Opening league weekends always throw up the strangest of results, and the one just gone was certainly of no exception to this rule.
Though the Premier League went largely as expected, bar Leeds pushing the reigning champions all the way at Anfield in an exciting 4-3 defeat, Wolves stunned a Blades side on their own patch who had been oh-so-solid and resolute last season.
EFL new boys Barrow and Harrogate Town both registered excellent performances against Stevenage and Southend respectively; all three defeated Play-Off finalists failed win and build on the form that saw them to Wembley last time out. Big summer spenders, such as Peterborough and Carlisle, struggled in their ‘easy’ opening fixtures.
Let’s have a look at the biggest shock results from each of the four divisions this weekend.
Premier League: Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves
An opening six minutes of madness cost Chris Wilder’s Blades their opening fixture on Monday night.
Raúl Jiménez opened the scoring for the away side, expertly converting a Daniel Podence cross from wide left on the half-volley. Romain Saïss then doubled Wolves advantage just minutes later, heading in a Neto corner to finish the Blades off before the game had even got going.
Wilder’s men calmed themselves down and finally got themselves in the tie, but the two-goal deficit would prove to be fatal. The Yorkshiremen went on to have numerous chances throughout the game – Fleck hitting the post late on before Baldock failed to convert the rebound – but Nuno’s side would hold on for an opening day victory.
EFL Championship: Birmingham City 1-0 Brentford
Last season’s defeated Play-Off finalists Brentford went down 1-0 to a smart Jeremie Bela header at St. Andrew’s.
The Bees started the game the faster with Bryan Mbuemo – who we listed a few weeks ago as one of our young EFL stars to watch this season – forcing a smart save from debutant 19-year-old goalkeeper Zack Jeacock in the Blues’ net.
Frank’s side continued to see the better openings throughout the first half, Josh da Silva crashing an effort off of the post from 25 yards, but it was the home side that eventually broke the deadlock shortly before the interval with Boga heading home from a neat corner routine.
After falling behind Brentford struggled to get back in the game, last week’s £5m signing Ivan Toney failing to make any real impact in the second half. Jeacock was eventually forced into a smart save from Emliliano Marcondes, but Karanka’s side held on for the win in the first league game under their new manager.
EFL League One: Accrington Stanley 2-0 Peterborough United
Darren Ferguson’s pre-season title favourites Posh got off to the worst start possible with a 2-0 defeat up at Accrington Stanley.
United dominated much of the opening proceedings, forcing their hosts into picking up numerous silly fouls, before new £1m signing Jonson Clarke-Harris narrowly headed just inches over the Stanley crossbar midway through the first half.
But despite Peterborough’s superiority, it was the home side who opened the scoring just before the break – Dion Charles smashing in an early goal-of-the-season contender on the volley.
Posh came out in the second half determined to fight back, Clarke-Harris smashing the crossbar shortly before the 60-minute mark – but it was Stanley who would prove to again be the more clinical of the two sides, Tariq Uwakwe slamming in his fourth goal this week to double the hosts’ advantage
EFL League Two: Southend United 0-4 Harrogate Town
Perhaps the most shocking of all across the top four tiers was newly-promoted Harrogate Town hammering Southend United on their own patch, the two sides having had two divisions between just a few months ago.
Jack Muldoon opened the scoring on the 25-minute mark before Lloyd Kerry then doubled the lead shortly before the break. Aaron Martin made it three on sixty minutes as the hosts’ misery began to compile.
Things then went from bad to worse for United after some calamitous, lazy defending allowed Muldoon to double his tally for the afternoon and make it four for the away side. An excellent opening performance in the EFL for the Sulphurites, sure to be many a neutral’s favourite team in League Two if they continue such a level of attacking football.
But which other results stood out to you last weekend? Did your team perform better than expected? Make sure to tell us either in the comments section below or tweet us on @FanHub_Football and #FansFirst!