Football is back. Yes, we know that the Ligue 1 started before this weekend and some other Leagues as well. But football is back! Unfortunately, we still do not have fans back at the stadiums yet which is quite understandable seeing as the pandemic has not been totally eradicated.
The weekend showed up some good games, especially with the opening of the English Premier League 2020/2021 season.
Ruthless Arsenal off to a bright start..
For neutrals, the Arsenal result is nothing surprising. This is because Arsenal is arguable the least dependable team in the ‘top six’. They can play good football, as seen in the weekend, the question is always how frequently they can do it. Against Fulham, debutants Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian were very good and were involved in goals. Asides Gabriel’s mistake that led to Leno acting quickly to save the situation, he was very assured and controlling. Willian was also very bright and popped up in good spaces, ultimately being involved in all the goals. If he continues like this, what happens to 72 million Pound signing Nicolas Pepe? It is still early days, but it would be amazing to see how Arteta handles this squad that has about 7 central defenders. Arsenal fans can look forward to this season in high anticipation.
For Fulham, they were unlucky to start the season playing against a very good Arsenal side. They did not have a lot of chances as Arsenal was in control for virtually the whole game. There is still a long way to go and the earlier they start picking up points, the better for the Scott Parker’s team.
Liverpool edge it in unconvincing win.. Leeds United a welcome addition..
A lot of the neutrals could not wait to have Leeds United back into the Premier League and they did not disappoint. Against the Champions, away from home, they held their own, came back from a goal down three times and were very unlucky to go back to Elland Road with nothing. However, if they continue playing in this style, they would ultimately have no problem avoiding relegation this season. However, Marcelo Bielsa’s teams tend to tire in the second half of season in previous years due to the high energy running and pressing of the players. Let us hope that this season will be different.
For Liverpool, three points is all that would matter for now. In order for them to match or surpass their impressive feat of last season, they would have to step up massively. Trent Alexander Arnold and Virgil Van Dijk were surprisingly poor on the day and it would be expected that the performances they put it would not be a continuous occurrence.
Le Classique ends in controversy..
The headline should be Paris St. Germain not winning their first two Ligue 1 games and not scoring a goal but due to the nature in which the game ended, there were other causes for concern. The game ended with some kicking, punching and some head-slapping, with the referee having to issue 5 red cards to boot. Neymar got sent off as well and he has come out to say that he was racially abused. This is not something to be taken lightly as Marseille has also come out to defend their player(s).
In the context of the game, PSG had more chances but were very poor in finishing. It is not a coincidence that PSG has not scored in the last two League games and Mbappe has also not played in those games. If this continues, then this would be a huge concern for PSG.
For Marseille, they took full advantage and that is all that counts at this moment. Winning at the Parc de Princes has not been an easy accomplishment in recent years. Keeping a clean sheet is an obviously added bonus.
From a neutral’s perspective, we may now have a Ligue 1 title race on our hands.
Valencia starts on a high note…
Concerning this Valencia side, a lot has happened in the past few months. From the internal turmoil to the departure of their Manager to the sale of their captain and other key players- see Rodrigo and Ferran Torres to Leeds United and Manchester City respectively, winning their first game and scoring four goals in the process would definitely be a welcome result. All that is left is for the Manager to keep his house in order. Easy task no?