Premier League - Five false lessons we 'learned' after week 1

Newcastle Stand

Newcastle United, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea feature.

After an FA Cup hiatus, the Premier League resumes this weekend and there are plenty of intriguing fixtures.

The 10 games on offer are all return fixtures of week one in the Premier League, and there are plenty of lessons we have learned since then.

Of course, we all thought while the opening game is just that, after just one week we had an indication of how things may pan out this season.

Here are five impressions from the opening games back in August which turned out to be far from true...

Newcastle are a desperate side

Newcastle United opened their Premier League account with a 4-0 mauling away at Manchester City. Fans were angry with the poor performance, managing just one shot on target and 36 per cent possession. Since then, the way City have thrashed also every top side to visit the Etihad, including firing six past both North London sides, puts the result in less harsh context. Newcastle have since kicked on, recording impressive away victories at Tottenham and Manchester United, sitting just one point behind the reigning champions in eighth, six points off a Champions League spot. At this point it would be a big surprise if Newcastle fail to achieve a top 10 finish.

Arsenal will struggle to find the top four

Remember the summer when Arsenal conspired to miss every possible transfer target they were linked with? Well of course they had the ace of Mesut Ozil up their sleeve, but after the first game that possibility hadn't even seemed conceivable. The Gunners were embarrassed as they lost 3-1 at home to an unremarkable Aston Villa side, and booed off the pitch. That seems like a lifetime away now, with Arsene Wenger's men looking inspired despite injury problems which have threatened to derail them, sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table.

David Moyes will make a comfortable transition at United

Back then too, David Moyes was making a positive start to life at Manchester United. A 2-0 Community Shield victory against Wigan was a minimum requirement, but the nature of their opening Premier League victory gave plenty of reason to be optimistic. United visited Swansea City, who had held them to a draw at the Liberty Stadium last season, and demolished the hosts 4-1. It would be the only game of the first three in the league the Red Devils would win, and in truth it's all been downhill since then. United sit in seventh and face an uphill battle just to secure Champions League qualification, an unthinkable scenario one year ago.

Liverpool will struggle to score goals

Liverpool began with a tricky home victory over Stoke City, edging a 1-0 win thanks to a penalty save from new signing Simon Mignolet. Yet in the match the Reds lodged 25 shots on target, and should have had the game well beyond Stoke's grasp heading into the final stages. The following games this season have shown this largely to be an aberration, with Liverpool finishing 2013 as the highest scoring club in the calendar year. Luis Suarez has come back better than ever, and their attack is one of the most exciting in the league, finally making short work of sides who used to come to Anfield and come away with results.

Jose Mourinho back at Chelsea will be seamless

It has been said that the most exciting football played since Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea came in the first 45 minutes against Hull City on the season's opening weekend. They put in a masterclass against a plucky Tigers' side, and it really should have ended in a more comprehensive scoreline than 2-0. Since then Mourinho's return has had some real issues, while not nearly as challenging as Moyes at United, they do not look in the same class as the Chelsea of 2004/05. Juan Mata is tipped to exit while the striker situation is farcical with Lukaku scoring freely on loan and new signing Eto'o a shadow of his former self. If Mourinho can turn this side into title winners this season it may be his biggest achievement yet.

image: © mickyb59

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