The Premier League season is well underway and it has already produced some shocking and unexpected results. Teams that were expected to perform well have struggled, while others that were predicted to have difficulty have surprised many with their performances.
Here, we will take a look at five of the biggest surprises in the Premier League so far this season. From relegation candidates shocking title contenders to new managers beating league leaders, these results have helped to make this season so far one of the best in recent years.
Manchester United 1 – 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
The opening game of the season produced a noteworthy shock result. Brighton earned a hard-fought victory at Old Trafford, denying Erik ten Hag a win in his first game as Manchester United’s manager.
The home supporters were left disappointed as Pascal Gross scored two goals in the first half, stunning the Red Devils who were hoping to bounce back after a disappointing end to last season.
Brighton, who finished ninth in the Premier League last season, outplayed United in the opening period, replicating their 4-0 win over them in May.
Despite the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half – United failed to deny Brighton a deserved win. The home side did manage to score a goal when a scramble inside the box resulted in an own goal by Alexis Mac Allister.
This was Brighton’s first victory at Old Trafford, having managed only one draw in their previous nine league visits. After the game, Ten Hag lamented the mistakes his team made and praised Brighton for their cohesive play.
Brentford 4 – 0 Manchester United
Brentford pulled off a magnificent performance, scoring four goals within 35 minutes and dealing Manchester United a crushing defeat at the Gtech Community Stadium, which left United bottom of the league.
Josh Dasilva opened the scoring for the hosts, with his shot from afar managing to evade United’s goalkeeper David de Gea. Mathias Jensen doubled the lead after intercepting former Brentford player Christian Eriksen.
Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo also added goals for Frank’s side, putting them up by four in an astonishing first half in which they dismantled United.
This loss marked United’s seventh consecutive away defeat, their worst run since 1936. Additionally, it was the seventh time they’ve conceded at least four goals in a league game since the start of last season.
While Brentford celebrated this historic win, United’s manager Erik ten Hag was left with the daunting task of motivating his team ahead of their next game against Liverpool at Old Trafford, which they surprisingly managed to win.
According to betting data analysis, the result of 4-0 to Brentford was calculated to only have a 0.5% likelihood of occurring, highlighting just how unlikely this result was.
Any punter who backed the Bees to win and took advantage of bonuses such as a matched deposit bonus commonly offered by online bookies would have certainly been quids in.
Nottingham Forest 1 – 0 Liverpool
At a lively City Ground, Nottingham Forest delivered an exceptional performance that stunned Liverpool and allowed them to climb off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who departed Liverpool in 2021 without making a competitive appearance, scored the winning goal from close range after his initial shot hit the post.
Liverpool were far from their best and Virgil van Dijk squandered their best opportunity, leaving them without an away league victory this season.
As Forest celebrated their best day since returning to the top flight, following a 23-year absence, there were enthusiastic celebrations on and off the field at the final whistle.
Forest’s first season back in the Premier League has been challenging but their well-deserved victory over a lacklustre Liverpool on this day will be long remembered.
Manchester City 1 – 2 Brentford
Ivan Toney showcased his worth to Brentford with a match-winning, two-goal performance in their deserved Premier League victory against Manchester City, following his disappointment at being overlooked for England’s World Cup squad.
Despite being excluded from the squad, Toney’s excellent all-round display proved crucial as Brentford stunned the reigning Premier League champions, securing all three points with a 98th-minute winner.
Brentford’s positive approach paid off as they refused to take a step back from the outset, even after Phil Foden’s crisp left-foot half-volley drew Manchester City level just seconds before half-time.
During the added time, following a head injury to Aymeric Laporte, Brentford caught City on the break, and Toney swept Josh Dasilva’s cross home, providing a fitting conclusion to the 10 minutes of additional time.
Brentford’s bravery, as shown by their positive game plan, paid off, demonstrating that it can lead to rewards even against formidable opponents like Manchester City.
Manager Thomas Frank’s outstanding game plan kept Erling Haaland quiet while continually posing a threat that eventually brought the dramatic late winner.
Although City may have had an off-day, Brentford deservedly celebrated their hard-earned victory. Toney’s exceptional performance showcased to the England manager what he missed out on.
Everton 1 – 0 Arsenal
New Everton manager Sean Dyche got off to a dream start as his team, greatly improved from previous performances under Frank Lampard, stunned the then Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
The hosts picked up their first win in 11 games, thanks to a header from James Tarkowski, who played for Dyche at Burnley, from a corner from Dwight McNeil.
Before the game, thousands of Toffees fans protested against the club’s board and its running of the club. However, under Dyche’s leadership, Everton played with a not-seen-before spirit (this season at least) and demonstrated a change in mindset that has been lacking this season.
The team set up in a 4-5-1 formation, with a high press and ferocious tackling from players such as Onana, who made four tackles – more than any other player on the pitch.
The victory was Everton’s fourth in 21 league games this season, taking them out of the relegation zone by a point. Arsenal suffered their second league loss of the campaign at the time, with their free-flowing football absent.
The 2022/23 Premier League season has already produced some incredible and surprising results, as it does every year.
The unpredictability of the Premier League is what makes it one of the most fascinating and watched leagues in the world, and this season has shown that anything is still possible, despite the gap between the big six and the rest of the league.