 0
16. Aston Villa – 0
17. Norwich – 0
18. Southampton – 0
19. Watford – 0
20. West Ham – 0

Odds

To win

Man City 2/5
Liverpool 3/1
Spurs 20/1
Chelsea 40/1
Man Utd 40/1
Arsenal 50/1

Relegation

Sheff Utd 8/11
Norwich 10/11
Newcastle 2/1
Aston Villa 9/4
Burnley 5/2
Brighton 3/1

Golden boot

Harry Kane 10/3
Mo Salah 5/1
Raheem Sterling 6/1
Sergio Aguero 7/1
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8/1

First manager to leave

Roy Hodgson 5/1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 7/1

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