We’ve enjoyed an incredible summer of sport but nothing quite hits the spot like the return of the Premier League. Manchester City dominated last season on the way to an historic treble and they’ve started the new campaign in a similar vein.
Arsenal are looking to bounce back after fading away in last year’s title race while Chelsea and Liverpool will be keen to show the world that they can still compete at the top. We’re now three weeks into the new season so we’ve taken a look at all the key talking points so far.
After winning the treble last season, there were concerns that City might take their foot off the gas and give somebody else a chance of success for once. But Pep Guardiola doesn’t do things by halves and his side have continued to be imperious, winning their opening three games so far.
Wins over Burnley and Newcastle set them up for a trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United at the weekend, where Erling Haaland proved he is human by missing a hatful of chances, including a first-half penalty that struck the post.
But he finally found a way through in the second half, heading home the opener before Rodri’s unsaveable strike cancelled out Jayden Bogle’s equaliser to secure the three points for Man City.
It’s far too early in the season to come to any conclusions but with Fulham, West Ham, Nottingham Forest and Wolves to come in their next four games and their rivals already dropping points, a fourth consecutive Premier League title could be on its way to the Etihad.
Arsenal ran City close last season and after investing heavily into their squad, they’ll have ambitions of securing their first Premier League title since 2004. But a limp start to the season has raised concerns about their prospects, particularly with the distraction of Champions League football to come.
Mikel Arteta’s side just about edged past Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace in their opening two games but they dropped points for the first time at the weekend, with Joao Palhinha’s late effort rescuing a point for Fulham at the Emirates.
And with four of the traditional ‘big six’ to come in their next six games, the Gunners face a big test in terms of their title credentials this season.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are looking to bounce back from a disappointing campaign last term and they remain unbeaten so far with two wins and a draw. Their trip to Newcastle on Sunday looked destined for disaster when Anthony Gordon’s opener was followed up by a Virgil van Dijk red card.
But last season’s misfiring misfit Darwin Nunez stepped up to the plate with two late goals to complete a remarkable turnaround for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Newcastle looked somewhat demoralised and sit 13th in the table following two defeats so far.
The Magpies started the season strongly with a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa but they’ve looked toothless since and with the Champions League to come, they may find they don’t have the squad depth required to repeat the highs of last season.
Whisper it quietly but Tottenham look to be playing better as a cohesive unit without Harry Kane. Their free-flowing, attacking style under new boss Ange Postecoglou has resulted in two wins and a draw, with summer signing James Maddison adding an extra dimension to their attack.
The England international bagged his first goal for Spurs in Saturday’s win at Bournemouth and with Kane now plying his trade at Bayern Munich, the onus could be on Maddison to inspire the north London side. They currently sit third in the table and with all three of the promoted sides to come in their next five games, they’ve got a real chance to build some momentum.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United won at the weekend but there’s a fear that those results merely paper over the cracks. Chelsea in particular had a woeful time last season, finishing 12th in the Premier League.
They’ve since undergone a major squad overhaul as well as bringing in former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to oversee the operation. The Blues are a work in progress and Friday’s 3-0 victory over Luton could be a sign of things to come.
However, a disappointing defeat to West Ham the week before is evidence that things aren’t what they seem at Stamford Bridge and they may continue to struggle when coming up against stronger opposition.
United were convincingly brushed aside by Tottenham last weekend and they were shocked at home to Forest on Saturday, who went 2-0 up after four minutes at Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag’s men eventually fought back to claim all three points but it’s clear that they’re not as strong as they were and something needs to change if they want to challenge their rivals for honours this term.
With the Premier League season only just getting started, there are plenty more huge games to come. Secure your place to watch a thrilling match in premium hospitality with Engage Hospitality.
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