Saturday 28 December 2013
As the summer transfer window drew to a close, the Barclays Premier League action began for the 2013/14 season on 17 August.
There appeared to be no sea change at Manchester United as the reigning champions got off to a winning start under new manager David Moyes by beating Swansea City 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium, but it was Chelsea, managed by Jose Mourinho, who topped the table at the end of the month.
Chelsea won two of their three fixtures in August and held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, Moyes’s first match in front of the Manchester United fans since succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugout.
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool both had a perfect record by the end of the month but only played two fixtures, while Arsenal suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on the opening day but bounced back with an away win at Fulham. At the opposite end of the standings, Europa League qualifiers Swansea began their campaign with back-to-back defeats while West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland also ended August winless.
Barclays Premier League newcomers Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace were all beaten on the opening weekend but each managed to turn their form around by the end of the month. Hull beat Norwich City 1-0, Crystal Palace's record signing, Dwight Gayle, scored in a 3-1 victory over Sunderland while Cardiff caused the biggest upset of the month as they beat Manchester City 3-2 in South Wales.
Manchester City otherwise made a strong start to the season under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, scoring six goals and conceding none at home as they recorded wins against Newcastle United and Hull. Everton, also under new management in Roberto Martinez, drew all three of their league fixtures in August, including goalless stalemates against West Brom and Cardiff.
The month also marked a historical moment in the history of football, as goal-line technology was implemented and used for the first time. Hawk-Eye's Goal Decision System (GDS) was first called into action in the game between Liverpool and Stoke at Anfield on the opening day, in which it concluded that Jordan Henderson’s shot off the underside of the crossbar had not bounced over the line.
Ahead of the 2 September deadline date, Barclays Premier League teams were also working desperately behind the scenes to bring in new players. Spurs were particularly active in August, bringing in Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Christian Eriksen to White Hart Lane and breaking their transfer record to sign Roma winger Erik Lamela.
London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal also made an impression in the transfer market. Mourinho was reunited with Samuel Eto’o, who he worked with at Inter Milan, at Stamford Bridge and made a move for Brazil forward Willian, while Mathieu Flamini returned to Arsenal after leaving AC Milan.
Cardiff and Southampton both broke their club transfer records to sign Gary Medel and Dani Osvaldo respectively. Other notable signings included West Brom’s capture of Diego Lugano, a double loan move by Fulham to sign Adel Taarabt and Darren Bent, Stewart Downing left Liverpool to join West Ham and Hull signed Tom Huddlestone from Spurs.
Manager of the Month: Brendan Rogers
Player of the Month: Daniel Sturridge
"You always want to win your [first] game - when you're manager of Manchester United your job is to win the games. I was made well aware of it. The players have done it today and did really well.” – Manchester United manager David Moyes after beating Swansea
“The reception was amazing. I was expecting that because I played here with Inter as an opponent and it was fantastic so I could imagine that coming to Chelsea would be like that. It gives me more responsibility but at the same time they know I give everything for this club." - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on his return to Stamford Bridge
"The only important thing is justice. The most important is to make the right decisions and this is one of the first helps. It's a bit more sophisticated and complicated than you would imagine at the start. It’s not as easy as it looks as when you first have the idea. Between the idea and making it work you realise that it is a lot of work behind that." - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the introduction of goal-line technology
Barclays Premier League table on 1 September 2013