Slow starts, few home comforts: Early themes in EPL restart

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Jon Super

Everton's Seamus Coleman, left, and Everton's Andre Gomes challenge Liverpool's Sadio Mane during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP photo/Jon Super, Pool)

The first full round of games of the Premier League restart has almost been completed, with just one team yet to play.

There is a limited sample size but here are some themes to emerge from the opening 11 matches in England’s top division:

SLOW START

If you’re struggling to find time to watch the glut of daily games, maybe just limit your viewing to the second halves.

Seven of the 11 games so far have had goalless first halves. In two of the other four games, the first goals were scored in the 43rd minute and another in first-half stoppage time.

Of the 23 goals scored in total, only three came before the 43rd minute — and two of them were in same game, both scored by Crystal Palace at Bournemouth.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp spoke of a lack of “rhythm” in his team’s play and that was to be expected, with most Premier League clubs playing only in-house training matches as preparation for the resumption.

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