The long awaited 2015/2016 season started two weekends ago. As it enters its third weekend, INFORMATION NIGERIA takes a look at how the season has been so far for the top teams.
The season opener saw Manchester United take on north London side, Tottenham Hotspur at the theater of dreams. The match ended very uneventful as the only goal seen in the match was an own goal scored by Spur’s full back, Kyle Walker. Save for that own goal, Man Utd could have opened their season account with a barren draw. Man Utd were pretty much unimpressive as well in their play. New signing, Memphis Depay did not produce the kind of performance for which he was signed.
Later on that Saturday, Liverpool took on Stoke City; the team that drubbed the Merseyside giants 6-1 in their last game of the 2014/2015 season. This unsurprisingly turned out to be a closely contested match; Stoke matched their more illustrious opponent chance for chance almost throughout the game before the decided came very late in the match. Giving their good ride against Liverpool last season, Stoke city gave themselves a chance against Liverpool and they went all out for the win. They were however very unlucky not to have earned a draw, all thanks to the brilliance of a Brazilian genius, Philippe Coutinho. The fragile looking Brazil created a master class goal out of absolutely nothing.
EPL fans endured two uneventful matches from Manchester United and Liverpool. This came to an end when champions, Chelsea took on Swansea at Stamford Bridge in the last match of Saturday. The Chelsea team filed out with mountain load of expectation on their shoulder to continue their impressive form that saw them win the league in style last season. But this was not to be as Chelsea looked a shadow of the team that created chances at will and scored goals when they basically need to. On the evening, Swansea looked more like the champion as they created several clear cut chances, a whole lot more than Chelsea could muster. It was just unfortunate that all they could get from the match was a draw to the disappointment of Chelsea fans.
On the back of an impressive Community Shield showing, Arsenal were expected to boss West Ham aside when the two London sides clash at the Emirates on Sunday. The match was very eventful for fans of rival clubs. But for Arsenal fans, it was the worst condition they’ve seen their team in a while at the Emirates. Arsenal instead of bossing their London counterpart, were whitewashed by a lower profile team right in front of their fans by two unreplied goals. Almost every Arsenal fan opted to put the blame on newly signed Chelsea veteran goalkeeper, Petr Cech. If he was really to blame for the loss and the dismal showing of the entire team, Arsenal should probably have scored one goal.
After the almost disappointing results so far recorded on the first weekend, Manchester City took on West Brom on Monday evening. Manchester city quickly made sure they set themselves apart from the other top EPL teams as they raced to the top of the EPL table with a convincing 3-0 win over stubborn West Brom. Yaya Toure put his critics from last season to shame with two goals, one of which was a sumptuous strike from the edge of the box; a trademark finish from the hefty Ivorian.
Fast forward to the second weekend, Manchester United again opened the weekend with a rare Friday night fixture against Aston Villa. On the night, Manchester United struggled to overcome a depleted Aston Villa side that sold a number of their key players from last season. All thanks to a brilliant pass from Juan Mata and an intelligent finish by Adnan Januzaj, Manchester United were able to make it 6 points in two games as they went on to win the match by 1-0. Memphis Depay whom fans are expecting so much from could have made it 2 nil later in the game but his poor finish won’t let him
Other top EPL teams did not grace the tuff until Sunday when Arsenal traveled to Crystal Palace in the first fixture of the day. All thanks to two well placed goals from Giroud and Sanchez, Arsenal secured their first win of the season. Palace pulled a goal back in the middle of the two goals but couldn’t keep it that way. Though they won, Arsenal were far from convincing. If the gunners are going to have a season to remember for good, they need to step up their game; possibly buy a more clinical striker while they still can.
Later on Sunday, Chelsea traveled to the Etihad for their first big team test of the season. Chelsea who everyone had thought would raise their game did the exact opposite. Chelsea were out classed almost throughout the game save for say 20 minutes when they dominated City so much that they got a goal which was wrongfully ruled out for offside. The domination spell also saw Chelsea produce a good goal bound chance that was brilliantly saved by England number 1, Joe Hart. For all their worries, Chelsea lost the game to a better side by 3 unreplied goals.
This start the EPL has had makes the third weekend one to really look forward to. Chelsea will be hoping their new ‘coup’ signing; Pedro would make their attack a whole lot sharper than it currently is while Arsenal will be hoping they are more convincing when they take on Liverpool on Monday. Manchester United will equally be hoping fans favourite new signing; Depay displays the exact form he displayed in the Champions league playoff during the week at the weekend. Manchester City looks like the only top EPL team that will keep their impressive form going. However it turns out, EPL fans can only look forward to an amazing weekend of good soccer action.