The Second Half Of The Opening Weekend And What We Have Seen From The Other Two Of The Top Six

Posted: August 14, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Following on from yesterday’s piece about what we have learned regarding the four teams from last season’s top six, here is our assessment of the other two who played today.

As is always the case, any of these articles should he taken with a pinch of salt as many freak results can be thrown up on opening day and teams who look like world-beaters at the start of the season can end up being relegated.

There is also the possibility that clubs will add players to their ranks as the transfer window doesn’t close for almost another three weeks.

Anyway, Tottenham made their longest Premier League trip of the season up to Newcastle where they managed to totally embarrass themselves in the final game of the season just over a year ago. There was little likelihood of the same happening in the first game of the new season even though the personnel were similar.

In a game dominated by Spurs the only “surprise” during their fairly routine 2-0 win, was the sending off of Jonjo Shelvey. In fairness, it was only a surprise to all the folk who believed him when he said he had grown up and was a changed person. To the rest of us it was a merited dismissal for one of his habitual stupid moments.

Newcastle will face teams where three points are far more achievable than against Tottenham and, providing Rafa has a word with Shelvey, they should be OK even if no more signings are made.

Tottenham made heavier work of this game than they should have done and still look as though a couple of new signings wouln’t go amiss, particularly if another top four finish is to be achieved.

The second game of the day was at Old Trafford where Manchester United faced West Ham United who included former United favourite Javier Hernanadez in their line up, so the scene was all set for an upset involving Chicharito, or was it?

In fact, particularly in the first half, he saw little of the ball as United dominated possession without really threatening very much, a familiar theme from last season! They did manage to score though, with a well worked debut goal from Romelu Lukaku and went in at half time with a 1-0 lead.

In the second half the floodgates opened towards the end. Lukaku got his second but not his hat-trick as goals from Martial and Pogba made the score 4-0 and sent United to the top of the league.

Hernandez was West Ham’s best player by a long way and they will be hoping to get some of their injured players back sooner rather than later but again, as with Newcastle, there will be other opposition where points will be easier to come by and they will still be optimistic for the rest of the season.

Manchester United will hope that they will end the season where they have started it, at the top.

So, all in all, the weekend only provided two real surprises and they were Chelsea’s home defeat to Burnley and Arsenal winning an opening fixture at home.

At the end of the weekend, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United restored some pride to the top six by winning. These victories meant that a poor return of seven points from four games by Saturday evening was turned into a decent return of thirteen points from six games.

 

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