This year’s English Premier League season began over the weekend. Each team has only played one game, but each team’s first game of the season can still provide important information looking ahead to the rest of the season.
After the first weekend of games, there are several new storylines in the Premier League. Here is a look at some of the most important events from the first weekend of games this season.
Manchester United Needs to Continue Strengthening the Squad
Erik ten Hag’s first summer at Manchester United brought excitement ahead of his first season as manager. Tyrell Malacia joined the team and is competing to start at left-back, while Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez will both play important roles for the team this year.
However, Manchester United still hasn’t completed all of their goals for this summer. The impacts of that became clear over the weekend. A 2-1 home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion showcased the areas the club still could improve.
On Sunday, Manchester United began the game without a center-forward on the field. Anthony Martial, who played extremely well during pre-season games, is dealing with an injury, and Ten Hag chose not to start Cristiano Ronaldo after he only played in a few pre-season games.
Ronaldo eventually entered the game as a substitute after Manchester United was already behind 2-0. The situation showed how much Manchester United would benefit from signing a center-forward. Martial and Ronaldo are the only two players on the team with significant experience playing at the position, and Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United before the end of the transfer window.
In addition to signing a forward, Manchester United also need to increase their depth in midfield and potentially sign a right-back. Sunday’s 2-1 loss showed that Ten Hag may still need to sign a few more players at key positions in order to have success this season.
Nunez and Haaland Score Their First Goals
Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland are two of the most notable players to have joined the Premier League this summer. Both players scored their first goals in the Premier League over the weekend.
Liverpool didn’t win their first match of the season, instead earning a point with a 2-2 draw against Fulham. However, Nunez scored the first goal of his Premier League career after entering the game in the 51st minute. It showed the impact he could have for Liverpool as they hope to win the Premier League this season, and it will be interesting to see if he starts for the team this weekend after his success as a substitute against Fulham.
Manchester City played West Ham this weekend in what was expected to be one of the best games of the opening weekend of the league. Manchester City won 2-0, with Haaland scoring both goals. His first Premier League goal was a penalty and he scored his second goal in the 65th minute before exiting the game in the 78th minute.
Haaland’s two goals gave him an excellent start to his Premier League career. The impacts he and Nunez make will significantly affect the competition between Liverpool and Manchester City to win the Premier League, and both started their seasons with goals over the weekend.
Arsenal Begin Their Season With a Win
Arsenal’s first game of last season was a 2-0 loss to Brentford, and the team eventually lost its first three Premier League games. Over the summer, Arsenal made multiple signings with the goal of finishing in the top four this season, and the first game of this season was much more successful than last year.
In the Premier League’s first game of the season on Friday, Arsenal defeated Crystal Palace 2-0. Gabriel Jesus, who joined the team from Manchester City this summer, was an important part of why Arsenal won the game, along with Oleksander Zincehenko, who also joined the team this summer, and William Saliba, who spent last season on loan at Marseille.
While it was only the first game of the season, Arsenal showed immediate improvement from their start to last season. Beginning the season well will be important as the team returns to the Europa League.
Arsenal is one of the favorites to compete to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season and qualify for the Champions League. The team will be even more confident after their win over the weekend, and after Manchester United and West Ham United both lost their first games.