We at 90MinuteCynic are very pleased to welcome Colin Armstrong back for the new season. Colin is back with his weekly reviews of all the action in the English Premier League. Do you agree or disagree? What were your highlights of the weekends action? Let us know in the comments section below, or tweet us @90minutecynic.
Barclays Premier League Review | What we learned from the weekend | 19.08.2013| IT’S BACK!! Just like Backstreet circa 1997, the Premier League is underway and ready to entertain until the World Cup in Brazil next summer. For the first time there’s a Premier League season without Fergie time and a host of new managers have joined the cast… Mourinho at Chelsea, Martinez at Everton, Pellegrini at Manchester City… And between Paulo Di Canio and Iain Holloway I think we are sorted for managerial drama.
But it’s not just the managers that are at it… The Premier League has held on to its biggest stars (ignoring Bale’s impending move to Madrid) and has only gone and secured some excellent additions… Soldado and Paulinho to Spurs… Giacherrini to Sunderland… Nelgredo, Navas, Fernandino and Jovetic to City (bloody hell) and of course Arsenal have yet to sign anyone other than an injury prone, unproven French international on a free transfer (insert joke here).
With the transfer window to slam shut in a few weeks (and fixtures) time there is sure to be some additions and departures before the table begins to settle. And if that wasn’t enough for you they’ve only gone and introduced goal-line technology! Welcome to the future. Managers will be making substitutions using iPad’s next and players will wear rocket boots (maybe not).
The nine weekend fixtures brought 21 goals, 25 yellow cards and a cheeky red. This is how it all went down…
The Moyes Are Back In Town….
United, love them or hate them (I hate them) they are solid. A fantastic squad and a fantastic club, there was only going to be one result against Swansea this Saturday regardless of who was in the dugout. United dominated the match and demonstrated once again why Robin Van Persie was a sniff at little over £20m.
The Dutchman netted the first of the campaign against the run of play with an unconventional finish only three minutes before Welbeck tapped in from close range to notch the Red Devils two goals into the lead.
Swansea felt aggrieved to be two down at the break and after substitute Wayne Rooney fed Robin Van Persie to net his second of the game the Swans had no way back. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the home side as record signing Wilfreid Bony scored his first of the season after coming off the bench to make his debut.
Not long after Danny Welbeck capped off a fine individual performance by chipping the Swansea keeper to make it 4:1 on the day. A solid performance and a return to the starting eleven for Vidic after an injury laden season last campaign. David Moyes off and running.
Arsenal Made To Pay The Penalty….
Like any good horror show it all started quite nicely for the Gunners as the home side looked comfortable on the ball against last season strugglers Aston Villa. They even went a goal ahead through Olivier Giroud after a delightful Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain assist. The Emirates scoffed and waited for the goals to fly in.
Minutes later Wojciech Szczęsny seemed to have a meltdown, starting by chopping down Gabby Agbonglahor like a lumberjack then allowing Benteke to score the rebound from the following penalty. He didn’t stop there, like a man on a personal mission to sabotage the confidence of the Arsenal back four he decided to take a few touches and lose the ball well outside his box.
It went into half time 1:1 but the second half brought two goals, both to Aston Villa as Arsenal crumpled like an old chip packet. Partial to a needless yellow card Koscielny conceded the second penalty of the game bringing down Agbonglahor in the box to allow Benteke to slot in from twelve yards. Deja vu.
As if there wasn’t enough drama and Arsene Wenger arm-flailing in the match Koscielny earned a second yellow, and subsequent red, for a clumsy challenge (that didn’t seem to make much contact). Down to ten. Aston Villa rubbed salt in Gooners wounds by scoring a wonderful counter-attacking move exposing Arsenal at the back. Italian full-back Luna slotting in to make it three goals and three points for the visitors.
Grumble grumble…. Wenger buy some players…
Player of the Weekend
Was going to tip Robin Van Persie but I enjoyed watching Kevin De Bruyne more than any other player this weekend.
Goal of the Weekend
Ross Barkley (Everton) vs Norwich City. Pick that out.
Elsewhere in the League
Liverpool squeaked past Stoke at Anfield as Mignolet saved a late penalty on his debut to secure an opening day win for the Kop, 1:0.
Norwich and Everton shared the spoils at Carrow road where Ricky Van Wolfswinkel scored a great header on his first appearance for the club, 2:2.
Fulham robbed Sunderland at the Stadium of Light as Di Cannio’s Black Cats fell foul of a Kasami header to lose 1:0.
Southampton brushed aside West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns with England-goal scorer Ricky Lambert scoring a late penalty to nick the points.
Battering Ram West Ham scored two goals through Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan to welcome new boys Cardiff to the Premier League, 2:0.
A Roberto Soldado debut goal from twelve yards secured a home win for Tottenham Hotspur over newly promoted Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane, 1:0.
Chelsea back under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho got off to a great start with goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard to beat Hull City Tigers (that’s their name, seriously, I know) at Stamford Bridge, 2:0.
Manchester City host Newcastle United tonight (Monday) at the Etihad.
What are your highlights of the opening weekend? Comment below or tweet us @90MinuteCynic
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