By Steve McMahon
By Steve McMahon
What a start to the new season we had over the weekend with a string of big results - two 5-0 wins, as well as Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United stuttering in their opening matches of the campaign.
I have to say that the biggest surprise and most impressive result for me came from the QPR versus Swansea match, which ended in a 5-0 win for the Welsh team.
Nobody expected Swansea to come up with five goals, simply because of the massive change their side has undergone. They lost their manager Brendan Rodgers and two key players in Gylfi Sugurdsson and Joe Allen, and many thought that they would therefore take some time to settle.
Going up against QPR, who looked impressive after bringing in several decent players over the summer, it was natural to expect Swansea to be happy for a draw, which made their 5-0 success all the more remarkable.
Elsewhere, Arsenal were a massive disappointment after they provided the only goalless draw of the weekend against Sunderland. A poor result compounded by the fact that they were playing at home.
Agreed, they lost Robin van Persie, but they have made excellent purchases to add to their squad in the shape of Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
With all this talent brought in, you would expect the Gunners to score for fun, but coming away with one point and no goals against Sunderland? It was a disappointing result for all Arsenal fans.
Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Everton was not as much of a surprise if you look at it closely. Everton were impressive last season and you could say that they cost United the title with a 4-4 draw in April.
As I have mentioned previously, the defeat isn't a massively disappointing result for United. A trip to Goodison Park on the opening day is always a tough test for any team, especially given that United's defence was decimated to the point that they could only field two defenders - one who hasn't seen match action since December due to injury and the other a declining star who looked out of form last season.
Liverpool, however, had a shocker of a game. To lose to West Brom in that manner was shocking enough, but even worse was that they looked just the same as last season.
Under new manager Rodgers, I expected a change in formation, a difference in the way they played and a shift in their entire team set-up, but none of these happened on Saturday at the Hawthorns. Captain Steven Gerrard was particularly poor in that match.
It also doesn't help that Daniel Agger is now suspended for the upcoming game against Manchester City as it means that Jamie Carragher will probably have to step in and he will be off the pace against an exceptional City team.
Yes, City are shorn of the dangerous Sergio Aguero, but it won't matter much given that they have Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli in reserve - either of them can pose a threat to top defenders in football.
Also, City's biggest weapon isn't in their attack - their exceptional passing game can tear any team apart.
The match is one that the Reds can ill afford to lose as it means that they will have to play catch up with the rest of the pack for the remainder of the season, but I don't see them overcoming an incredible Manchester City side, unless some big change is affected.
Steve McMahon's BPL Predictions (Sep 1 - Sep 2)
Liverpool 1-3 Manchester City
Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle
Stoke 1-1 Arsenal
Man United 2-1 Fulham
Tottenham 2-1 West Brom
Swansea 2-1 West Ham
Aston Villa 1-1 Everton
Norwich 0-2 QPR
Southampton 1-1 Wigan
Sunderland 2-0 Reading