September 30, 2022

After Arsenal restarted the Premier League on Friday with a 2-0 win over Crystal, the first full day of league action on Saturday had everything you could want. It started with a turnover, progressed to Americans making waves, a defender scored an absolute goal and it was over, perhaps the less said about the way it ended the better as Everton and Chelsea played sour, scoring a 1-0 win for Thomas Tuchel’s side . Let’s get to some takeaways.

Liverpool need Nunez to salvage a point

The Premier League kicked off in typical style on Saturday with Fulham and Liverpool drawing 2-2 at Craven Cottage. Nunez hit the ground running on his full debut scoring a goal and an assist with Mohamed Salah at the other end of each, but it was a mistake from Virgil van Dijk that would prove costly.

Jurgen Klopp’s men took their time to get going and it was the newly promoted hosts who took the lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header. Part of a double change early in the second half for Liverpool saw Darwin Nunez make his debut and it didn’t take long for the Uruguayan to equalize for the Reds. However, parity lasted less than 10 minutes as Mitrovic doubled his tally from the penalty spot and left the visitors facing defeat. Mitrovic lost the ball but was awarded a penalty and upheld after a VAR review.

Nunez came to the rescue with nine minutes remaining as he teed up Mo Salah to equalize and maintain his incredible opening day record of scoring in all six games against Liverpool. In the end, it was a point for Klopp’s men as Fulham outplayed them on numerous occasions, while Marco Silva’s Cottagers will be buoyed by their spirited display. With most of their new signings on the bench from the start, it’s a great result to start the season, and quite the building block to go forward.

After the unexpected result, it is possible that Jurgen Klopp will have to make some adjustments going forward.

Chelsea were rescued by Abdoulaye Doucouré

A clumsy penalty conceded by Abdoulaye Doucouré was the difference in the match as Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 on the opening day. Frank Lampard’s side lined up well and despite being short on strikers, were able to hang with Chelsea as the Blues struggled to start their season. Everton were hit with another injury blow just 18 minutes into the game as Ben Godfrey left the game on a stretcher after a long delay. Considering he had his leg immobilized, it doesn’t look good. He was eventually replaced by Mason Holgate.

From there, both teams lacked a true number nine, but it was Everton who fared better as Anthony Gordon led the charge. Everton were able to create chances on the counter but the final ball was not there. Ben Chilwell drew a penalty before half-time as Ducouret put both hands on his shirt while going down in the box. Jorginho made no mistake as he slotted home the penalty to give Chelsea the advantage.

The second half played out similarly to the first, but Everton will be the happier team for it. Amadou Onana was in the crowd watching as he will be in Everton’s midfield sooner rather than later after agreeing a deal with Lille, but for Chelsea, even with Armando Broja on the pitch, they lacked a proper back nine. Raheem Sterling filled the role but is better off the wing despite his strong work rate in the box.

He was brilliant alongside Kalidou Koulibaly on their debut on Saturday, but most of the squad didn’t shine with them. Nathan Patterson also created a good chance for Dele Alli when he came on, but Dele didn’t know what to do with the ball in the box as he let his chance go. A lot of work to be done for each team in a game that ended up lasting nearly 110 minutes due to various stoppages in each half.

Aston Villa fall worryingly against Bournemouth

Bournemouth claimed an unexpected three points on the opening day of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over a miserable Aston Villa side at the Vitality Stadium. The Cherries took the lead after just three minutes as Jefferson Lerma headed home from Marcus Tavernier’s header from Lloyd Kelly while Lucas Dean was offside for Villa.

Bournemouth could have been two goals up by the break if Kiefer Moore had connected with Adam Smith’s low cross after being played in by Dominic Solanke. Ultimately, it was two when the Wales international headed home Kelly’s cross with 10 minutes remaining to give Scott Parker the ideal start to the new campaign and Steven Gerrard a nightmare.

Villa were barely into the games and rarely threatened with Danny Ings, John McGinn and Boubacar Kamara going closer without really threatening the away side. While Aston Villa had 15 shots and two-thirds of the possession, they managed just 0.66 expected goals. It’s not great everywhere. Next up are Bournemouth, defending champions Manchester City, while Villa are at home to Everton with much better expectations after an impressive summer transfer window.

Goal of the day Newcastle v Nottingham Forest

Thanks to a strong performance from Dean Henderson, the match couldn’t get away entirely, but Ryan Yates missed out as Steve Cooper’s side struggled to maintain their presence in midfield. The Tricky Trees took just five shots and were the only promoted team that didn’t get at least one point on Saturday. Brennan Johnson was isolated touching the ball only 20 times as Newcastle rolled. The Magpies took 20 shots with Callum Wilson and Fabian Schar scoring and Schar was quite good.

Leeds are back behind the USMNT stars

The Americans took center stage at Leeds as they bounced back from conceding early at Wolverhampton to come away with a 2-1 win. Brenden Aaronson may not officially take credit for the goal, but that’s not going to stop him from claiming it as Jesse Marsch’s side start the season in the right way.

Premier League Scoreboard

Fulham 2, Liverpool 2
Bournemouth 2, Aston Villa 0
Leeds United 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Newcastle United 2, Nottingham Forest 0
Tottenham 4, Southampton 1
Everton 0, Chelsea 1

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