The opening weekend of Premier League season 2018/19 concluded on Sunday with three games, and they certainly did not disappoint. Here is what happened in Sunday’s Premier League action:
Reds steamroller the Hammers at Anfield
The much-fancied Liverpool kicked off the new Premier League campaign with a 4-0 mauling of a West Ham at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s team took the lead on 19 minutes and it was through a familiar source in last season’s Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah. Full-back Andrew Robertson found the Egyptian with a low cross and the forward tapped home.
The Merseysiders doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time after Salah had been denied on a number of occasions by Hammers debutant goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. James Milner volleyed a Robertson cross back into the middle of the box and Sadio mane had the simple task of scoring from close-range.
Klopp’s side had a third goal on 53 minutes. Roberto Firmino showed clever feet to find Mane on the edge of the box and the Senegal international fired low past Fabianski. Replays showed that Mane was offside when he received the ball, but the goal stood.
The Reds completed the rout on 88 minutes, as substitute Daniel Sturridge scored from close-range after James Milner’s corner had evaded everybody. The goal was the striker’s first touch after coming off the bench.
The performance was just a continuation of the team’s displays in pre-season. Klopp’s sides look like worthy challengers to Manchester City for the title on Sunday’s display. West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has a lot of work ahead of him integrating all the new players into his team.
Saints and Clarets produce a goalless draw
In the other early kick-off of the day, Southampton and Burnley finished all square at St Marys Stadium.
The game was a story of the two goalkeepers as Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy pulled off a string of superb saves, including denying both Aaron Lennon and Jeff Hendrick.
At the other end of the pitch, Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart produced a couple of good saves of his own, the most of which was keeping out a late effort from Jack Stephens after good play from substitute Danny Ings.
Neither of these two teams should be disappointed with an opening weekend draw. Both are likely to improve as the season progresses.
Champions shine on Emery’s Premier League debut
Arsenal boss Unai Emery took charge of Arsenal for the first time on Sunday against reigning champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. It was not a happy debut for the Spaniard, as the Gunners went down to a 2-0 defeat.
It was business as usual for the Citizens in north London, as Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead on 14 minutes. England winger Raheem Sterling picked up the ball, beat Hector Bellerin and Matteo Guendouzi before firing a powerful effort past Petr Cech.
City dominated much of the player thereafter and doubled their lead on 64 minutes. French full-back Benjamin Mendy strode forward and cut the ball back to Bernardo Silva who made no mistake with his finish.
The result will not have surprised many, as City look set to play the same scintillating style of last season. They will be hard to stop in the Premier League title race.
Meanwhile, Arsenal looked like the same team that failed to perform on a number of occasions under Arsene Wenger for the past few seasons. Spanish boss Emery has a big job on his hands in north London.
Can Liverpool challenge City for the title this season?