It has been an intriguing opening weekend of the English Premier League as the 2016/17 season kick-start across various stadia in England.
Here are the 5 things we learnt;
- Jose Mourinho sent a warning signal to his rivals as he starts a new chapter of his career.
Jose Mourinho made a winning Premier League start as Manchester United manager with a comprehensive opening victory at Bournemouth.
Juan Mata, who was substituted after coming on in last week’s Community Shield, opened the scoring with a tap-in after Simon Francis’ error.
Wayne Rooney headed the second before Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his United league debut with a goal from 25 yards.
Manchester United were without world-record £89m signing Paul Pogba through suspension, while midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan started on the bench, with Mata preferred.
- Liverpool showed great promise against Arsenal
Liverpool held on to beat Arsenal in a stunning Premier League opening-weekend encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Theo Walcott fired in the first goal for the Gunners in the 31st minute, moments after missing a penalty.
Philippe Coutinho equalised with a brilliant free-kick before Adam Lallana fired in after the break.
Coutinho poked in his second and Sadio Mane slammed home, before Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a great solo goal and Calum Chambers headed in.
- Leicester City became the first club to start premier league defence with a loss
Leicester’s defence of their Premier League title began with a shock defeat at newly promoted Hull, who are managerless and relegation favourites.
Under caretaker boss Mike Phelan, Hull took the lead when Adama Diomande and Abel Hernandez combined acrobatically, with Diomande awarded the goal.
Riyad Mahrez replied from the penalty spot at the start of the second half after Demarai Gray had been fouled.
But Robert Snodgrass earned the Tigers victory after a cross was not cleared.
Danny Simpson’s clearance from Ahmed Elmohamady’s ball into the area only found Snodgrass on the edge of the box, and he drilled home.
It is the first time the reigning English champions have started the season with a defeat since 1989, when Arsenal lost at Manchester United.
- Seems Everton have got a replacement for Howard
Stekelenburg spent last season on loan at Southampton.
The Dutchman looks back to his best after a superb performance against a rejuvenated Tottenham, who seem to have recovered from a shameful display against relegated Newcastle in the last game of the previous season.
The 33-year-old looked more than capable of taking over the gloves from Tim Howard and produced great saves from Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela – the only reason Everton left Goodison with a point.
- Mane proves he can play at the highest level
Mane was outstanding last season at Southampton, but it was clear his ambitions were set elsewhere. When he finally got the move he thought his talents deserved, I was staggered by the £34m fee Liverpool were prepared to pay for him.
However, his performance against Arsenal – not to mention the best individual goal I’ve seen in years – has forced me to rethink my position.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not averse to spending money if the talent is available. Having spent it wisely on Mane, he should seriously think about selling striker Christian Benteke – as he is surplus to requirements – and buying a decent left-back. If he keeps Alberto Moreno in the team, he can forget the top four – he’ll get relegated.
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