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This Weekend’s Winners & Losers

By | 18th August 2008

The opening weekend of the English Premier League saw many surprise results as well as many disappointments. Here’s a rundown of which players, teams, managers, and fans won or lost:

- Middlesbrough. Gareth Southgate and his men were faced with the tough task of going up against a rejuvenated Spurs side to open the season. Boro played above all expectations and grabbed a well deserved victory at home. The manner of the victory was important, too. Southgate’s men weren’t hesitant at all as they ripped the Tottenham backline apart with plenty of backheels and stunning team linkup.

- Felipe Scolari and Deco. The two Brazilians arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them. It was said that Scolari doesn’t have enough club credentials while Deco was approaching the end of his career. Scolari rallied his team to an awe-inspiring 4-0 victory over Portsmouth with Deco grabbing a fantastic goal.

- Hull City. The newboys to the Premier League were expected to falter this year, but the Tigers introduced themselves to the top flight with a victory over Fulham. New signing Giovanni didn’t do any harm to his reputation, either, as he scored Hull’s first goal in the Premiership. The entire city of Hull should be proud of their team.

- Dean Ashton. Ashton is finally ready to take his career to the next level – all he was waiting for was a break from injury. He finally has that, and he opened the season with two goals against Wigan to get his side all three points. West Ham will be counting on Dean to score their goals, and if the first weekend is anything to go by then the goals will be pouring in.

- Gabriel Agbonlahor. The Villa man now sits atop the Premier League goalscorers table. A hat trick against rivals Manchester City means that Villa start the season in good form and have already forced a loss upon a team which should contend for a UEFA Cup spot. If Agbonlahor keeps this up then there is no way Fabio Capello can ignore him.

- Everton, its fans, and David Moyes. Everton is in an extremely tough spot right now. The fans are growing restless with the lack of signings, the players look uninspired on the pitch, injuries are already taking their toll, and boss David Moyes is getting frustrated. A last minute defeat to Blackburn at home just underlines all of this and means that Everton are already a step behind their rivals. Tough times ahead for the blue half of Merseyside…

- Tottenham. Spurs fans were hoping – and all of England was expecting – Tottenham to finally live up to their expectations. With some fantastic summer acquisitions and the chance for Juande Ramos to go through a preseason with his club, Tottenham should be a side pushing to break into the top four this year. Once again, though, they start the season in disappointing fashion. Losing to Middlesbrough certainly wasn’t in the plot, and the North London club will need to recover quickly.

- Liverpool. Yes, Liverpool won their match against Sunderland, but I’m sure this match disheartened their fans a bit. With all of their players and their manager saying they can win the title this year, an unconvincing performance against Sunderland shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement. The club needed a moment of magic from Fernando Torres, and they can’t rely on that week in, week out.

Discuss all of this weekend’s matches at the Premiership Talk Forum. Be sure to have your say about next weekend’s lineup by joining the Premiership Talk Predictions Game!

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