EPL: Five talking points from the opening day – Darmian looks class, Jose should go back to drawing board

Snehanjan Banerjee / 09 August 2015

English Premier League has kicked off yesterday. Six matches took place yesterday.

The results from the first day were-

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

A.F.C. Bournemouth 0-1 Aston Villa

Everton 2-2 Watford

Leicester City 4-2 Sunderland

Norwich City 1-3 Crystal Palace

Chelsea 2-2 Swansea City

Here are five talking points from the Saturday’s Premier League matches-

1> Manchester United badly need more reinforcements in their squad especially they need a world class defender and a striker

Although the Red Devils started with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford against Spurs, the side did not look promising at all. Thanks to Kyle Walker’s own goal, they managed a winning start to 2015-16 season. Wayne Rooney did not look at his peak at the center forward after years of playing at deeper positions. United played with a center back pair of Daley Blind and Chris Smalling. Blind did not perform well at all at his unfavoured position. Spurs had few chances to score but could not utilise them. Despite the heroics of Smalling and Darmian in the defense, Spurs could have won the match on a different day if they capitalised to take their opportunities. Manchester United still lack a world class defender and it was exploited again and again on the very first day of the season.

2> Matteo Darmian proved to be the best summer signing on his debut despite big names arriving to Old Trafford

Matteo Darmian has been named Manchester United’s first Man of the Match of the 2015/16 season after an impressive debut against Tottenham Hotspur. The Italian full back looked impressive while both defending and attacking. Having already caught the eye during the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United States, the right-back continued where he left off and earned a standing ovation when he was replaced by Antonio Valencia with 10 minutes remaining. Manager Louis van Gaal said afterwards: “I liked the performance of Darmian. He played a good match in the Spurs half and when the opponents had the ball. I think he was our best player.”

3> Chelsea should go for John Stones irrespective of the price and they would be happy that they signed Begovic

Chelsea started their season with a 2-2 draw. Thibaut Courtois was sent off for his challenge on Swansea striker Gomis and Begovic came on for Oscar to save the penalty. Although he could not save the well struck penalty from Gomis, he did well for a 10 men Chelsea allowing Chelsea to get 1 point in the season opener. A class goalkeeper like Begovic as a back up is a bliss for any club and Chelsea would be happy they got the Bosnian international considering their next three fixtures against Manchester City at Etihad, West Brom away and Crystal Palace at home. John Terry and Gary Cahill did not look at their peak in the first match and Mourinho should have a second thoughts about bringing his target John Stones to Stamfod Bridge to strengthen his defense irrespective of the price Everton demands for him.

4> Crystal Palace and Leicester City have showed early signs of being dark horses for the season

Crystal Palace had been brilliant in the second half of the last season when Alan Pardew took charge at the Selhurst Park. After finishing tenth last season, they signed a world class midfielder in Yohan Cabaye. With a good squad this season, they started the season with a brilliant 3-1 win at Carrow Road against Norwich City. Yohan Cabaye was also on the scoresheet and the early statement from the Eagles should be looked out for by the giants of England. Another team who started the season very strongly is Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City who won 4-2 against Sunderland at the King Power Stadium. Many criticisms came their way when they sacked Nigel Pearson even after the late heroics to save the club from relegation and finishing 14th in the table. But Ranieri, the former Chelsea boss, showed what he could do on the very first match and indicated that much more is coming for the fans. 

5> There are still a lot of scope for improvements in Everton squad

The Toffees had a disappointing last season and now that no Europa League is there, they were likely to have had a better start in 2015-16 season. But what happened yesterday that, Roberto Mertinez’s side twice came back from behind to manage only 1 point from the opening match of the season against newly promoted side Watford City. The performance from them will raise some eyebrows and it has been proved early that they still need a lot of reinforcements in their squad. However, A goal from Ross Barkley will be a boost for the young English international after coming back from an injury struck season.

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