With the passionate football fans around the globe filled with excitement, the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League finally kicked off on Saturday. With new kits, new sponsors, new players, new managers and perhaps some new fans, the first round of entertaining games gave us 30 goals and also some surprising results. But then again, why be surprised? The Premier League was, is, and always will be the most unpredictable football league in the world.
Newcastle United 2 – 2 Southampton
Another entertaining game which ended in a stalemate. The Saints went into this game without their iconic midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Meanwhile, The Magpies were excited about their new midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who was included in the starting 11.
Graziano Pelle headed the visitors in front after 24 minutes. Papiss Cisse made it 1-1 just 3 minutes before half time as he scored from close range. Newcastle completed the comeback just 2 minutes after the break as a beautiful cross from Gabriel Obertan was headed into the back of the net by new signing Georginio WIjnaldum. Substitute Shane Long headed in Southampton’s equalizer from Dusan Tadic’s cross 12 minutes from time.
A fair result after a thoroughly entertaining game at St. James’ Park.
Arsenal 0 – 2 West Ham United
Arsenal came into this on a high after beating Chelsea in the Community Shield last weekend. Arsene Wenger fielded a strong side and Petr Cech was handed a debut. West Ham hadn’t beaten Arsenal in eight years. So, Arsenal were the favourites in this tie at The Emirates.
West Ham saw two players (Mark Noble and Angelo Ogbonna) booked inside the first 7 minutes. The deadlock was broken just a couple of minutes before half time as Cheikhou Kouyate headed the ball before Petr Cech could punch it and it landed in the back of the net to give the Hammer’s a shock lead at half time.
Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal as Mauro Zarate scored West Ham’s second from just outside the box, beating Petr Cech at his near post.
Numerous chances came to Arsenal, but they even failed to bag a consolation goal as the game ended 2-0 in favour of West Ham.
Stoke City 0 – 1 Liverpool
Stoke City thrashed Liverpool 6-1 on the final day of the 2014/15 Premier League season. Liverpool went into this game with revenge on their minds. Brendan Rodgers decided to hand debuts to Natanial Clyne, Joseph Gomez, James Milner and Christian Benteke. Ibrahim Afellay made his debut for Stoke City.
The Britannia Stadium experienced a close contest and cagey game between these two sides. It was 0-0 at halftime and stayed 0-0 till the 85th minute.
Philippe Coutinho’s beautiful and unstoppable drive from way outside the box finally broke the deadlock and gave Liverpool what they wanted.
They scored no more as the game finished 1-0. With 3 points and a clean sheet, Brendan Rodgers will be satisfied, but surely he himself and the fans will want to see The Reds score more in the upcoming games.
West Bromwich Albion 0 – 3 Manchester City
The only game which was scheduled for Monday was at The Hawthorns as West Brom were set to host The Blues of Manchester. Tony Pulis gave Rickie Lambert his first start for the club. Manuel Pellegrini also gave Raheem Sterling his debut. Bacary Sagna started at right back as Pablo Zabaleta was on the bench alongside Sergio Aguero. Wilfried Bony lead the attack.
We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal as Yaya Toure’s deflected strike from outside the box went into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 after just 9 minutes. Toure struck again, this time with a beautiful curling strike which went into the top right corner to make it 2-0 after 24 minutes. The third and final goal of the match came courtesy of skipper Vincent Kompany just before the hour mark. This was the 30th goal of the first round of Premier League fixtures.
No more goals were scored as Manchester City went to the top of the table with a very convincing and satisfactory win over the Baggies.