The Premier League Is at It Again
The Premier League was absolutely bonkers last season.
Not only did Leicester City shock the soccer universe with an incredibly unlikely run to the title, but superpowers Manchester United and Chelsea both missed out on a Champions League spot while Southampton and West Ham secured Europa League places.
Nothing about last campaign made sense.
Stunning results are the new norm, and this year picked up where last season left off as Leicester suffered a 2-1 shock at the hands of newly-promoted Hull City.
A year ago ago, it would've been hard to imagine a scenario where Leicester losing at Hull in Matchweek 1 of the 2016-17 season was newsworthy. It would've been more likely that the game was part of the Football League Championship, England's second tier, instead of the Premier League. But the defending champions -- even if Leicester is not your typical champs, especially after the loss of midfield engine N'Golo Kante -- losing to a newly-promoted side is certainly a headline grabber.
Maybe the most worrisome thing when it comes to Leicester's title defense is that this was far from a smash and grab. The Tigers deserved the win, matching Leicester step for step throughout the match.
|Leicester City||Hull City|
|18 (5)||Shots (On Target)||14 (5)|
The two teams were pretty even across the board, and this is a Hull City side picked to finish last in the Premier League going up against a Foxes side which was only beaten three times last season -- twice by Arsenal and once by Tottenham -- and allowed less than one goal per match (36 goals allowed in 38 league fixtures) on its way to hoisting the trophy.
Hull got on the board just before the halftime whistle thanks to a sweet overhead kick from a set piece. Curtis Davies' initial header was turned away by Kasper Schmeichel, but Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande pounced on the rebound, with Diomande (right) officially getting credit for the goal.
Just after the break, Riyad Mahrez knotted the score from the spot after Demarai Gray won a penalty, but Hull City's Robert Snodgrass pushed the Tigers in front for good in the 56th minute with a smashing left-footed strike from the edge of the box.
LIVE: #HullCity 2-1 #LeicesterCity
1-0 45' #Diomande
1-1 47' #Mahrez
2-1 57' #Snodgrass ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/NghqStwQIW
— HPRtv (@hprtv1) August 13, 2016
The already long title odds for Leicester -- who was without first choice center back Robert Huth (suspension) -- just got longer, while, at least for now, Hull City is sitting alone atop the Premier League table.
Unpredictability has been the only predictable thing about the Premier League over the last 12 months, and it looks like we may be in store for another wild season.