Matchday 1 review

Aakash Rao
8 min readAug 19, 2021

Welcome back to my football blog, and today I will restart my Matchday review series for this season by reviewing the 10 matches which occurred last weekend.

Brentford vs Arsenal: 2–0

Sergi Canos celebrating Brentford’s first PL goal 🥅

What a showing from Brentford as they stuck to their beliefs and put in a good shift to defeat Arsenal. Brentford have been tipped to be relegated, but this match shows us that they definitely have the potential to stay up. Arsenal, meanwhile, continue to suffer as the team seems to be going nowhere despite the reinforcements Arteta has brought in. In the end, Brentford were a mile ahead of Arsenal in terms of football despite having a significantly weaker side. My MOTM for this game is Sergi Canos, who scored a goal and remained a goal threat throughout the night.

Manchester United vs Leeds : 5–1

Bruno Fernandes crediting Paul Pogba for his goal with a lovely gesture to the fans.

What a game this was. I watched it live, and it was phenomenal to watch. Old Trafford had already been lively due to the surprise announcement of Varane, but the fans roared even louder as the game progressed as Man Utd ripped Leeds apart. Man Utd took the lead, but faded in the first half as Ayling scored the equaliser. However, they dominated Leeds in the second as two more goals to complete his hat-trick from Bruno, a goal by wonder kid Greenwood and a surprise goal from Fred ensured Leeds had no chance against the Mancunians as they crumbled in the second half. Obviously, the MOTM has to be Paul Pogba, who created 4 goals out of the 5 scored. He showed his stellar footballing ability in this game, and silenced those who doubted him. One honourable mention for MOTM is Fernandes, who scored his first premier league hat-trick.

Leicester City vs Wolves : 1–0

Vardy with a passionate celebration against Wolves

This match was surprisingly underwhelming, as Jamie Vardy grabbed the only goal of the game to seal 3 points for the Foxes. Both sides have huge attacking talent, but played quite defensively as Leicester eventually emerged victorious through yet another Vardy goal. The Foxes played solidly, but they played quite tiredly and seemed uninspired. Meanwhile, Wolves also played well, but their end product wasn’t quite there as they struggled to finish easy chances. All in all, an underwhelming match from which Leicester barely emerged victorious. My MOTM has to be Vardy, who scored the winner as I have mentioned earlier.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace : 3–0

Pulisic celebrating his goal against Palace, against whom he has scored on multiple occasions.

This win was a statement of intent from Chelsea, who are the favourites to win the league along with Man City. They played like a typical Tuchel team, daring in attack and cautious in defence, and goals from Alonso, Pulisic and debutant Chalobah were enough to secure all three points. Meanwhile, alarm bells are ringing at Palace as Viera struggled to inspire his team to fight back after they conceded twice in the first half. It is quite evident they need new signings, but Viera really needs to use his existing resources more wisely. My MOTM is Marco Alonso, who was amazing at left wing-back in Chilwell’s absence. He is clearly the back-up to the Englishman this season, but could replace him if he keeps up the good work.

Watford vs Aston Villa: 3–2

Sarr celebrating a goal against villa

Wow. I could be proven wrong about Watford being relegated, as they played quite well to defeat a stacked Villa team. The Hornets clearly dominated the first 60 minutes as they gained a 3–0 lead, but Villa grew in the game a bit too late as they fell one goal short of a draw. The only positive for Villa was Ings’ superb debut, as he played very well for the 90 minutes before scoring in extra time. To sum up, good display by Watford, but underwhelming and late response by Villa. My MOTM is Sarr, who blew Matt Targett away at Right wing as he created and scored chances for the Hornets.

Everton vs Southampton: 3–1

Benitez directing his players during the match.

Everton fans may be disappointed and angry at Rafa Benitez’s appointment as manager, but the Spaniard impressed with his tactics as Everton mounted an epic comeback to blow the Saints out of the water. New signing Adam Armstrong struck first for Southampton just before half-time, but was helpless in stopping his side’s defence getting shredded to pieces as goals from DCL, Richarlison and Doucoure sunk Southampton. Benitez certainly inspired his players during half-time, and it looks like they may not decline as much as Toffees fans fear. Meanwhile, Hassenhuttl could be in trouble, as his job seems to be hanging on a thread given the lack of improvement the Saints have shown despite regular funding. They will have to buck up this season, or the Austrian could certainly be gone before Christmas. My MOTM is Richarlison, who was lively the whole game despite just returning from a taxing Olympic tournament.

Burnley vs Brighton: 1–2

Mac Allister celebrating his goal against the Clarets

The first away win of the campaign, the Seagulls impressed against the Clarets to gain 3 points after going 1–0 down early in the first half. Burnley struggled to keep up with their tempo, as Potterball finally seems to be paying off for the south coast side. Nevertheless, they still could use reinforcements, with a top class striker needed to take them to the next level. Burnley also showed their need for new blood as they were despondent and dull after a good start. All in all, exciting game, but burnley should have done way better. My MOTM has to be Mwepu, Brighton’s latest signing, after his great debut for the Seagulls. He was all over the place, and brought buckets of energy to a team who were often known to fade in the second half.

Norwich City vs Liverpool : 0–3

Jota whipping out the ‘Heart’ celebration against Norwich after opening the scoring.

Liverpool finally seem to have returned to the Liverpool all football fans know, as Klopp whipped out a masterclass to beat newly promoted Norwich City. The Canaries were promising, but just didn’t seem quite robust as Brentford and Watford were. Liverpool, meanwhile, were great as Firmino, Jota and Salah all got on the scoresheet to top off a fabulous all-round performance. The atmosphere at Carrow Road helped, as 2700 Liverpool fans traveled all the way there to motivate Klopp and his team to the win. My MOTM has to be Salah, who has now scored in FIVE consecutive opening day matches, and is the first player to do so. He was great in all departments, and should quickly be given a long-term contract before Real Madrid or Barca recover from their financial wounds and circle around their magical Egyptian.

Newcastle United vs West Ham United : 2–4

West Ham celebrating a goal.

What a match this was. Another 6 goal thriller, but this time it was the home team who crumbled as the Hammers came back twice to win the game. The West Ham team were inspired by a vibrant Antonio, who will relish his performance that day as he scored a goal, before inadvertently setting up Soucek with his penalty miss. Speaking of Soucek, the Czech Republican and Declan Rice were immense in midfield, dominating the Newcastle midfield who looked lost despite a good individual performance by Hayden. Benrahma also carried his electric pre-season form into the PL as he netted against the Magpies too. My MOTM has to be Antonio, who was vibrant, constantly moving around and energetic throughout the whole match as he ably morphed into a striker, which could end up saving the Hammers a whole lot of money.

Tottenham vs Manchester City: 1–0

Son Heung-Min curling the ball past Nathan Ake to score the winner and sole goal of the game.

Once again, Pep has been defeated by the ‘Harry Kane’ team, who were phenomenal in Nuno’s first game as Tottenham Manager. The defence finally looked like they knew what they were doing, the midfield was surprisingly dominant with Alli, Hojbjerg and even Oliver Skipp dishing out massive performances in the centre of the park, and the forwards simply electrifying and too much for Man City to handle. The Sky Blues looked the better team in the first part of the first half, but Tottenham unravelled Pep’s intricate designs in one go as Son bagged yet another goal, this time WITHOUT Harry Kane to pass to him. This just goes to show that maybe Harry Kane isn’t Tottenham, that Tottenham could certainly cope without him, while it also shows that Guardiola desperately needs a striker like Kane to rely on. At all the clubs he has been to, he has had phenomenal strikers from Messi to Lewandowski to Aguero, and it is for sure he needs top-class strikers to execute the last step in his masterplans: scoring goals. Therefore, Man City really need to get a target man, or they could be in big trouble. My MOTM has to be Son, who was great playing out of position as a striker. The Korean signed a new contract with Spurs in July, and will look forward to leading his team to glory, with or without Harry Kane.

My POTW has to be Paul Pogba. Honestly, we have seen some amazing performances in all games, but how can you beat 4 assists in one game?

Pogba assisting Bruno Fernandes for the opening goal.

So, that’s all for my latest article. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it, and do look out for my next one soon! Till then, adios!

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Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!