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Premier League: 5 things we learned from opening weekend

The Premier League returned this weekend with a bang. Here are five things we learned.

The Manchester Clubs are ready

They were most people’s favourites for a top two finish come the end of the season, and this weekend won’t have changed much in that regard. Both clubs have spent millions this summer to get their squad ready for a title push and are expected to spend more still.

City were dominant against Brighton, had a wealth of attacking options to choose from, and finally look like they have some solidity at the back. United, meanwhile, arguably put in the performance of the weekend at home to West Ham.

They attacked with verve, pace and swagger whilst also being untroubled defensively. Both sides will obviously have far stronger tests asked of them, but they passed the first week in style. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the two run away with the title challenge this season, such is the all round depth and quality of their squads.

Huddersfield aren’t here to make up the numbers

Many expected the Terriers to go straight back down to the Championship. That could still be the case of course, and one excellent result on the opening weekend doesn’t change that. However, they won’t be pushovers if this performance is anything to go by. They have spent a lot of money this summer to get their squad ready, with Steve Mounie and Aaron Mooy impressing in particular.

They pressed Crystal Palace all game, a theme in manager David Wagner’s style of play. They could, and should, have scored more against a horrific Palace side and will be fun to watch at the very least this season. They always give it a go and aim to implement their style on the opposition. It may get found out against better teams, however don’t bank against them adding quite a few scalps to their name this season.

Chelsea are in trouble

This isn’t an overreaction to just two results. This squad is in desperate need of freshening up, that is clear for all to see. They have still spent almost £150 million this summer on three new signings, however still look desperately short in some key areas. They lack serious depth in central midfield, miss Diego Costa’s presence up top look very shaky at the back. As good as Chelsea were last season, they were extremely fortunate not to pick up too many major injuries. Their squad is already being tested with suspension and injury this season, and with Champions League football to contend with, additions are critical. A defeat to rivals Tottenham Hotspur this weekend would be a disaster for the Blues and they go into that game with an extremely weakened side. Antonio Conte said it was vital they didn’t have another Mourinho season this year. It’s looking eerily similar so far.

Big money strikers are delivering

A lot of money has been spent this summer on bringing in new forwards. All of Romelu Lukaku, Alexandre Lacazette, Alvaro Morata, Mo Salah, and Wayne Rooney scored on their Premier League debuts for the new clubs. There were doubts hanging over each and every single one of those players heads, however they have each gotten off to a great start in answering those questions. All of the big sides look like they will be frightening and creative in attack with goals and chances galore this weekend. It will be an exciting race for the golden boot, when you add in the strikers already at their clubs such as Harry Kane at Tottenham Hotspur and Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero at Manchester City.

Tottenham Hotspur look settled

Every season, Spurs are spoken about as the ones to miss out. And yet for the past two campaigns, they are the only side to put up two title fights. However, with the lack of signings, and comments from Danny Rose, many believe this season is where Spurs will finish outside the Champions League places once again. However, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, despite their win, all look to have problems whilst Spurs were solid, efficient, and looked a settled squad. They were pedestrian at times against Newcastle, and without Jonjo Shelvey’s sending off, it could have been a different story. However, they still arguably have the strongest first 11 in the league, and if they add depth and quality to their squad, a first ever Premier League title could be on its way to Tottenham. They have the most settled side out of anyone in the top six of last season, and that could prove the difference.

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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

Premier League: 5 things we learned from opening weekend

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