EPL 2016-17: 10 things we learned from Gameweek 2

Burnley’s fans were vital during their Championship-winning campaign last season
Srinishanth Nalagandla

The second game week of the exciting English Premier League has come to an end after a weekend filled with action packed football. It started off with Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils sending a message to their rivals that this Manchester United team is here to win and ended with West Ham coming out on top in their first ever Premier League game at the iconic London Olympic Stadium.

Here are 10 things we learned from the second week of the Premier League.

1) Burnley could be dangerous at home

After a decent start against Swansea in game week 1 where they lost 1-0, Burnley shocked visitors Liverpool at home turf. The newly promoted club comfortably beat Liverpool 2-0 thanks to goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray.

The men clad in Claret were backed by a fantastic crowd at Turf Moor created an intimidating atmosphere for Liverpool who had 80% possession on Saturday. The Merseysiders succumbed to the atmosphere in the stadium conceding an early goal after an error which set the tone for the rest of the game.

2) David Moyes’ weak start could mean another long season for the Black Cats

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  David Moyes, Manager of Sunderland gives instructions during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
David Moyes has a lot to do at Sunderland to win the respect of their fans

Since the 2011-12 season when Sunderland finished 13th with 45 points, it has been a battle for survival for the seasons to come thereafter. With many close escapes, the greatest come came last season when The Black Cats pulled off the ‘Great Escape’ under Sam Allardyce and earned the bragging rights after rivals Newcastle were dramatically eliminated.

However, this season is slowly looking to be another fight for survival after their loss to Premier League newbies Middlesbrough. Moyes and his men were booed at the half-time whistle and will have to improve considerably to survive this season.

3) Cristhian Stuani is Boro’s main man!

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  Middlesbrough player Christian Stuani celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images )
Stuani celebrates his goal against Swansea

After finishing second in the Championship last season Boro have been very active in the transfer market signing an array of big names like Victor Valdes, Alvaro Negredo, Antonio Barragan and Fabio Da Silva. However, trusted winger Cristhian Stuani proved to be the hero yet again after scoring a brilliant brace at the Stadium of Light.

Aitor Karanka’s team have shown great promise this season and have never lost a game when Stuani has scored. Their squad depth looks great and looks like Karanka is going to go horses for courses rather than fielding a settled IX this season.

4) Zlatan Ibrahimovic is perfect for Mourinho’s United but no signs of Marcus Rashford yet

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The ‘God of Manchester’ celebrates his goal

He has won the league everywhere he has played and has been a prolific goal scorer almost everywhere he has played but the Premier League looked like a completely different challenge for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, the Swede who called himself the 'God of Manchester' looks to be living up to his tag just two weeks into the league.

He has already scored in the last two competitive games for Manchester United and has been a major threat in the attack. However, the United fans who are going hysteric over this magnificent start maybe worried about the fact that Marcus Rashford hasn’t yet made an appearance in the league so far. It could be a concern if it stays this way for the weeks to come.

5) Michail Antonio answers critics and creates history

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  Michail Antonio (C) of West Ham United celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mates Ashley Fletcher (L) and Sam Byram during the Premier League match between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium on August 21, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Antonio creates history scoring the first Premier League goal at the Olympic Stadium

In the first game week of the season, Michail Antonio was the flop of the match against Chelsea when he lost possession on various occasions and in important positions while he also gave away a penalty. The club sponsors branded him as a disaster waiting to happen.

However, it took the player only a week to turn despair into joy as the midfielder was playing wide for West Ham this time around. He troubled the full-backs of Bournemouth before grabbing the historic winner in West Ham’s first ever Premier League game at the Olympic Stadium. Looks like playing him wide will be West Ham’s best bet.

6) Sergio Aguero looks more dangerous than ever

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester City at Bet365 Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Relief! Aguero finally scores a penalty this week

Aguero has netted 6 six goals in Manchester City’s last three games and looks fit and dangerous as City look to retain the Premier League title this season. Aguero’s game seems to have improved under Pep Guardiola as the striker looks more active and was seen pressing well when City was out of possession

Guardiola’s faith in Sergio Aguero’s penalties paid after the striker calmly finished his penalty this weekend after missing two in their midweek clash against Steaua. Should he stay fit for the whole season it could be a fantastic competition for the golden boot between Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa and maybe even Harry Kane.

7) Mame Diouf needs to find his scoring boots

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Mame Biram Diouf of Stoke City falls the floor after being challenged during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester City at Bet365 Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Diouf goes down after a challenge from Kolarov on Saturday

Saturday’s game between Stoke City and Manchester City was a game where forwards made the difference. Manchester City’s Nolito and Sergio Aguero fired home two goals each while Stoke City’s Mame Diouf was unable to find the back of the net yet again. The striker has only found the back of the net twice in 2016, which is very alarming for a striker.

The make matters worse, no striker scored more than 5 goals for Stoke City last season as a bulk of the goals came from the midfielders like Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic.

8) Hull City look determined to make a point

The Tigers have won both their games and are third on the table

Crisis! Relegation favorites! No squad! The summer has been a disastrous one for Premier League returners Hull City. However, The Tigers have been more than impressive in their first two games of the season, shocking Premier League champions Leicester City with a 2-1 win and comfortably winning 2-0 against Swansea in Wales.

With some great players like Robert Snodgrass and Abel Hernandez, Hull City have managed to climb up to third in the Premier League table after just two weeks sitting right behind the Manchester clubs. The start could encourage many players to sign for the Tigers in the coming week as they look to sign a few players before the transfer window closes.

9) Antonio Conte adds cutting edge to Chelsea’s campaign

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:  Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea celebrates the goal scored by Diego Costa of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chelsea fans already love Antonio Conte’s celebrations

Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte has made a good start to the Premier League with two last-minute victories over West Ham and Watford respectively. The Italian has managed to bring out the best out of his players, the same group that failed under Jose Mourinho last season. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa look assuring while new signing Michy Batshuayi has contributed as well.

However, the Italian has also won the respect of many with the way he carries himself off the pitch during press conferences. On the pitch he acts as the 12th man, looking just as animated and excited as the players on the field. Conte could steal the thunder from the Manchester clubs if he keeps up his great start.

10) He surely can do it in Stoke but on a pleasant Saturday afternoon!

Sterling looks like a reborn player under Guardiola

He has won everything during his time at Barcelona and has won the Bundesliga for three years in a row at Bayern but the English football fans had one question for him – can he do it on a cold winter night at Stoke? Well, we will have to wait for a while to find out the answer to that question but he can certainly win at Stoke and how!

Manchester City walked away with a thumping 4-1 victory over Stoke City on Saturday to put them on top of the table after scoring 9 goals in their last two games. Guardiola’s influence on the team looks evident as the players look hungrier with youngster Raheem Sterling looking more confident than ever. Maybe Guardiola can relaunch Sterling’s career? Looks quite likely!

Edited by Staff Editor


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