Shearer: Return of fans inspired opening-weekend goal fest

16 Aug 2021
Shearer: Return of fans has made it an amazing start to season

Premier League's all-time leading scorer praises supporters for playing their part in epic Matchweek 1

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Alan Shearer has praised the impact of returning supporters in helping Matchweek 1 of the new season become the second highest-scoring opening weekend in Premier League history.

There were 34 goals scored across the first 10 matches of 2021/22, the most from any set of opening fixtures since 2003/04.

Shearer, the competition's all-time's leading goalscorer, says capacity crowds being back in stadiums inspired players across the league. 

"Brentford versus Arsenal set the tone," said Shearer before seven goals were added in Sunday's two matches. "The atmosphere was amazing and it carried on all of Saturday. Goals, goals, goals in every game. 

"After every game you've heard not only the managers but also the players say how much they've enjoyed fans being back in the stadium. 

"Last season was a slog for us! So you can imagine what it was like for the players going into empty stadiums, working extremely hard but not getting the reward when scoring or winning of hearing the roar of that crowd. That's what we all feed on." 

The returning fans also helped seven of the 10 home teams claim victories in the opening weekend, a big contrast to the trend of away success behind closed doors in 2020/21. 

Last season, there were a Premier League record of 153 away wins, outnumbering the 144 home successes.

See: Best images of fans returning to stadiums

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