This year the time between end of the season and the new start of Premier League was quite short due to the FIFA WORLD CUP in RUSSIA 2018. We’ve got a new World Champions in France, a vice champions Croatia and a third place Belgium. All this teams have plenty of players that made their names in Premier League, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Hugo Loris, Kolo N’Kante, Dejan Lovren and much more.
All the English clubs had time to make the transfers up to 9th of August and from the most important moves this summer we can recount here the transfers of Alison Baker, Jordan Shaqiri, Fabinho, Keita to Liverpool, Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City, Fred and Green to Manchester United, Kepa Arizzabalaga, Jorginho, Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea, Bern Leno, Matteo Guendouzi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and of course new manager that got the job after the leave of Arsene Wenger, Spanish technician Unai Emery will lead the Gunners in the new campaign 2018/19.
Back to business and let’s have a look to the first week of Premier League, to be honest with you I was very excited. After watching predictions and analysis about the contenders for the title in the new football year in England, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool take the main scene. It seems to be like yesterday the run for the title in season 13/14 when Citizen and Reds finished first and second but all those two, three games in the end of the season full with drama and passion is hard to forget and from a supporter stand of point Liverpool this season fixed the major issues with the squad, they got a brilliant coach that managed to beat three times the magnificent Manchester City, once in the Premier League and twice in Champions League quarterfinals, so maybe this is the season when Liverpool will get their first Premier League Title since 90′, will live and will see.
Jose Mourinho had a quit tough summer preseason with his Manchester United in America. Except Green and Fred, Portuguese didn’t get the players that he wanted to strengthen his defense. This was the main thing that was coming from the Manchester United manager, the complains of the luck of the transfers comparing with the shopping of Everton, Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal. First game of the season, Old Trafford Stadium full of excitement and first game at home against Leicester City. Host take the initiative from the first second and on second minute got a penalty that World Cup winner with France, captain of Manchester United, Paul Pogba opened the score on 3rd minute of the game. The mach was mostly open and sometimes Leicester City was showing a game that they might turn around the score. Luke Shaw, player that had a public conflict with Jose Mourinho last season doubled the score on 83rd minute of the game and it seems that his choice the remain at the club, work hard and earn a place in the first team paid back. Anyhow this is English Premier League and until the last second many things can happen and a lead of two goals can be lost in less then 5 minutes to go. Jamie Vardy got the opposition goal on 94th minute after the cross hit the bar, English striker was there to insert he ball in the net with a fast almost instinctive header. Final score Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City.
Fist match of the season Tottenham Hotspur played away at Saint James Park against Newcastle United. Unless their rivals Mauricio Pochettino didn’t got any transfers this summer and with the players that he got in the previous campaign they will carry on in 18/19. Tottenham got their new stadium ready and shortly they will have their first game there, but without having a backup on the bench and few more upgrades on the pitch the challenge of the title against City or Liverpool this year seems less likely, a place in top 4 for sure, Champions League place maybe, but not the title of Premier League. Jan Vertonghen opened the score with a header on 8th minute. The goal line devices proved that the ball crossed slightly the line. Joselu equalized just three minute later for the Black Cats on 11th minute and the last goal of the match arrived on 18th minute from Dele Alli, that gained for this team first three points.
Maurizio Sarri debut with Chelsea in the Premier League had to be a statement that the decision of changing the managers was a good one form the Chelsea board. Italian technician has as an assistant a compatriot and a club legend Gianfraco Zola. Kepa Arizzabalaga that was signed just days ago from Athletic Bilbao for €80m took the place in the goal of Thibaut Courtois, that joined Real Madrid. Another World Cup winner with France, N’golo Kante opened the score on 34th minute for Chelsea. Joringho doubled the score on 45th minute from the penalty spot and Pedro Rodriguez tripled the score on 80th minute against Huddersfield Town, team that promoted to Premier League in 2017 and managed to survive for another season avoiding relegation.
Liverpool had a busy summer on the transfer market and in the preseason had a few good games. After loosing to Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp’s players beat Manchester United 4-1; luckily, in the last minutes they won 2-1 Manchester City that played mostly with youngsters and just before the start of the campaign they’ve won another friendly against Napoli. The addition in the squad of Alison Baker, Keita, Fabinho and Shaqiri strengthen the squad and all the reds supporters around the world had a feeling that upcoming campaign would bring finally some silverware to Anfield. In the first game of the season they played home against West Ham United, visitors got a new coach Argentinian technician Manuel Pellegrini that won with Manchester City the Premier League. In the unforgettable atmosphere of Anfield, Liverpool started well the game dominating the ball possession and creating dangerous moments. Who else to open the score if not the revelation of the previous campaign Mohamed Salah? On 19th minute James Milner crossed the ball in the box, Sadio Mane passed to Salah and Egyptian inserted the ball in the empty goal, Liverpool 1-0. In the end of the first half Sadio Mane double the score and on 53rd minute Senegalese got his double despite the mistake of the linesman, Mane was in offside. Mistakes happen against you and in your favor, anyhow this goal didn’t counted so much. Daniel Sturridge had a bad season last year, getting relegated with West Bromwich Albion while on loan, in preseason he showed a return of form and just after 28 second on the field he scored the 4th goal for Liverpool(88′), shooting the ball in the goal after a cross from corner and a mistake of West Ham United defender. One Mohamed Salah, two from Sadio Mane and one for Sturridge, not a bad start. More goals and more wins to come to Anfield this upcoming campaign let’s hope for the best and maybe all that fans that became form doubters to believers might see their favorite team lifting the Premier League trophy next May. You Never Walk Alone!!!
New Chapter started at Emirates with the arrival of the new coach Spaniard Unai Emery. From the start of the match it was clear that Manchester City is the clear favorite to take all three points home and is by far the biggest contender for another title in England. The mission of Arsenal was to play on their strengths and to neutralize the midfield of the Citizen with Fabinho, Guendogan and Bruno Silva. Raheem Sterling opened the score on 14th minute of the match with a well taken shoot from center of the box, Cech had minimal chances to get that ball. In the second half Bruno Silva doubled the lead on 64th minute. Arsenal was edging the goal in couple of the occasions but neither Lacazzete neither Aubameyang didn’t find the net. One very important statement must be said, Arsenal will look different and will play another type of football this season because of the new manager, the question is how long it will take to fine tune the squad and style of play in order to deliver results and trophies.
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Manchester United 2 – 1 Leicester City
Newcastle United 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
AFC Bournemouth 2 – 0 Cardiff City
Fulham 0 – 2 Crystal Palace
Huddersfield Town 0 – 3 Chelsea
Watford 2 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 – 2 Everton
Liverpool 4 – 0 West Ham United
Southampton 0 – 0 Burnley
Arsenal 0 – 2 Manchester City
English Premier League 18/19 Week 1 Results:
English Premier League 18/19 Week 1 League Table:
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Courtesy to www.premierleague.com, www.goal.com, www.livescore.com