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Notable Occurrences on the Opening Weekend of the PL Season


Notable Occurrences on the Opening Weekend of the PL Season

On Thursday 15th June, the Premier League's fixtures will be released for the upcoming 2023/24 season, with fans of each top-flight club eagerly anticipating who they will face on the opening day of the season, as well as when key fixtures and derby matches will take place.

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Last updated 13/07/2024

Opening Weekend Statistics

Liverpool vs Winners of the Championship

In each of the last four seasons, Liverpool have played the winners of the Championship on the opening weekend, having taken on Norwich in 2019/20 at Anfield, before facing Leeds (h) in 2020/21, Norwich (a) in 2021/22 and being drawn up to play against Fulham at Craven Cottage in their opening fixture last season.

Will Liverpool make it five out of five by facing Burnley on the opening weekend this time around?

Opening Weekend Top Scorers

Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Mohamed Salah hold the record for the most goals on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, all scoring eight times each. Salah equalled this record last time out when Liverpool drew 2-2 away at Fulham and will have the opportunity to surpass the aforementioned players.

Has Any Team Won All of Their Opening Weekend Matches?

Only one team has got a 100% win percentage on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, with this being Blackpool back in the 2010/11 season, as they thrashed Wigan Athletic 4-0 at the DW Stadium thanks to goals by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Marlon Harewood (2) and Alex Baptiste.

Luton Town are the only team that can match this record in the upcoming Premier League season.

Which ‘Big Six’ Side Has the Best Opening Weekend Results?

Manchester United have the best points per game record of any of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ on the opening weekend, winning 20 and drawing four of their 29 matches, equating to 2.21 points per game.

Chelsea follows closely in second with 2.10 points per game, 0.03 ahead of Liverpool in third, while Arsenal average 1.8 points. The worst two performing ‘Big Six’ sides are Manchester City with 1.75 points and Tottenham on 1.48 points, although these records will be slightly skewed, having been late additions to the traditional 'Big Four'.

Some of the Notable Opening Weekend Fixtures in Premier League History

Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United - 1995/96

Coming into the 1995/96 season, Manchester United had suffered the heartache of losing out on the Premier League title to Blackburn Rovers on the last day of the previous campaign and were still struggling in the absence of Eric Cantona following the Frenchman’s lengthy ban after his Kung Fu Kick on a Wimbledon fan at Selhurst Park.

However, their summer transfer strategy raised further eyebrows when the likes of Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and Paul Ince were all sold without direct replacements. In came the ‘Class of 92’ with the likes of Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham to go alongside already established academy graduate, Ryan Giggs.

But, their first game of the season was a culture shock, as Villa raced into a 3-0 lead after just 37 minutes thanks to goals by Ian Taylor, Mark Draper and Dwight Yorke, with David Beckham scoring a stunning consolation goal with six minutes to go.

Famously, this prompted Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen to say: “You can’t win anything with kids”. United would go on to win the double that season, with all of their academy graduates playing major roles for the club and even helping Sir Alex Ferguson's side to win the treble just four years later.

Notably, from this game onwards, United ended up being unbeaten on the opening weekend of the Premier League up until the start of the 2012/13 season when they lost 1-0 at Everton in Sir Alex's final season as manager.

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United - 2004/05

Chelsea versus Manchester United was perhaps one of the most highly anticipated games of the 2004/05 Premier League season, with this being Jose Mourinho’s first match as Chelsea manager. Ultimately, this was the start of the Stamford Bridge club’s first title-winning campaign in 50 years.

The game itself was a fairly scrappy affair, with the Blues winning 1-0 thanks to a bundled finish in the 15th-minute from Icelandic forward, Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal 2010/11

This game saw another manager make their debut at a new club, with this being Roy Hodgson’s first game as manager of Liverpool.

Interestingly, this fixture also saw two red cards, with Joe Cole being sent off on his Liverpool debut in the first half of the match, while Laurent Koscielny received his marching orders in the 95th minute of his first game for the Gunners. The result of this fixture was 1-1 after a late Pepe Reina own goal cancelled out a superb 46th-minute David N’Gog strike.

Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool 2016/17

In what was Arsene Wenger’s last season as Arsenal manager, the Gunners faced Liverpool yet again on the opening weekend of the Premier League, this time, at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Jurgen Klopp was Liverpool's manager on this occasion and his side stunned the home fans as they rampaged into a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane before strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers made it a nervy finish for the Anfield club.

Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City 2021/22

Nuno Espirito Santo’s time as Tottenham manager kicked off with a bang on the opening weekend of the 2021/22 season, as the Lilywhites hosted Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

This match resulted in a 1-0 win for Spurs, thanks to a superb goal from Son heung-Min in the 55th minute, extending City’s hoodoo of never scoring at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Unfortunately for Nuno, this wasn’t a sign of things to come as Spurs manager as he was sacked just 16 matches later.