English football is back with fanless stadiums so social media club engagement, particularly matchdays on Twitter , has never been so important.

The first weekend of the 2020-21 Premier League blessed top flight clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool with wins on and off the pitch with Arsenal’s Brazil winger Willian lighting up social with his debut performance.

Chelsea were next in line with concise, jokey match commentary from the official Twitter account, adding authenticity that was rewarded with engagement.

Manchesters United and City games were postponed but this didn’t stop the Reds at least from playing out a masterclass on how to remain relevant even when absent from the field.

Leeds United, back to the top flight after 16 years, were impressive in their goal-a-rama against champions Liverpool. Leeds will build its audience over the course of the year for sure and already they are top of the Club Social charts when measuring engagement per post, per 100k followers.

Merseyside rivals Everton burst José Mourinho’s bubble with a win away from home and engaging Toffees tweets elevated them above Spurs, who attracted significant fan engagement, but north London sentiment was far from complimentary.

Meanwhile, in France’s Ligue 1, Olympique de Marseille took on champions Paris Saint-Germain in a portentous first game of the season which resulted in five players sent off after an injury-time brawl.  OM looked to have deeper fan engagement than PSG on social media but closer inspection of the content reveals the Marseille dialogues to be marred with racist allegations encapsulated by Neymar in a post-match Instagram post,

“I am black, the son of a black man, the grandson and great-grandson of black men,” he said. “I’m proud and do not see myself as different from anyone else.

“Yesterday (Sunday), I wanted those in charge of the game (referees and assistants) to be impartial and understand there is no place for such prejudice.”