The Premier League is back with an enthralling opening day of thoroughly exciting games of football. I like many have waited all summer for the Premier League and can happily say life just is not complete without it. The opening day had all the controversies, drama, sensational goals, a gigantic upset – you’d expect nothing less from the Best League in the World.
The stand out game in my eyes was the opening game of the The Moyes Era, which got off to a thumping 4-1 victory vs Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. For weeks on end the world has eagerly anticipated how David Moyes will fare as the new Manchester United manager as in truth, he faces the toughest job in the world to replicate the tremendous success of the ‘Godfather of Football’ Sir Alex Ferguson. The air of controversy surrounding Wayne Rooney, lack of transfer activity and an inconsistent pre-season added even more spice to the already tasty game that was to be played.
The Champions got off to an incredibly nervous and sloppy beginning with Swansea causing havoc through their Spanish hit-man Michu. In the first 20 minutes De Gea had to make several smart saves with Michu even putting the ball in the United goal and putting a smile on the face of Michael Laudrup – only for that smile to be wiped off in seconds as the linesman flagged for offside and deny Swansea taking the lead. Even fans on social media sites such as Twitter were getting evidently jittery in the opening stages as United were looking like a team with a whole lot of pressure on their shoulders.
However despite Swansea’s early possession domination, there was no goals to show for it and United being the ultimate opportunists, capitalised on Swansea’s inability to score whilst on top with a deflating blow to the Swansea faithful from the Arsenal hero turned villain Robin Van Persie. In the 34th minute, after looking not entirely threatening, a deflected Ryan Giggs pass landed on the chest of Van Persie, who expertly brought it down and as the ball bounced above his head, he scissor-kicked the ball from head height into the bottom corner. The confidence of the Man United players from that goal increased dramatically. United are one of the most dangerous teams when their tails are up – they proved that yet again when within 2 minutes the lead was doubled. After a pinpoint half-volleyed cross goal by Antonio Valencia was tapped in by Danny Welbeck in the 36th minute – United were cruising. The fact that they were 2-0 up after their unimpressive start shows exactly why Man United have the league 20 times. Leading a game when not at their best – is the trait of Champions. The 2 goals definitely burst the Swansea bubble and the Swansea team went back inside at half time looking completely degraded.
After half time, United looked very impressive and appeared rejuvenated with confidence as they stroked the ball around the park brilliantly. Swansea looked far less threatening then their opening burst and to make things worse they saw Wayne Rooney at the 60 minute mark waiting on the touchline to come on – United were showing no remorse. Rooney didn’t look completely interested, but after a classy team move involving Van Persie and himself, Van Persie scored the goal of the day as from 20 yards out scored an absolute bullet into the top corner. Once it left his boot, within a second it rippled in the back net. Wilfried Bony on in the second half made an impact, as he clinically side-footed the ball home in the last ten minutes to restore some pride. The forth goal was also one of the classiest goals you’ll ever see. From a guy that couldn’t finish a crisp packet last season, with one goal, this season he looks a new man already – Danny Welbeck. After a superb through ball from Rooney, his second assist, Welbeck cheekily chipped Michel Vorm from 12 yards out – it really was a majestic finish any football fan would praise highly.
That classy goal from Welbeck finished of a classy overall performance in the end. After an unconvincing start they comfortably beat a strong Swansea side that many believed would give them a serious worry – however after 90 mins the United team proved all those pessimistic critics wrong. The Moyes Era could not have got off to a better start, with Van Persie looking in red hot form already, Valencia looking rejuvenated, Welbeck looking like he’s become a clinical finisher…things are looking good so far for David Moyes. Nonetheless in midfield, they were overrun at times so the need for a central midfielder is still prevalent and a necessity. I think a CM will be signed by United and a quality one too. Many pundits have written of Manchester United winning the Premier League 2013/4 backing Chelsea or City – these pundits never learn their lesson, never write off Manchester United – they are the Champions after all.
By Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786)