The new Premier League season got underway this weekend – in dramatic circumstances.
In a superb few days of top-tier action, 31 goals were scored across the ten games, while three men saw red.
Arsenal endured a seven-goal opening-day thriller for the second season in a row, Liverpool then went toe-to-toe with a dogged Watford, before the shock of the weekend at Stamford Bridge.
It was far more simple for Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham, while it was a mixed bag for the newly-promoted sides.
Here’s our rundown on the opening weekend…
Same old problems for Arsenal and Liverpool
Arsenal and Liverpool desperately struggled for basic defensive organisation last season.
And on the evidence of the opening weekend, they’re learnt absolutely nothing through the summer.
The pair conceded six times between them this weekend, with sharing ominous similarities to many of their lapses at the back.
Granted, Arsenal’s first four centre-half options were injured or suspended, which should alleviate their concerns to a degree in future.
But the same can’t really be said for Liverpool, who are running out of time to sign Virgil van Dijk.
Huddersfield Town have a plan
They’re still favourites to be relegated, but Huddersfield Town were heroes of the opening weekend.
David Wagner’s men harried and hassled Crystal Palace at every turn en route to a fair and deserved 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park.
And in Steve Mounie up front, they’ve got a striker ready to hand defences a major problem.
The Terriers were simply excellent on Saturday afternoon, and a generous fixture list means they could rack up a hatful of crucial points in the weeks to come.
Man United’s future travel back in time
The last three or four years at Old Trafford have been home to some pretty turgid football, but those days are over.
Manchester United’s rampant 4-0 victory over West Ham United was straight out of the Sir Alex Ferguson handbook.
The Hammers had no answer to the wave after wave of attacking football from the Red Devils, and Romelu Lukaku bagged two on his Premier League bow for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Marcus Rashford was a handful all afternoon, while Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba got themselves on the scoresheet too in a team display which will send out warning signals for United’s title rivals.
A penny for Conte’s thoughts
He failed to sign the players he wanted this summer, and he’s still lumbered with Diego Costa on the books.
So the last thing Antonio Conte needed was for his captain to be sent off 14 minutes into Chelsea’s new season at home to Burnley.
And yet it got worse. The Clarets brilliantly took advantage to race into a 3-0 lead, while a second-half comeback wasn’t enough. Oh, and Cesc Fabregas got sent off.
Eden Hazard is still recovering from a broken ankle, Tiemoue Bakayoko is recovering from a knee operation, and Pedro suffered an ankle knock in the Community Shield.
And Chelsea’s next game?
Tottenham. At Wembley.
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