Category Archives: Premier League

Opinion: Premier League title race done and dusted for everyone else, except Liverpool and Manchester City

We have headed into the first international break and the top two clubs are unsurprisingly, Liverpool and Manchester City. Who would have expected a different story than this?

Similar to the last season, the early extravaganza of the Premier League intends nothing but a two-horse title race between the Red Half of Merseyside and the Blue Half of Manchester.  These very two clubs are unarguably miles ahead of the other ones, they have their stunning peculiarity of to demonstrate unstoppable domination.

Jose Mourinho, while delivering his take on the proposed title race between Liverpool and City, insisted,

‘I was having the joke of Man City B, Spurs, Liverpool and Man City [challenging for the title]. ‘Just three or four weeks later, we understand clearly Liverpool and Man City are going to finish first and second, or second and first.’

Liverpool is the only side in the division with 100% record, who tops the table with 12 points. While Man City are second with 10 points in the bag.

The recent tussle of these two powerhouses has intensified the managerial rivalry between two of the best football coaches in the world, whose teams are on course to put forth a mesmerizing title race.

With a high investment done in the transfer market, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United were tipped to enter in the title race but, with taking into consideration their early-season struggle and the gaps in their teams which have been brutally exposed, they will battle for the 3rd and 4th place.

There will surely be some stern test for them while going ahead in the season as there is always jeopardy and uncertainty in the Premier League. However, Liverpool’s competition will always be Manchester City.

Between them, they haven’t lost a league game since the end of January. It’s evident that they are both pushing each other upwards. They are relentless.

Reds’ front three are looking razor-sharp again this season. While Raheem Sterling and co have been ruthless in front of goal. Virgil Van Dijk continues to put forth a defending masterclass while Kevin De Bruyne is back and raining the assists.

In the end, last but not least. Who will actually win this extraordinary title race? Will the Blue Moon rise again or will the colour be Red?

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24/7’s FPL Update – GW4

Another round of football has passed, and after an electrifying weekend of fixtures, we take a look at the players you should be adding to your fantasy team for game-week 4.

The football started on Friday with Everton travelling to Villa Park, where the Merseyside team showed a lacklustre defensive performance and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Saturday got underway with Norwich battling against Chelsea, a 5-goal thriller saw rising star Teemu Pukki getting a goal and assist for the home side. Chelsea however ended up on top, following a hattrick of goals split between England youngsters Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, Abraham netting the brace and scoring a round high 15 FPL points. Mohammed Salah managed to match Abrahams game-week tally, scoring a brace of his own against Arsenal, who travelled back to London ashamed after their 3-1 defeat. Embarrassed is the only way Man United and Spurs would have felt, with both members of the big six losing at home to bottom of the table sides Crystal Palace and Newcastle respectively.

So, after such a nail-biting weekend you’re probably wondering which players you should add to your fantasy line-up?

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £12m

Guardiola’s side have remained unbeaten since the start of the 19-20 season, amassing a huge 10 goals in their first three outings. Bad news struck in training however, when Brazilian second-string striker Gabriel Jesus injured his hamstring. This leaves City with only one out and out striker, fellow South American Sergio Aguero. Aguero will definitely have a regular place on the team sheet, and with their next 8 games coming against teams that finished in the lower half of the table last season, he is expected to add to his goal tally. One more hattrick and the Argentine matches Alan Shearers hattrick record; do you think he will be able to do it in the next few months?

Joel Matip (Liverpool) – £5.4m

When looking at The Reds’ defence, you typically think of Virgil Van Dijk (unsurprisingly too, given he’s been voted as the world’s best defender). But what if you found out that another player in the Liverpool backline is just 1 point behind him in FPL, and for over £1m cheaper? Joel Matip has had an equally influential part in the set-up, furthermore he sits on 11 points with favourable upcoming games against Burnley and Newcastle. Only owned by 1.9% of all FPL players, could Matip be the difference in this week’s FPL side?

Wesley Moraes (Aston Villa) – £6m

The 22 year old bagged his first Premier League goal at the weekend, beating the Everton offside trap and calmly slotting the ball home with a first time finish. Before transferring to Aston Villa this season, the prolific Brazilian striker was named Belgian young player of the year while playing for Club Brugge. Although relatively unknown, his low price of £6m could be worth a punt, especially if he’s to even come slightly close to replicating his Belgian performances. His time in Europe saw him getting on the score-sheet once every three games! Can he bring such finesse to the Premier League?

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – £8.9m

A relatively slow start to the season shouldn’t mean you discount the Foxes frontman. Vardy was the first on the scoresheet when Leicester travelled to Sheffield after counterattacking and smashing the ball into Dean Henderson’s goal. The striker then found himself trending on twitter, after he got himself in some bother with the Sheffield United fans, showing the home crowd his best owl impression given his love for their local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Their next game invites Bournemouth to the King Power Stadium, and with The Cherries struggling in defence, can the Englishman make the headlines again?

Joelinton (Newcastle United) – £5.9m

One of the surprises at the weekend was when Newcastle made the long trip down the country to London, most likely anticipating a tough game in their first appearance at Spurs’ new stadium. Not even half an hour into the game, The Magpies surprisingly found the lead, thanks to the new Brazilian signing Joelinton, and managed to park the bus and grind out a tough victory. At less than £6m, the striker is a good option for your FPL team. Securing 8 points against Tottenham, and facing Watford at home in their next game. Could Joelinton be the addition your team needs for those extra points?

Premier League Review

I am starting this week’s review with the match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night because it had a big talking point.

The game finished 1-1 with goals from Anthony Martial and a trademark long range effort by Ruben Neves. The result itself was interesting enough as its evidence that Wolves aren’t far away from the top six.

The talking point came when United were awarded a penalty with the score at 1-1 and last week’s scorer of a penalty Marcus Rashford went into conversation with Paul Pogba. The result of the chat resulted in Pogba taking the penalty and then subsequently having the spot kick well saved.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed after the game that the penalty duties are being shared between Rashford and Pogba and that “whoever feels confident on the day” should take it. This for me is a risky and strange policy as it adds an unnecessary seed of doubt and pressure to the taker, which showed its force again in United’s next match on Saturday, More on that later.

Moving onto Saturday’s roundup which I am starting at Anfield where the only two teams with 100% records in the league went head to head as Liverpool faced Arsenal.

Liverpool were controlling much of the possession and territory but Arsenal created good openings on the break from record signing Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

In the process, interestingly, Pepe became the first player to successfully dribble past Virgil Van Dijk breaking a record that has stood for well over a year, no mean feat. It has also become more evident that Liverpool are not performing as well in defence without Allison in goal and his deputy Adrian almost cost them another goal, as just like last weekend, one of his clearances went straight to the Gunners but luckily for him, Aubameyang, uncharacteristically, lacked composure.

Despite all of this, Liverpool’s territorial advantage paid off with them taking the lead through a Joel Matip’s header just before half-time.

After the break, David Luiz cost Arsenal any hopes, by first tugging Mohammad Salah’s shirt in the penalty area, with Salah himself scoring the penalty. It was the Egyptian once again who embarrassed Luiz by the touchline as the Brazilian needlessly dived in and Salah chipped the ball over him before running to the edge of the box and superbly curling into the bottom corner just before the hour. This ended the contest, although Arsenal did get a late consolation through Lucas Torreira.

The result means Liverpool are the only side in England with a 100% record and continues Arsenals poor record at Liverpool, however they can take something from the chances they created.

Now back to Manchester United who were playing Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, a venue where Palace hadn’t won since 1989.

United were dominant as expected, but couldn’t find the break through and Palace broke after 32 minutes which left Jordan Ayew one-on-one with David De Gea, who silenced the crowd by coolly slotting home.

There was yet more United penalty drama in the second-half when they were awarded a spot kick when Scott McTominay was bundled over. Everyone waited to see who would take the kick following Monday’s drama and this time it was back to Marcus Rashford.

However, he suffered the same fate as Pogba seeing his penalty cannon off the inside of the post. This only further strengthens my argument that Solskjaer’s method is an incorrect one. United continued to push and found an equaliser through summer signing Daniel James, who scored in consecutive home matches by curling in a delightful equaliser in the 89th minute following Pogba’s good tackle on Wilfred Zaha and with a neat build-up from Rashford and Anthony Martial.

The Red Devil’s thought they could still win it but were caught with too many players forward allowing Zaha to burst forward and find full-back, Patrick van Aanholt, who netted the winner in the 93rd minute, thumping in as the ball broke loose.

The result means United have picked up just one point from the last two matches and are showing they may struggle to get into the top four once again, a thought I had in pre-season.

Chelsea and Frank Lampard headed to Carrow Road to face a vibrant and confident Norwich side following their 3-1 win over Newcastle United looking for their first win of the season and Lampard’s first as a Premier League manager. Lampard continued to show faith in striker, Tammy Abraham and his decision paid off with the youngster scoring two excellent goals to open his Chelsea account. The first came after just three minutes, however, it didn’t take long for Norwich to hit back though, as just three minutes later, Todd Cantwell latched onto Teemu Pukki’s cut back.

Chelsea restored their lead 11 minutes after Cantwell’s equaliser for Norwich, Mount – cut inside the hosts’ defence and unleashed an unstoppable shot high into the net for his second goal of the season.

In a frantic first half Norwich equalised again and it was no surprise that it was Pukki, who scored his fifth goal of the season. Despite Norwich’s second leveller, Chelsea continued to pressure their opponents’ shaky defence; Mount and Christian Pulisic both saw efforts go wide within moments of the second half getting under way.

Abraham’s second goal saw him become the youngest Chelsea player to score twice in a Premier League fixture since 1998, twisting and turning and tying Grant Hanley and Jamal Lewis in knots before firing an unstoppable drive past Tim Krul.

The Blues thought they had scored again when Kurt Zouma poked a loose ball home, but it was ruled out by the video assistant referee after substitute Olivier Giroud was judged to have fouled the Norwich keeper, Tim Krul.

Lampard now has his all-important first win as Chelsea boss and will be looking to build on this victory.

Watford against West Ham is a match between two sides hoping to challenge in the top half of the league table.

However, only one of the two sides looked like they had that in them in this match at Vicarage Road and that was West Ham.

They have some terrific creative midfielders and their record signing striker, Sebastien Haller scored his first two goals for the Hammers as they ran out 3-1 winners.

Mark Noble’s third-minute penalty set West Ham on their way to their first win of the season after Manuel Lanzini had been fouled by Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Watford responded with a well-worked Andre Gray goal, with the forward drilling home a right-foot shot from Will Hughes’ pass.

It was then Haller who took centre stage as he led the line in exemplary fashion and contributed to all three West Ham goals. He displayed his predatory instincts that allowed him to comfortably claim his first goal for Manuel Pellegrini’s side before acrobatically doubling his tally.

Watford did create plenty of chances mainly through Gerard Deulofeu who had seven shots on goal, with only a close-range strike that hit the West Ham crossbar finding the target, alongside Hughes’ extraordinary miss from a yard out after Gray had squared the ball with the score at 1-1, that summed up the hosts’ lack of potency in attack.

At the other end the presence of Haller, Anderson and Lanzini provided too much power, pace and guile for the Watford defence to cope with. Gracia’s side now face a challenging sequence of fixtures – with a home game against Arsenal sandwiched between trips to Newcastle and reigning champions Manchester City – having shipped 41 goals in their last 18 matches.

At the same stage last term Watford had collected nine points after an impressive start, but a pointless return this time around represents a complete reversal of fortune.

Sheffield United were looking to back up their first win back in the top flight but came up against a Leicester City side that were just too good for them on the day.

Ayoze Perez robbed defender Chris Basham before James Maddison played a deft pass with the outside of his foot into space, allowing Jamie Vardy to race in and power home left footed. Vardy – a boyhood Sheffield Wednesday fan – had been booed throughout and duly cupped his ears in celebration. Billy Sharp and McBurnie’s second half introduction seemed to raise home spirits and suddenly Leicester’s midfield seemed unable to close spaces as quickly. It was Oliver McBurnie, who scored the equaliser from Sam Baldock’s pin-point delivery – proving why the Blades paid Swansea £20m for the striker.

They were level for just eight minutes, however, as substitute, Harvey Barnes, scored a marvellous winner six minutes after coming on, Barnes fired a half-volley from the edge of the box which flew past home keeper Dean Henderson.

Saturday’s final match saw a south coast derby as Brighton met Southampton, Brighton have started the season impressively, whilst Southampton headed into the encounter pointless and this showed in the early stages as Neil Maupay and Martin Montoya both had chances.

However, the game swung the visitors’ way when Florin Andone was dismissed following a rash challenge that left Yan Valery withering in agony near the halfway line. A challenge that Brighton manager Graham Potter said he “can’t defend”.

The Seagulls responded well, initially, with Lewis Dunk’s header chalked off by VAR, but the Saints capitalised on their numerical advantage in the second half. They took the lead through Moussa Djenepo, who came on as a substitute eight minutes into the second half and his impact was almost instant, cutting in from the left and curling into the top corner just two minutes after entering the fray.

A late Nathan Redmond goal secured the points for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Onto Sunday’s matches and a Tottenham Hotspur side buoyed by gaining a point at Manchester City took on a Newcastle United side with no points and were embarrassed by Norwich last weekend, surely this could only end one way. In fact, Newcastle looked like a completely different team from last weekend, credit to Steve Bruce for that, they were superb in defence and caused Spurs problems on the counter attack.

It was from one of these counters that they took a surprise lead through record signing Joelinton, this his first goal since joining. Spurs were caught with too many players forward and Joelinton controlled Christian Atsu’s through pass beautifully before drilling past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but couldn’t find the creativity to unlock an excellent back five of Newcastle.

Cristian Eriksen and Giovani lo Celso, both started on the bench and came on together after an hours to try and add this creativity.

Lo Celso, nearly made the difference with a pass to Harry Kane in the penalty area and Kane went down under a challenge by Jamal Lascelles.

The Newcastle defender appeared to slip and dive across Kane, as he knew he had no chance of getting to the ball, clever or reckless the referee and the VAR decided it wasn’t a penalty.

Spurs created more opportunities the best of which fell to Lucas Moira, who shot over from eight yards after being found by former Newcastle player Moussa Sissoko, who was unsurprisingly roundly booed throughout by the toon army crowd.

Spurs couldn’t find a way through and from evidence of this and other weekend results we could be heading towards another two horse race for the title.

There was a meeting between the last two sides to finish 7th in the league at Molineux, where Burnley were the visitors to Wolves.

It was the Clarets who were the more effective side and eventually took the lead through an excellent strike from Ashley Barnes, his fourth goal in three Premier League games this season.

Burnley were denied a second goal when Rui Patricio produced an excellent save to keep out Chris Wood, while Ben Mee headed against the bar with the rebound coming off Wolves defender Ryan Bennett and hitting the post.

However, Wolves were awarded a penalty in the dying moments when Erik Pieters fouled Raul Jimenez.

After a video assistant referee check, Jimenez stepped up to calmly roll the ball past Nick Pope and earn Wolves a third successive Premier League draw.

Despite this lacklustre performance from Wolves, I wouldn’t be worried that they are set to suffer like Burnley did last season in the league due to being in European Competition.

The Final Match of the weekend was a routine win for champions Man City away at Bournemouth. Another goal apiece for Aguero and Sterling meant they lead 2-0 at half time. Bournemouth rallied and substitute Harry Wilson’s superb 25-yard free-kick raised hopes of a fight-back, However Aguero pounced for City’s third after good work from Silva. Wilsons strike means he has scored two stunners in his two first premier league matches.

24/7’s FPL Update – GW3

After another great week of Premier League Football, we take a look at the players who have scored highly in the FPL, and players you should aim to add to your line-up this week. There are several winnable games for the Big Six too; with Chelsea finding themselves away to Norwich in the early kick off on Saturday, and Man United at home to Crystal Palace. Furthermore, City and Spurs will both be trying to improve on their 2-2 draw, with games against Bournemouth and Newcastle respectively.

Teemu Pukki (Norwich) – £6.8m

Norwich’s Teemu Pukki was the star of the weekend, bagging a brilliant hattrick against Newcastle and securing 17 points for his FPL owners. Only Man City’s Sterling has the same amount of goals (4) as Pukki so far. The top scorer of last season’s championship has certainly turned some heads, with a whopping 720,000 people opting to transfer him in this week. But will he be a one hit wonder, with games against Chelsea and Manchester City in the next 2 weeks?

John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – £4.1m

A big shock to the FPL community this weekend was John Lundstram of Sheffield United. The Blades’ defender secured a huge 14 points in his game against Crystal Palace, coming from a well taken goal, a clean sheet and 3 bonus points. His form is up at 8.5, the seventh highest in the FPL statistics. With a bargain price tag of just £4.1m, surely it’s worth considering him for an early transfer? The Blades have upcoming games against Leicester and Chelsea however, so Lundstram will have to perform well to maintain his recent form.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £12.2m

The Manchester City winger has been in brilliant form since the season started, tying with Pukki for most goals scored. Sterling’s progress as an all-round player has been staggering under the guidance of Pep Guadiola and he really has developed into one of the world’s best wingers. Sterling has the most points in the FPL, and with upcoming games against Bournemouth, Brighton and Norwich, you’d expect him to add to his points tally. If you’ve not done already, give him the captain’s armband!

Che Adams (Southampton) – £5.9m

The Southampton forward has proved himself to be The Saints first choice striker this season. He was Birmingham City’s top scorer last season, netting 22 times in just 46 appearances. With fixtures against Brighton and Sheffield United coming up, could he be the player to get a breakthrough this week?

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) – £8.0m

The Icelandic midfielder has had a relatively lacklustre start to the season, gaining just 6 points in the FPL. Being owned by 10% of managers and being a regular starter for Everton however, he could be the man to give you a points boost. Everton face two winnable games in the next few weeks, coming up against Aston Villa, and Bournemouth respectively. He could be a budget option in your midfield to bolster your team, but if his subdued performances continue, he could hinder you. Will you take the risk?

Premier League Weekend Review

The highest profile match of the weekend was at the Etihad Stadium where Champions Manchester City entertained Tottenham in a replay of the game of the season from last year which was a Champions League Quarter Final at the same venue. Just like last seasons encounter this one had goals drama and controversy. City again were pushing for a stoppage time winner with the score at 2-2, they thought they had it when Gabriel Jesus fired home. VAR then intervened once again to deny City due to a handball by Laporte. New rules for this season state that if the ball hits the hand of an attacking player, accidentally or otherwise and it leads to a goal then the goal should be disallowed. Therefore the VAR was following the letter of the law, as replays showed the ball hitting Laporte’s hand, however the problem is in the law itself. It is unfair to rule out goals where the attacking team have not intentionally tried to gain an advantage. I realise this brings in personal interpretation as to what is intentional however the “clear and obvious” rule should be referred to in these situations as Laporte was clearly not intentionally handballing in order to gain an advantage. The rule does make decision making black and white but it just doesn’t seem fair and the euphoria of scoring a lot of goals will be denied. Another flaw in the rules fairness is if the ball hits a defender on the hand in the box it has to be deemed deliberate for a penaty to be awarded, where is the consistency in that.                          

The match itself was one which Man City were the better team with Kevin De Bruyne in particular looking back to his best with two superb assists for Aguero and Sterling. Spurs though proved they know how to score at the Etihad Stadium once more with goals from Lamela and Lucas that mean they have scored more gaols than the rest of the league combined away to City. In terms of the title race this is a good result for the neutral as most people want to see the gap between City and Liverpool to the rest of the top six reduced compared to last season and to get more teams in the title race.         

Elsewhere in the Premier League Arsenal made it two wins out of two at the start of a league campaign for the first time in 10 years. A staggering statistic considering they always finish in the top six. They got the win thanks to a fine goal by pierre-emerick aubameyang who ran with the ball and fired home from outside the box to make it 2-1 after first half goals by Lacazette for Arsenal and Ashley Barnes for Burnley. It was summer loan signing from Real Madrid Dani Ceballos that really caught the eye with a delightful performance from midfield. He displayed  superb passing and willingness to get on the ball from all areas that Arsenal probably haven’t seen since Cesc Fabregas. Burnley can take heart from their performances so far this season as they look more like the team that finsished seventh in 2018.           

Liverpool also made it two wins from two, however they were not convincing in the first half especially in beating Southampton 2-1. They took the lead through a fine strike by former Southamton player Sadio Mane just before the break but conceded chances throughout the match lacking the solidarity they had last season. This could be down to the loss of goalkeeper Allison as his deputy Adrian made several poor clearances one of which lead to Southampton’s goal as he cleared staright against Danny Ings, Who then had a great chance to level the scores at 2-2 but he couldn’t connect with a powerfull cross.       

The performance and result of the weekend perhaps goes to Norwich as a superb Teemu Pukki hat trick handed them a 3-1 win against Newcastle in their first top flight match at Carrow Road in 3 years. Pukki became the first Norwich player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Efan Ekoku in September 1993. The Finnish fowards opening goal was a delicious strike from last season’s Championship top scorer, carefully watching a loose header drop before unleashing a thunderbolt volley high into the Newcastle net.

Fellow promoted side Aston Villa couldn’t repeat Norwich’s success on the return of Premier League football to Villa Park however as defensive errors lead to them falling 2-1 to Bournemouth. Tom Heaton gave away a penalty after just 45 seconds of his home debut which Joshua King converted and then 10 minutes later Douglas Luiz, on his first start for Villa following his £15m switch from Manchester City let the ball run across him in his defensive third allowing Harry Wilson, who was on loan at Derby last season from Liverpool and was making his Premier Leage debut , to let fly from outside the box and with the aid of a hefty deflection made it 2-0. Luiz did go from Villan to hero as he scored a consolation for the hosts, finding the top corner with a stunning strike from outside the box. Villa pushed for an equaliser but it wasn’t to be the dream return of home Premier League football that the Villa fans had hoped for.        

Brighton followed up their impressive 3-0 win away from home at Watford with another encouraging display at home to West Ham. Although they didn’t take maximum points they were largely the better side against a Hammers side lacking fight and desire in defence.  Brighton summer signing Leandro Trossard scored and saw a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee. Trossard fired past Lukasz Fabianski from the edge of the box shortly after Javier Hernandez had put the Hammers into a 61st-minute lead. The Seagulls pushed for a winner late on with Trossard, Lewis Dunk and Davy Propper all going close, but Graham Potter was forced to settle for a point at the end of his first home game in charge.

Everton got their first win of the campaign thanks to a  superb long pass from deep inside his own half by Lucas Digne which was nicely finished by Bernard from outside thee area. This was Everton’s fifth straight home win going back to last season and the Toffees have not conceded at home since they lost 2-0 to Manchester City on 6 February, form which backs up many people’s thoughts that they are the favourites to finish as the best of the rest and qualify for the Europa League. Watford however are on a poor run having won just one of their last eight league matches, and have yet to score in this campaign. Troy Deeney was denied by a fine save from Jordan Pickford early in the second half, when the Watford captain went one-on-one with the Everton keeper. Everton striker Richarlison had two good chances to score against his former club with headers but missed both, while substitute Moise Kean rolled a shot just wide of Foster’s right post in second-half stoppage time.

On Sunday Frank Lampard returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time as manager to a riotous ovation from the crowd. His side got off to the perfect start, dominating the early stages against Leicester and taking the lead 6 minutes in. The goal scorer was a poignant one for Lampard, as it was the player he has showed the greatest faith in following a terrific spell together at Derby County, Mason Mount. Mount has been picked ahead of the likes of Ross Barkley by Lampard and has re-paid his manager with an impressive start to his Chelsea and Premier League Career. Chelsea were much the better side in the first half, but this didn’t continue in the second as Leicester stepped it up and Chelsea got tired. James Maddison was pivotal in this change as he played more centrally rather than wide left, and found space to create opportunities.  Leicester found an equaliser from a Maddison corner, which was headed home by Wilfred Ndidi. Incidentally it was Ndidi himself who was at fault for Chelsea’s opener; as he was dispossessed by Mount on the edge of his own box before Mount finished smartly. It was Leicester who looked the more likely to win the encounter from then on with good chances for Vardy and Maddison. However the match finished 1-1, leaving Lampard still looking for his first win as Chelsea manager.                   

The other match on Sunday saw the return of Premier League football to Bramall Lane after 12 years in the second and third tiers. A wonderful atmosphere probably contributed to the blades nervy start, but it wasn’t long before they took control of the match and deservedly took the lead just three minutes after half time; when Luke Freeman’s shot rebounded to John Lundstram, who put it in the net to make it 1-0. United held on with relative ease to make it 4 points from two games on their return to the top flight. As for Palace they have now failed to win either of their opening league games for a third time in four seasons while also failing to score.