Leeds come close & PSG struggle

16th Sept 2020

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The Premier League is back, and to be honest it doesn't feel like it's been away given that we have had just a 2 month break instead of the usual three. It was a weekend of goals, where 8 fixtures were played and just 2 home teams celebrated wins.

All eyes were of course on the champions Liverpool in their first game, which was at Anfield against Leeds United. Just that fixture evokes memories for an older generation of the classic, often violent games of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it was Leeds' return into the top flight of football after an incredible 16 years. Well Leeds gave Liverpool one hell of a game and credit needs to be given to Marcelo Bielsa's side who were not afraid to attack Liverpool. True it cost them 4 goals in the end, but two of those were penalties and the first one under the new rules really should have gone to VAR. Robin Koch handled the ball but only after it hit another part of his body, new rules state that shouldn't be a penalty. Mohamed Salah needed no time to convert it and he went on to score an opening day hat trick.

Leeds kept coming at Jurgen Klopp's team however, 1-1, 2-2, even 3-3 before Rodrigo made a terrible decision and put his leg out for a clear Liverpool penalty with just two minutes remaining of the game. For all of their excitement and good play one was reminded of last season when Liverpool faced newly promoted Norwich who played well despite defeat but showed what Leeds did, naivety. Leeds came, didn't conquer but left a smile on Jurgen Klopp's face, which was in hindsight some sort of a successful marker.

There were no shock on the opening weekend with Arsenal beating Fulham 3-0, those are the type of results that the club should be churning out. Last season the Gunners may have made heavy weather of the same game and under Mikel Arteta they are making forward strides.

Wolves got a brilliant 2-0 win away to Sheffield United and West Ham started poorly losing 2-0 at home to Newcastle. David Moyes side were a shadow of the one that finished last season and there are clear tensions between the players and the owners. There are whispers that an American consortium will be putting in an improved bid to buy the club, something that every West Ham fan would be evidently delighted by.

Chelsea didn't play well against Brighton but beat them 3-1 as they try to improve on last season's 4th place finish. Everton were one of the most impressive clubs of the weekend as they went to Tottenham and beat them 1-0. It was an assured performance from Carlo Ancelotti's new improved team and new improved midfield. James Rodriguez made some confident slick passes and in defence Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne looked solid. The pressure is already on Jose Mourinho and Tottenham will need to win their next game.

There have been big headlines over in France where PSG have lost their 2nd game of the season. The champions lost to Lens on the opening day of the weekend and then lost to Marseille in Paris for the first time in 9 years. The game came to a bizarre conclusion with no less than 5 players sent off, 3 for PSG and 2 for Marseille, and that included the returning Neymar. PSG are currently in the bottom three and it will be interesting to see the clubs response over the next few weeks.

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