4 Things we Learned From the 2023-24 Premier League Opening Weekend

Chelsea-1-1-Liverpool-2023-24-Premier-League
Chelsea-1-1-Liverpool-2023-24-Premier-League

The opening weekend of the 2023-24 Premier League season is in the books, but what are the major talking points from gameweek one?

The first ten matches have produced some surprises and given us an idea of what we could expect over the next 37 games. So, just like last season, we’re bringing you 4 things we learned from the 2023-24 Premier League opening weekend.

4 Things we learned from the 2023-24 Premier League opening weekend

We’ll start with the last game of the opening weekend that took place on Monday night. Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers should’ve, on paper at least, been a very one-sided match.

Man United have been making waves in the transfer market and are riding high after an EFL Cup win and third-place finish last season. Wolves, meanwhile, have sold over 20 players and had their manager quit just before the opening weekend.

Image credit: Reuters

We tipped Wolves to go down in our pre-season bold predictions, but we’re not so sure now. Take nothing away from the Wanderers, they looked defensively disciplined and dangerous on the counter attack. Gary O’Neil’s side also had the most shots of an away side at Old Trafford since 2005.

It could’ve and should’ve been more for the West Midlands club, as they were denied a stonewall penalty in the last few minutes. That’s not us being biased either, as Jon Moss apologised to O’Neil after the game over the decision.

For United, they require a lot of improvement if they’re to get another top four finish this season. Still though, it’s a far cry better than their 4-0 loss to Brentford last season and three points is still three points at the end of the day.

Chelsea look revived under Pochettino

Chelsea’s spending since Todd Boehly took control of the club 12 months ago has been nothing short of spectacular. The Blues have invested incredible amounts of money in their playing squad, which did not pay off at first.

Twelfth last season was nothing short of embarrassing, but things are finally looking to be on the up now. Mauricio Pochettino was a surprise appointment at Stamford Bridge, but we’re a fan of his. This was backed up by a respectable 1-1 draw against Liverpool on the opening weekend.

Image credit: Sky Sports

This was a far cry from the 0-0 bore draws we’ve gotten used to in this fixture in recent seasons, and either side could’ve won had VAR not chalked off a goal for each side for offside. New signing Axel Disai got the first goal under Poch for Chelsea, but there were plenty of other impressive players on show.

Robert Sanchez, Nicolas Jackson and Carney Chukwuemeka all looked good and the side’s work rate as a whole was far better than under Potter or Lampard last season. Chelsea could be a real dark horse for a top four finish this season.

Newcastle look like the real deal

The most surprising scoreline of this weekend was Newcastle United’s win over Aston Villa. Newcastle coming out on top wasn’t too unusual, but a 5-1 victory for the Magpies took us all by surprise. This wasn’t a case of Villa being poor, the Toon came out absolutely swinging on day one.

Villa were one of the surprise packages of last season, as Unai Emery got the Lions back into Europe. The West Midlands side were riding high with that, but were brought back down to earth with a bang at St James’ Park.

Image credit: The Telegraph

Alexander Isak was the standout player, netting a brace, with Sandro Tonali getting in on the action alongside both Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson scoring after coming off the bench. Eddie Howe’s side look a lot more complete than last season and have real quality to come off the bench too now.

Could be a long season for Luton

Brighton and Hove Albion have a Europa League campaign to look forward to this season, so they’re no small fry. The departures of Alexis MacAllister, Robert Sanchez and Moises Caicedo are bound to affect the Seagulls, though.

They didn’t look to be suffering many ill effects though, as they resoundingly beat Luton Town on Saturday. Now, let’s not play down what Luton have achieved by reaching the Premier League, it’s nothing short of remarkable.

However, Luton’s first home Premier League game isn’t scheduled to take place until September, as Kenilworth Road requires alterations to be up to top division standards. The Hatters have no game in Gameweek 2, before having an away trip to Chelsea.

It’s early days, but if you’re to survive in the Premier League as a newly promoted side, you need points on the board and fast. The majority of the points that Town will win will be at home though, and a late season run at Kenilworth Road could prove to be decisive in Luton’s first top flight campaign in over 30 years.

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