Rolling Stone India Pitch: Liverpool And Leeds United Play Out A Thriller
Mohamed Salah bagged a hat trick in the game for the defending champions
Matchday one of the new 2020/21 Premier League season saw newly-promoted Leeds United give reigning champions Liverpool a run for their money, Arsenal and Chelsea both picking up away wins and Tottenham Hotspur losing at home to Everton.
On Saturday, the Premier League returned for its 29th season with the first game being played at promoted side Fulham’s old school stadium Craven Cottage against London rivals Arsenal. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta handed out debuts to two Brazilians; center back Gabriel and midfielder Willian with the latter going on to set up two goals for his teammates. Arsenal ran away 3-0 winners as talisman striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got on the scoresheet to continue his fine run of form.
Over at Anfield, defending champions Liverpool welcomed Leeds United who returned to English football’s topflight after 16 years. Before kick-off, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said that of all the games to begin the campaign, Leeds was the one team he didn’t want to face. The Reds were given a tough challenge as Leeds came back on three occasions to draw level. However, a silly tackle from striker Rodrigo granted Liverpool a penalty late in the game. Egyptian Mohamed Salah slotted it home to cap off a hat trick for himself. Klopp said after the match, “What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that. It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game.”
Now in his first full season in charge of Tottenham, Jose Mourinho stacked up against fellow veteran coach Carlo Ancelotti and his new-look Everton side. The Toffees made some good signing recently including Columbian attacking midfielder James Rodríguez. The player put on a fine display on his debut as Everton walked away with a 1-0 win thanks to striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s headed effort. However, there was a bit of controversy in regard to where the ball was placed for the freekick that led to the goal.
Mourinho said after the game, “I was expecting much more individually and collectively. It wasn’t a very good performance, not a consistent performance, not a performance that leaves me with a very good feeling that all of my players gave everything.”
Last night, big-spending Chelsea were in action against Brighton & Hove Albion with star players Timo Werner and Kai Havertz being given debuts by Frank Lampard. The Blues romped to a 3-1 win with defenders Reece James and Kurt Zouma getting on the scoresheet. “We’ve had a lot of quarantines, a lot of players who aren’t match fit. That’s how this season has started. There’s a lot of strain on these players and hopefully, we’ll get better and better,” said Lampard after the game.
Matchday two of the Premier League will see both Manchester clubs return to action after being given an extra week off due to their involvement in European competitions at the end of last season. United host Crystal Palace while City travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Elsewhere, Arsenal plays West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur go to Southampton and there’s also the mouth-watering clash between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
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