Chalobah enjoyed a memorable debut
The 2021-22 Premier League season kicked off in exciting fashion over the weekend, with 34 goals scored across the 10 top flight games.
The very first fixture saw newly-promoted Brentford stun Arsenal on home soil while fellow new boys Watford joined the Bees in making a winning start to the campaign. Meanwhile, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool issued statements of intent in the title race with comfortable victories.
Elsewhere, West Ham United defeated Newcastle in a thrilling six-goal encounter at St James’ Park. Meanwhile, Manchester City began their title defense with a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
Plenty of players surprised in the Premier League
While regular names like Bruno Fernandes and Mohamed Salah shined for their respective teams, there were many others who surprised us with their performances over the weekend.
So let’s take a look at the five players who surprised us with their performances during the first week of the Premier League:
#5 Konstantinos Tsimikas (Liverpool)
Norwich City v Liverpool – Premier League
Andy Robertson’s ankle injury in the penultimate friendly of pre-season against Athletic Bilbao meant that Konstantinos Tsimikas was given the opportunity to start for Liverpool.
It was the first Premier League start for the Greece international with injuries and Robertson restricting him to less than 10 minutes in top-flight action since arriving at Liverpool 12 months ago. The 25-year-old definitely did not disappoint.
Tsimikas had demonstrated his ability to attack, deliver a cross throughout pre-season and quickly ran enthusiastically at the Norwich defense. He almost scored in the second-half when his shot was repelled by Tim Krul.
Tsimikas also made three good clearances when the home side, backed by a raucous crowd, tested an untried Liverpool defense.
He did have one or two scary moments when he was dispossessed in dangerous areas, but he did a solid job overall for Liverpool in the absence of Andy Robertson.
#4 Sergi Canos (Brentford)
Brentford v Arsenal – Premier League
Newly-promoted Brentford surprised everyone as they started their first top-flight campaign since 1947 by stunning Arsenal 2-0 in the opening game of the Premier League season.
And former La Masia graduate Sergi Canos starred for the Bees in their incredible win. Canos opened the scoring for Brentford in the first half when a poor clearance from Arsenal allowed him to capitalize by beating Bernd Leno at his near post.
That goal came from one of his three shots, but it was the Spaniard’s work off the ball that really caught the eye.
The Spaniard made seven tackles in the match, the most made by anyone on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, while also making an additional three interceptions. He was arguably the best performer for Brentford on the night.
#3 Emmanuel Dennis (Watford)
Watford v Aston Villa – Premier League
Watford marked their return to the Premier League with a 3-2 win over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road and the star of the match was their new striker Emmanuel Dennis.
The 23-year-old opened the scoring inside 10 minutes when he was picked out by Ismaila Sarr in the penalty area, firing Watford into the lead. With that goal, Dennis became the fourth Nigerian in the history of the Premier League to score on his debut. The role was reversed for Watford’s second goal when Dennis set up Sarr in the 42nd minute.
His movement off the ball caused all sorts of problems for the Villa backline. He made a couple of questionable decisions due to inexperience but his overall performance was excellent. Sadly he was substituted in the 66th minute after picking up an injury and Watford fans will be hoping it is nothing serious.
#2 Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace- Premier League
It’s been quite a week for Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah. The 22-year-old, who has been at Chelsea since he was eight, made a surprise debut in the UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal.
He went one better this weekend on his Premier League debut. The centre-back hammered in a screamer from 25 yards which clipped the inside of the post on the way in, scoring Chelsea’s third goal in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Chalobah immediately dropped to his knees after the ball went in and was overcome with emotion. It was a big moment for the Chelsea youngster, who spent three seasons out on loan before being part of the first team. Apart from the goal the youngster was also solid for the Chelsea backline, returning a 92.8 per cent pass success rate and chipping in with two interceptions and two clearances.
Many expect Chalobah to go out on loan again this season but his performances in the last two games for Chelsea have shown that he is ready to be a part of their squad.
#1 Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City- Premier League
Son Heung-min scored the only goal of the match but the star of the show for many would have been 22-year-old Japhet Tanganga.
Playing at right-back, Tanganga was exceptional against the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish down City’s left flank. He seemed to be rarely beaten by either men and read the game superbly before being replaced by Matt Doherty in the latter stages.
He was linked with a loan move away from Spurs, however, after this performance it’s hard to imagine that Spurs would let him go. The youngster could definitely play a huge part for Nuno’s side in the Premier League this season.