The Premier League is back with three new sides who have joined the other 17 teams, with the hope that they can survive in what is arguably the toughest top-flight division in club football. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham and Cardiff City – the three newly promoted sides kicked off their campaigns but none of them managed to secure all three points. Despite none of those three winning their ties, let’s find out who had the best game week:
1. Bournemouth (2) – Cardiff (0) | Rating: 4.5
Cardiff started their campaign with a 2-0 loss against the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium. A harsh lesson was learnt – the step up from the Championship to the top flight is a big one and the difference was apparent. The Cherries looked every bit an established Premier League side as they brushed aside Neil Warnock’s men. Cardiff were devoid of any Premier League experience and looked overwhelmed. They were pinned back in their own half for longer periods and the Cherries deservedly took the lead through Ryan Fraser. Cardiff had a flurry of chances from set pieces in the second half; the best one when Morrison was denied by Begovic. Despite competing tenaciously, this match would serve as a stark reminder of the chasm that exists between the Championship and the Premier League.
2. Fulham (0) – Crystal Palace(2) | Rating - 6.5
Like Cardiff, Fulham too had a disappointing start to their campaign. There were 6 debutants in Fulham’s starting lineup, Vietto and Fosu-Mensah were on the bench and there were only three players who had previously played in the Premier League. In the end, the changes might have proved too much. Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace made the best use of the pace of Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend on the wings. The Cottagers started the game well but the Eagles were full of Premier League experience that saw them come away from west London with all three points. Fulham played their first game in top flight after a gap of 4 years but with 37 matches still left to play, they can be hopeful that their new signings gel in and become a unit.
3. Wolverhampton (2) – Everton (2) | Rating - 7.5
Unlike the other two promoted sides,Wolves managed to get a point from their opening fixture. The Toffees were reduced to 10 men at the end of the first half when Phil Jagielka was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Diogo Jota. Ruben Neves’ resulting free kick brought Wolves back on level terms, and they eventually rescued a point when on-loan Benfica forward Raul Jimenez headed in from Neves’ cross with 10 minutes remaining. Wolves had the best weekend among the promoted sides and their summer impressive summer signings, namely Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho are a notch better than their compatriots. If this result is anything to go by, Wolves might do more than just survive in the PL, they can realistically aim for a top half finish.
Though it would be too early to pick out the best side out of the three, but Wolves did play some good football, and Fulham displayed some inspiring play in much parts of the game whereas Cardiff were the least impressive side of the three.