In perhaps their best performance to date under Pep, Manchester City looked excellent against an albeit weak West Ham United. From the first minute, they controlled the game with a strong display in possession matched by intelligent pressing both in and out of transitional moments.
Southampton travelled to Manchester as they faced Mourinho’s United in the second game of the new Premier League season. Despite being given a considerable share of the possession, they were unable to create against a resolute and compact home defence.
After a weekend of many Premier League debuts, Antonio Conte’s first match in English football was reserved for Monday night, as Chelsea hosted West Ham who started with Dimitri Payet on the bench.
Arsenal hosted Liverpool in their opening Premier League game of the 2016/17 campaign on Sunday afternoon. With fans frustrated with a lack of signings and worried by the transfer activity and managerial acquisitions of their rivals, a win was vital for Arsenal to keep the fans onside.
Pep Guardiola finally completed his first match in the Premier League, with a narrow win over David Moyes’ Sunderland team. The managerial merry-go-round was struck into full swing when Sam Allardyce replaced Roy Hodgson as England manager, leaving David Moyes to take up the vacant Sunderland managerial role. With only a few weeks of pre-season preparation, expectations were not high against the favourites for the title.
After a disappointing end to the season, the future looks bright for Manchester City with the introduction of Josep Guardiola as manager. Following great success in Spain and Germany, Pep now looks to try his hand in the Premier League in what is an eagerly anticipated tenure. The ex-Bayern coach has already had some impact on his side, with the astute signing of Ilkay Gündogan adding much needed playmaking to the 8 position whilst their work on the training ground has already begun to show.
The final day of the 2014-15 season saw Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side get thrashed 6-1 by a mediocre Stoke team. After challenging for the title in the previous season, the transfer of Luis Suarez and poor health of Daniel Sturridge created big issues and performance dropped off a cliff. Whilst Rodgers was previously able to rely on his talented personnel, he struggled to implement a consistent strategy from this point onwards. He was granted the start of the 2015-16 season to rectify the issues, but was unable to do so. He was sacked after a 1-1 draw with Everton in October. A few days later, Jurgen Klopp was hired.
Chelsea hosted Manchester City in the 33rd game week of the Premier League season. In previous seasons this fixture would has often had a major impact on the destination of the Premier League trophy with both sides occupying the highest positions in the table. This year however neither side are involved in the title race and the outcome was only significant for Manchester City in their attempts to fend off their neighbours and secure Champions League football for next season.
They are leading the Premier League by a margin of seven points and seem to be the hottest thing in English football right now. This is the Spielverlagerung analysis of Leicester City…
Tottenham hosted Manchester United on Sunday evening knowing that only a victory would keep their slim hopes alive in their attempts to keep pace with leaders Leicester City who built a 10 point lead with a 2-0 win over Sunderland. The stakes were high for United as well who could remain one point behind rivals Manchester City in the race to secure a top four finish.