Four things we learnt from the EPL opening weekend

by Ifreke Inyang

1. We have new superstars in England: In Eden Hazard, Chelsea now have a truly gifted and dangerous attacking player. The fragile looking Belgian, was the hub of everything bright as the European champions defeated Wigan Athletic 2-0 at the DW Stadium. The former Lille man ran at the opposition’s defence, split them open with inspired passes and caused them all manner of problems.

Their London neighbours, Arsenal, have also acquired another immensely talented player in Santi Cazorla. Just last week alone, the Spaniard, was the standout passer – giving 7 key passes, more than any other player in the league. None other stood out, than that delicious reverse pass, he laid on for Giroud to squander in the 88th minute.

Although Shinji Kagawa sparkled in bits against Everton, he showed promise of what he can bring to Manchester United.

2. There are no pushovers: From the Emirates, where Arsenal failed to score against Sunderland to the Etihad, where Manchester City were given the scare of their lives, one fact was clear: The next nine months will be war. There will be no easy games.

No team is willing to lie down and be rolled over. Another clear example is Monday’s game, where Marouane Fellaini and Everton, played last season’s runners-up, United, off the park and won 1-0 at Goodison Park.

3. No need for knee-jerk reactions: Even before the referee ended some of the games, fans were already expressing varying emotions. The Chelsea fans didn’t tolerate one negative word about their team. With Hazard, Oscar, Mata, etc in their ranks, they have assured all and sundry that the EPL is theirs.

Some fickle Liverpool fans called for Brendan Rodgers’ head, after their team was humbled at the Hawthorns by West Brom. Even some Arsenal fans questioned Wenger’s purchase of Olivier Giroud, after he missed a sitter against Sunderland. I’m sure the brave ones will they agree that Fulham and Swansea will win the league.
They all conveniently forgot that the marathon just begun.

4. Football is back: The English Premiership, is Britain’s most watched drama series. It is no hype. It is no cliché. Good football was back over the weekend. The stunning goals, the crunching tackles, the intensity, the nerves and the passion. And to think we still have 37 more weeks of this to endure/absorb is just amazing.

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