And we’re off! Welcome to the brand new season, where anything can happen. Except, of course, Mourinho being a cheery, happy-go-lucky sort of chap. Or Liverpool fans being surprisingly grounded and not getting carried away, at all. Oh, well. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Without further ado, let’s see what the opening weekend of the 2018/19 Premier League season served up.
Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri: The Italian chain smoker did a commendable job keeping his instincts in check for 90 plus minutes, while his new team tried to play a rudimentary version of Sarriball. Chewing through his daily supply of nicotine gum, Sarri saw Chelsea somehow contrive to put three goals past a hapless Huddersfield.
Jorginho: His hop, skip and kick penalty technique is not quite up there with the Panenka, but it is infinitely more nerve-wracking for anyone hoping to see it go in.
Manchester City: Lather, rinse, repeat. The Citizens didn’t need to get out of 2nd gear as they brushed aside Emery’s Arsenal.
Paul Pogba: Still in the shop window, fed up with his own manager chipping away at him for almost three months.
Liverpool: Could this be their year? Maybe. The way they ruthlessly dispatched fellow big-spenders West Ham United without breaking a sweat, suggests this team will definitely finish second. Even Daniel Sturridge found use for his newly repaired body to slam one home.
Sadio Mane: Whatever Salah can do, Sadio can do twice.
Wolves: Whoever said money can’t buy happiness probably never saw Wolves supporters’ reactions to their team’s draw against Everton. Or, they were Everton fans who saw their own side fritter away hundreds of millions on “talent” last season.
Ruben Neves: A stunning freekick from a man who stunned everyone by swapping the bright lights of Porto for the West Midlands. What’s more stunning is that he’s still there! Stunning, I tells ya.
Roberto Pereyra: Woof! Scored two 10/10’s on the same night, just like Hugh Hefner in his Playboy Mansion.
Richarlison: Instant hero.
Spurs: Still living in the 2017/18 season in terms of their squad and hoping it all works out. Good for them that they came up against a team that is stuck in 2009/10.
Crystal Palace: Roy Hodgson’s Eagles would prefer not to replicate last season’s disastrous start. They took a step in the right direction by welcoming Fulham to the Premier League and pulling out the rug from under their feet.
Manchester United: They may have won the battle, but Pogba’s comments suggest Mourinho might have lost them the war. There’s plenty of time for the £89 million man to plot his exit for sunny Spain.
Jose Mourinho: If he carries on with his tiresome digs against his club, he’ll neither be their manager nor head coach very soon.
Everton: Still weighed down by the expectations that come with spending a shit ton of money. Money can buy you Stones, but it can’t buy you an away win, can it, lads?
West Ham: In an alternate universe, David Moyes brings in Fellaini on a free, who proceeds to terrorise the new-look Liverpool midfield and score a towering header. West Ham only lose 5-1.
Fulham and Cardiff: Baptism by fire, for the two newly promoted clubs. They’ll get used to it.
Newcastle United: You kinda feel sorry for them. They’re swimming against the tide with a Mike Ashley shaped boulder tied to their feet. Benitez is a fine manager, but he is certainly no magician.
Phil Jagielka: A good way to get an extended holiday is to get sent off on the first day of the season.
Arsenal: Okay, lads. First game of the season, let’s start off on the right foo *slips and falls face-first into a pile of manure*.
Unai Emery: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.