From Manchester United’s thrashing of Chelsea at Old Trafford to Tottenham Hotspur needing late goals to see off newly-promoted Aston Villa, the first weekend of the Premier League this season has not been short of entertainment.
Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal also got off to winning starts while Burnley and Brighton put in impressive performances to win their opening games of the season. There is a lot we have learnt from these 10 games and here are five talking points from Matchweek 1 of the English top-flight:
Title Race Has Begun
The champions of England and the champions of Europe are back at it right from the first game of the new season. Liverpool put four past Norwich on the opening day and just hours later, Manchester City put five past West Ham United, showing their unmatched dominance in the top flight. Both teams look strong and ready for the new season and it looks like they picked up from where they left the league last season. If both teams can keep up their starts, we are surely in for yet another classic title race in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard Will Not Have It Easy
The Blues lost Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Gary Cahill in the summer and now look a shadow of the side that beat Arsenal in the Europa League final last season. This has left Lampard with glaring holes in the squad that was evident in their 4-0 loss at Old Trafford. Tammy Abraham did not fill the fans with confidence while the pairing of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen was run ragged. Christian Pulisic will take his time to make a mark so Chelsea currently look like they have a tough fight on their hands to qualify for Europe next season.
VAR Still Not Perfect
While most games had very little drama with the technology in use this season, VAR certainly made an impact on a few games. It rightly ruled out what would have been a winner for Wolves against Leicester City but in Manchester City’s trip to London, it showed its frailties.
VAR ruled a goal off-side which was debated by many as to whether it was a clear and obvious error and then decided not to scrap a goal later in the game, which could have also been called offside. These two instances showed that the interpretation of rules is more important to VAR than the actual use of technology. So it is clear that the new system in use is still not perfect.
Canaries And Villains Show Promise
Last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers came up from the Championship and showed that they have the quality to compete with the best teams in the competition. This season, both Norwich City and Aston Villa showed enough promise in their first game for teams to deem them dangerous.
Both teams lost their respective games but made two of the best teams in the league uncomfortable with their style of play. Dean Smith and Daniel Farke both have their identities and if they can have their sides play such entertaining football, they have a chance, not just to beat relegation, but to break into the top half of the table.
Golden Boot Race Kicks Off
The quality in the Premier League saw three players share the Golden Boot last season. Mohamed Salah and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang both won the trophy last season and are already off the mark this season. Raheem Sterling (with a hat-trick), who was not too far behind and Harry Kane, who is a regular in this list, are also off the mark.
Sadio Mane, Alexander Lacazette and Sergio Aguero are other names who could yet run away with this trophy at the end of the current season. So surely, the race for the Golden Boot is up and running, just a week into the new campaign.