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New season, same Haaland! 🤖 2023/24 Premier League Season: Monthly Recap #1 (August 2023) 📆

September 1, 2023
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New season, same Haaland! 🤖 2023/24 Premier League Season: Monthly Recap #1 (August 2023) 📆

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The Premier League is officially back up and running! 😍

In this new blog series, we will be breaking down the best moments of recent match days, providing the most noteworthy statistics, and then deciding our favorite goals, assists, and players of the month! 🔥

This is the Plei App’s 23/24 Premier League Recap for the month of August! 👇

The Premier League is back and better than ever! Reigning champions Manchester City went 3 wins for 3 in August and find themselves in a familiar 1st place early on. They are the only club to have won all of their first three outings so far of the new season.

Meanwhile, 4 clubs have taken 2 wins out of three and drawn another to remain undefeated in August. A new-look West Ham - who begin life without their beloved Declan Rice - kicked off with an away fixture at Bournemouth, only able to come away with a point after a late goal by Dominic Solanke. The following week, though, they hosted Chelsea, shocking the reconstructed Blues with a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Neyf Aguerd, Michail Antonio and Lucas Paqueta from the spot. They would grab a second 3-1 win at Brighton the following weekend.

Speaking of the Blues, their youthful, rebuilt squad has failed to live up to expectations after 3 matchdays. They didn’t have it easy as they hosted Liverpool at Stamford Bridge but looked decent at times as the match finished 1-1. After their loss to West Ham, they would finally see 3 points vs. Luton Town, putting up 3 goals against the newly promoted side.

Another team has also had to begin a new chapter without one of their most loyal servants. A Harry Kane-less Tottenham were able to take 2 wins out of 3 to rack up 7 points. After they played out a tense 2-2 draw at Brentford, they took care of business against Man United, thanks to a goal by Pape Matar Sarr and an own goal by Lisandro Martinez. The following weekend, they would see out a 2-0 win at Bournemouth to find themselves in 3rd place going into Matchday 4.

As for Liverpool, they have looked somewhat solid. After stealing a point from Chelsea that may as well have been 3 points after VAR ruled out a Salah goal that would’ve made it 2-0. They would proceed to win comfortably after a shaky start vs. Bournemouth at Anfield, but late heroics by Darwin Núñez were required in order to complete a 1-2 comeback win at Newcastle in Matchday 3.

One team that will no doubt be looking for revenge is Arsenal. Although they eventually could no longer keep up with Man City in last season’s title race, they will want to toss that misery aside and go at it again. After 3 matchdays, it seems like they are on the right track, winning twIce and drawing once. They just nearly came out with a debut 3 points against Nottingham Forest, and followed that up with another tight win, this time at Crystal Palace. However, their luck ran out the following week, as they could not take care of business against what proved to be a difficult Fulham, who were able to steal a point at Emirates Stadium late into the match.

All other clubs have lost at least once after Matchday 3, most notably Man United, Chelsea, and Saudi-owned Newcastle, who actually have two losses to their name despite making a number of key signings.

At the bottom of the table, things aren’t looking good for two teams, who have managed to lose all three of their played matches so far. Sheffield United, who have made their way back to the top-flight after they were relegated 3 seasons ago, have their work cut out for them this season in order for history to not repeat itself.

Meanwhile, the struggles for Everton continue as they find themselves at dead last in 20th place. For the past two years, they have barely escaped relegation, finishing in 16th and 17th place in the 21/22 and 22/23 seasons, respectively. After 3 games in the new season, though, it doesn’t look like much has changed. This is the first time Everton have lost their opening three games to a league season since 1990-91. To make matters worse, they have failed to score in 17 Premier League fixtures since the start of last season. Only Bournemouth have failed to score a goal in more matches (19 occasions).

Where is your club positioned right now in the table going into September? Let us know by sending us an email! 📩

Keep reading for quick recaps on each of the first three matchdays of the new Premier League season! 👇

Matchday 1️⃣ Recap 

Did you miss him?

Erling Haaland scored the first goal of the new Premier League season after just 3 minutes played, and we really didn’t expect anyone else to do the honors. The victims of this goal machine? Burnley. Unfortunately for them, they would not have a response for the reigning champions for the rest of the match.

Haaland wasn’t done yet, though. At the 35th minute mark, he would make it two with a spectacular first-time, left-footed finish, laid off to him by Julian Álvarez. Absolutely no chance for James Trafford. City would later close the game off with a 3rd goal, put away by Rodri.

In another exciting fixture, Arsenal came away with a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest. A magic moment by Martinelli in the 26th minute saw him drive down the left wing, before pulling off a beautiful spin to lay off the ball to Nketiah in the box. The forward would then cut inside before firing a shot that took a slight deflection.

A second goal would come 6 minutes later, from none other than the left foot of Bukayo Saka. After a combination of passes, the winger would take aim outside the box and finesse a 25-yard effort into the far corner. Forest would not have a response until minute 82, who were given hope thanks to forward Taiwo Awoniyi. It was a nervy end to the match, but the Gunners were able to hold on for the win.

One of two fixtures in Matchday 1 that saw at least 4 goals, Brighton put on a show against newly promoted Luton Town. They fired 4 goals past a club who once upon a time fell as low as the fifth division of English football. Solly March, João Pedro, Simon Adingra and Evan Ferguson all got on the board for Brighton, and James Milner started in what is his 22nd Premier League season. He only needs to appear in one more season to surpass Ryan Giggs and break the competition’s record.

What Brighton did on their opening day, Newcastle were able to do better! Sandro Tonali got off the mark in his new colors to open the scoring at St. James’ Park after just 6 minutes, but another new debutant, this time for Aston Villa, leveled things up. An unmarked Moussa Diaby, signed from Bayer Leverkusen, fired in a clean volley which left Nick Pope frozen in goal.

Fortunately for the home team, there would be no more goals conceded. Swedish striker Alexander Isak responded only 5 minutes later to make it 2-1, before sweetly chipping Emiliano Martinez for his double following a defensive error. A beautiful quick passing routine by Newcastle eventually saw the ball played through for new signing Harvey Barnes. The former Leicester City winger then drove into the box before sliding a pass into the feet of Callum Wilson, who made no mistake to make it 4-1.

Barnes would find the net himself, once again driving into the box after being played through on goal to find the back of the World Cup winner’s net.

Brentford vs. Tottenham was a pretty exciting opening fixture as well. World Cup winner Cristian Romero opened the scoring after just 11 minutes, steering home a header that was assisted by a pinpoint free kick by new signing James Maddison. However, Bryan Mbeumo would level things up from the spot before taking the lead via Yoane Wissa; both goals were just 10 minutes apart from each other.

4 minutes into first half added time, Spurs would find an equalizer of their own. A spin outside the box from Maddison would open up space for an on-rushing Emerson, who fired a powerful, low strike into the bottom left corner from about 20 yards out. The score would remain 2-2 throughout the second half as neither side could find a winner.

The big-name matchup of opening weekend was Chelsea vs. Liverpool. It was Luis Diaz who opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge, sliding into the box to put away a wonderful ball played in by Salah. The Reds had thought they had made it 2-0 in the 29th minute through the Egyptian, but VAR decided otherwise after spotting a tight offside.

Chelsea took advantage of this call just 6 minutes later, after Liverpool failed to deal with a loose ball. Ben Chilwell was able to head the ball into the six-yard area, and it was Disasi who arrived first to hook a low effort into the back of the net. After a somewhat uneventful second period, the game finished 1-1.

The final notable fixture of the week was Man United vs. Wolves. The Red Devils would win the match in the 76th minute thanks to Varane, who was able to nod a ball played in by Wan-Bissaka from close range. The architect of this play was Bruno Fernandes, though, who had played in the English wingback with a delicate chip over the Wolves backline.

Wolves had many missed chances throughout the match but were made to pay for their lack of definition as they fell 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Other results:

Sheffield United 0-1 Crystal Palace
Bournemouth 1-1 West Ham
Everton 0-1 Fulham

Matchday 2️⃣ Recap

If you thought the first week of Premier League football brought the heat, you probably weren’t ready for Matchday 2.

The first fixture couldn’t have kicked off the matchweek any better. Nottingham Forest vs. Sheffield United was quite the encounter, with substitute Chris Wood eventually scoring the game winner in the 89th minute. Before that though, Gustavo Hamer had brought Sheffield back on level terms, thanks to a spectacular right-footed effort from just outside the box.

But it wasn’t meant to be for the away side, and Forest were able to secure their first 3 points of the new season, bouncing back from their opening day loss at Arsenal.

Speaking of a first 3 points, Liverpool were able to see victory as well, taking care of business at Anfield versus Bournemouth. Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota all got on the board for the Reds in a dominant performance that will have fans forgetting about the fact that Bournemouth actually scored first just 3 minutes in.

Oh, and Alexis Mac Allister got sent off in the 58th minute, but we’re sure Liverpool fans won’t mind that either.

Brighton continued their spectacular goalscoring form with yet another 4-1 victory, their victims this time being Wolves. Mitoma kicked off proceedings with a stunning solo run which saw him receive the ball just a couple yards past his own half. The Japanese winger left multiple home team defenders in his wake before slotting a neat finish into the bottom right corner. This goal will surely be on replay for weeks.

Brighton would score their other 3 goals in quick succession, all within 10 minutes of the start of the second half. Wolves would have a response five minutes after Brighton’s 4th goal, but it would only be a consolation as they finished Matchday 2 still without a single point.

The most high-profile fixture of the week didn’t disappoint. Tottenham were able to secure their first 3 points of the season at the expense of Manchester United; it was also their first victory over the Red Devils since October 2020.

It was truly a poor performance from Erik Ten Hag’s men, and they were largely second best at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium despite creating a couple of chances. One look at Pape Matar Sarr’s opener in the 49th minute and Lisandro Martinez’s own goal in the 83rd tell you everything you need to know about how United played.

With this result, United have now won just one of their last 10 Premier League games in London, and are without a clean sheet in 12 games in the capital.

At least one Manchester side were able to see 3 points. The reigning champions made it 2 wins out of 2 in the new season after seeing out a tight but comfortable victory against Newcastle. A clean Julian Alvarez strike in the 31st minute was enough for the Cityzens, and they could’ve put some more on the board if it wasn’t for a pair of missed Haaland chances.

At the end of the day, Newcastle were unable to fight their way back into the game, as Pep Guardiola’s side were able to expertly see out the clash. This result means that the Magpies have now lost their last 15 away games against Man City, which is their longest ever losing run away from home against any league opponent.

Everton’s poor new season form continued after they were well-beaten in a 4-0 loss at Aston Villa, who had also been handed a heavy loss just a week prior vs. Newcastle. The home side were determined to bounce back, though, and did so in emphatic fashion. John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Leon Bailey and Jhon Duran all got on the board for the Villans to secure their first points of the season.

Although Villa won on the day, they will be lamenting the loss of Philippe Coutinho, who had to be helped off the field after sustaining an injury just 20 minutes after being brought on. The Brazilian genius just can’t catch a break.

Perhaps the shock of the matchweek was Chelsea’s away loss at the hands of West Ham. Nayef Aguerd opened the scoring in the 7th minute following a pinpoint corner taken by James Ward-Prowse, but it was later canceled out by a fine strike by 19-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka to score his first goal for the club.

Chelsea probably deserved to go into the halftime up a goal, but Enzo Fernandez was unable to slot home a penalty attempt which was saved by Alphonse Areola. It was the first missed PK of the World Cup winner’s career.

Going into the second half, West Ham were determined to capitalize on that penalty miss and did so through Michail Antonio to make it 2-1. Just 14 minutes later, the Hammers would be reduced to 10-men after Nayef Aguerd was sent off for a terrible tackle attempt on Nicolas Jackson. Chelsea were unable to find an equalizer for the remainder of the match, though, instead conceding a penalty after record breaking signing Moises Caicedo committed a clumsy foul in the box. Lucas Paqueta converted from the spot and that would be all for this encounter.

In the final notable encounter of Week 2, Arsenal once again scraped their way to victory, this time thanks to a lone penalty by Martin Odegaard in the 54th minute. Despite losing Takehiro Tomiyasu to a red card in the 67th minute, the Gunners were able to hold on for the three points at Crystal Palace.

Other results:

Luton Town vs. Burnley (Postponed)
Fulham 0-3 Brentford

Matchday 3️⃣ Recap

Pochettino’s Chelsea finally managed their first 3 points of the season on the third attempt.

The Blues took care of business against a Luton Town side that is still trying to find its footing in the highest division of English football. An in-form Raheem Sterling put Chelsea in the lead in the 17th minute after weaving his way into the penalty area before placing a left-footed effort into the bottom left corner. He would make it a double in the 68th minute after being found in the box with a low cross by Malo Gusto.

Sterling would cap off a fine performance by providing a deflected cross to find Nicolas Jackson in the box to open his account for Chelsea. 3-0 was the final score on the day at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Arsenal and Fulham fought to a 2-2 draw. Andreas Pereira opened the scoring for the away side in the 1st minute after catching Aaron Ramsdale completely out of position following a terrible back pass by Bukayo Saka. There would be redemption, though, as Saka converted from the spot in the 69th minute to level up the match.

The home team kept piling up the pressure with the momentum having swung their way, and they found the goal to give them the lead in the 72nd minute via Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal thought they would cruise to victory when the Cottagers went a man down in the 83rd minute, but it was not to be. Fulham would still find an equalizer from a corner in the 87th minute, finished off by João Palhinha.

Over in Manchester, Old Trafford was treated to a five-goal thriller between Man United and Nottingham Forest. Unfortunately, the home fans were forced to watch their beloved Red Devils go two goals behind after just three minutes and 47 seconds of play.

It was an inspiring effort, but it was not to be for the away team after United managed to complete a comeback to go two wins in two games at home this season. Christian Eriksen (17’), Casemiro (52’), and Bruno Fernandes (76’ P) scored the goals to turn it around for the Red Devils. Forest saw red in the 67th minute after a rash challenge by Joe Worrall.

Brighton’s flying start to the season came to an end after they were victims of a 1-3 loss at home to West Ham. Despite boasting 78% possession and 25 shots (10 on target), they could not stop an away side that was always dangerous on the counterattack.

James Ward-Prowse (19’), Jarrod Bowen (58’) and Michail Antonio (63’) all got on the board for the Hammers, who begin a streak of winning form after downing Chelsea the week prior. They also remain undefeated this season across their first three matches thanks to this result.

A pair of tight results were the story of two of this matchweek's Sunday fixtures.

Is it even a Man City win if it doesn’t have a Rodri super strike as the last goal of the match? The Spaniard was the hero once again after he fired a one-time half volley into the top left corner of Sheffield’s net 2 minutes from stoppage time. The incredible thing is that even though Guardiola’s men were playing away from home, it almost seemed like we were in the Etihad Stadium for a moment after Rodri scored that goal.

Before these heroics, though, Sheffield thought they were going to steal a point from the champions. Jayden Bogle took advantage of a Kyle Walker error to equalize for the Blades. This came after Erling Haaland put City ahead after he had uncharacteristically missed a penalty in the first half. Looks like he’s human after all. 1-2 final score at Bramall Lane as City go 3 wins for 3 and Sheffield do the opposite.

Liverpool were the other side to squeeze their way to victory, arguably in much more dramatic fashion than City did. 

A huge mistake by Trent Alexander-Arnold saw him fail to control a simple back pass from Salah, which allowed Anthony Gordon to pounce onto the ball and go through on goal. The former Liverpool youth player made no mistake, slotting a right-footed finish through the legs of Alisson to open the scoring.

Things went from bad to worse for the Reds 3 minutes later when Virgil Van Dijk was sent off for taking down Alexander Isak, who was through on goal. Liverpool’s hero came in the form of none other than substitute Darwin Núñez, who entered the pitch in the 77th minute and leveled the game just 4 minutes later. Sven Botman makes a mess of a through ball attempt by Diogo Jota, and the ball still manages to fall kindly for the Uruguayan as he takes one touch and fires a powerful right-footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Incredibly, Núñez was not done yet. 3 minutes into a total of 5 minutes of stoppage time, he would be played through again, this time by Salah, before applying a very similar finish to win the game for Liverpool at St. James’ Park. Heartbreak for Newcastle.

Other results:

Bournemouth 0-2 Tottenham
Brentford 1-1 Crystal Palace
Everton 0-1 Wolves
Burnley 1-3 Aston Villa

Plei App’s Premier League Moments of the Month 🤩

🔥 Goal of the month: Kaoru Mitoma vs. Wolves (0-1)

Honorable mentions:
Rodri vs. Sheffield United (1-2)
Bukayo Saka vs. Nottingham Forest (2-0)
Erling Haaland vs. Burnley (0-2)
Jarrod Bowen vs. Bournemouth (0-1)
Gustavo Hamer vs. Nottingham Forest (1-1)
Luis Diaz vs. Bournemouth (1-1)
Raheem Sterling vs. Luton Town (1-0)
Kevin Schade vs. Crystal Palace (1-0)
Jarrod Bowen vs. Brighton (0-2)

🅰️ Assist of the month: Gabriel Martinelli ➡️ Eddie Nketiah vs. Nottingham Forest (2-0)

Honorable mentions:
Pedro Neto ➡️ Sasa Kalajdzic vs. Everton (0-1) 
Mohamed Salah ➡️ Luis Diaz vs. Chelsea (0-1)
Julio Enciso ➡️ Solly March vs. Wolves (0-3)
Mohamed Salah ➡️ Darwin Núñez vs. Newcastle (1-2)

🥇 Player of the month: Rodri (Manchester City)

Runner ups:
🥈 James Maddison (Tottenham)
🥉 Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

Thanks for reading the first edition of our new series where we relive and break down the best Premier League moments of the prior month! 🔥

If you enjoyed this content, please don’t hesitate to share it with your friends; you can also click the links below to share via Facebook, LinkedIn and email. 🔗

What was your favorite moment in the Premier League in August? Let me know by sending a message via email at Julian@plei.app or by sending us a text. 📲

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Julian Febres

Content Manager

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