The last season proved to be one of the best ever football extravaganza for football fans all around the world.
With Leicester city winning the season against 5000 to 1 odds, Tottenham Hotspurs were left heart broken as they expected to win their first Premier League title in 56 years. A lot was expected from both these teams in the new season 2016/17 of premier league.
As the fans all around the world waited for the new season to begin, many top teams saw major changes from new managers to new players. Chelsea saw the beginning of Antonio Conte’s Era, Manchester United got themselves the self proclaimed ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho, hoping he will take Man U back to glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson. Across the town, Manchester City had roped in Pep Guardiola from Bayern Munich ensuring more bitter clashes between Jose and Pep in the derby matches. Another big name Jurgen Klopp , who joined Liverpool mid season in 2015/16 season was more than ready to start afresh gaining the trust of Liverpool fans. Arsene Wenger had to deal with a lot of angry Arsenal fans , as the chants of ”Sack Wenger” were growing strong . Before the season kicked off on 14th August 2016, the footballing world was sure it was going to be a “Battle of Managers” in the 2016/17 season . All the top names in football management including the new members Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City) and Pochettino(Tottenham Hotspurs) found themselves with a single task “The Premier League”.
As for the players Manchester United grabbed the headlines after signing Paul Pogba from Juventus FC at a record breaking fees of £89 Millions. Another superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ signed for Man U for free as his contract expired with PSG. Kante moved to Chelsea from Leicester City and Liverpool signed Mane, Pep Guardiola felt the need of a strong defense that led him to lure Gundogan from Germany.
As the season kicked off on 14 th August , Leicester City were shocked by the newly promoted Hull City 2-1 in their very first match , which very much set the mood for this season for them as they are still struggling in the bottom half of the table.
Tottenham on the other side started off well with couple of wins and draws . Having lost only two games to Manchester United and Chelsea , The Spurs have remained in the top 5 consistently. The derby against Chelsea proved to be inspirational as they avenged the loss of previous derby with a double from Delle Ali , breaking Chelsea winning streak of 13 games and opening up the title race for all. The Spurs are now in Third position with 41 points.
Chelsea dream run might have ended with their first game of the year but they sit comfortable with 49 points at the top under Antonio Conte’s leadership. Diego Costa is the top striker with 14 goals so far and contributed vigorously in taking Chelsea to the top spot with support from Eden Hazard and Kante’.
Arsenal Fans were hoping for a good start but Klopp’s Liverpool left them wondering what happened to them with a 4-3 thriller in the first match. Arsene Wenger suffered harsh criticism from the fans who blamed him for lackluster performances of previous seasons. But Arsenal managed to hold on to the 5th position by the end of first 20 games.
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Liverpool has found a new Leader in Jurgen Klopp , who has truly rejuvenated the team after taking control in last season. The passionate Liverpool fans are happy to see themselves at second position and only 5 points behind Chelsea , which could have been only 3 points if only they had held their nerves against Sunderland in the last game before the break.
Manchester United got the perfect start to the season winning their first four matches under Jose Mourinho. The new Man U then faced a series of frustrating draws as the new setup was put to test. The only positive they had was not losing any of those games and now it seems like they are back to winning games as they posted their 6th straight win against West Ham on New Year. 35 years old Zlatan Ibrahimovich has inspired the team and silenced his critics who were doubtful about his success in the PL. Zlatan is now second on the top strikers list just 2 goals behind Diego Costa as Man U is 6th on the table with 39 points.
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Pep Guardiola’s appointment as the Manager of Manchester City saw a significant change in their formations and playing styles. A couple of upsets made them slip out of top 3 as they are tied on 42 points with Spurs lagging in terms of Goal difference.
As the PL heads into the winter break , Transfer window is open and fans await new signings . With the end of Chelsea winning streak by the Spurs, the season is very much open now with all the top 6 teams still in the run. Lets wait and watch what the PL has in store for us , but one thing is for sure its going to be a close fight till the end.