Ah, Saturday afternoons are back to normal. The Premier League is back, and in August we saw title favourites get off to perfect starts, a plethora of new signings and pure entertainment that only the most entertaining league on the planet can provide.
What We Can See From The Table
- Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are the only sides remaining with an 100% record.
- As well as that trio, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and newly-promoted Middlesbrough are the only other teams yet to lose a game.
- The other two newly-promoted teams, Hull and Burnley, have also had decent starts to the season, sitting in 5th and 13th respectively.
- Reigning champions Leicester City have begun the new campaign with one win, one defeat and one draw.
- Six teams are yet to win – Southampton, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Watford, Bournemouth and Stoke City.
Player of the Month
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
2015-16 was a campaign that Raheem Sterling will want to forget. The same can be said for his dire performances with England at Euro 2016. But since Pep Guardiola has walked through the door at Manchester City, the winger seems to be a rejuvenated player. It is clear that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has given Sterling a huge shot of confidence, as we are back to seeing him terrorising defences with electric pace and silky skills. The 21 year old contributed to all goal in all three games in August – on the opening day against Sunderland he was fouled in the box to give Sergio Aguero the chance to score from the penalty spot, against Stoke he set up Nolito’s second goal, whilst his best performance of the month against West Ham saw him net twice to effectively win his side the game in a 3-1 victory. Can Sterling continue to star throughout the season? If he can, that £49 million that City splashed out on him last summer might just begin to look very worthwhile.
2nd – Diego Costa (Chelsea)
3rd – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Manager of the Month
Pep Guardiola – Manchester City
Although Pep Guardiola’s pedigree speaks for itself, 14 trophies in four years with Barcelona and seven trophies in three years with Bayern Munich, some pundits were questioning whether it might take time for him to adapt to a new league. However, the Spaniard has got his new Manchester City team back to its best straight away, winning three out of three league games. Fan may not be best pleased to axe Joe Hart, but on the pitch, the boys in sky blue look a real force to be reckoned with. They dominated on the opening day against Sunderland but needed a late Paddy McNair own goal to nick a 2-1 win, but they then came out firing at the Bet365 Stadium against Stoke, smashing the Potters 4-1 thanks to braces from Sergio Aguero and Nolito. Finally, two goals in the opening 18 minutes against West Ham suggested another mauling might be on the cards, yet in the end despite domination once more, City had to settle for a 3-1 win. Pep has got his team playing exciting possession football, having an average of 67% of the ball in their opening three matches. Last season, the club also had a perfect August but ended up finishing fourth. This team looks as though it may well end up with the title.
2nd – Jose Mourinho (Manchester United)
3rd – Antonio Conte (Chelsea)
Goal of the Month
Cristhian Stuani vs Sunderland
2nd – Philippe Coutinho vs Arsenal
3rd – Eden Hazard vs Chelsea
Game of the Month
Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool
Liverpool held on to beat Arsenal in a stunning Premier League opening-weekend encounter at Emirates Stadium. Theo Walcott fired in the first goal for the Gunners in the 31st minute, moments after missing a penalty. Philippe Coutinho equalised with a brilliant free-kick before Adam Lallana fired in after the break. Coutinho poked in his second and Sadio Mane slammed home, before Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a great solo goal and Calum Chambers headed in. For the full BBC report, click here.
2nd – Stoke City 1-4 Manchester City
3rd – Manchester City 3-1 West Ham
Did You Know?
Hull City were the first newly-promoted side since Bolton Wanderers in 2001-02 to win both of their opening two games. In beating Leicester, the Foxes became the first Premier League champions to lose their first game of the following season.
Games To Look Forward In September
- Manchester United vs Manchester City (10/09)
- Chelsea vs Liverpool (16/09)
- Manchester United vs Leicester City (24/09)
- Arsenal vs Chelsea (24/09)