The first weekend of the new Premier League season and is done and dusted, with the top flight offering up some great entertainment.
The Premier League has made a very welcome return, following a summer dominated by transfer speculation and other off-field matters.
For Liverpool, it was far from the perfect start, with their 3-3 draw at Watford disappointing both in terms of the performance and the result.
Elsewhere, there were nine other games to keep us entertained—here are five talking points from the weekend.
Attack 1-0 Defence
The Premier League is famed for being the most watchable league around, but part of that is down to the ineptitude of the defending.
Liverpool then showed that they seemingly haven’t learned their lesson from last season’s defensive woes, with each of Watford‘s goal avoidable. The Hornets weren’t much better in that respect.
The Premier League may well be the best league in the world, but defensively, it falls well short on current evidence.
Mini Crisis at Chelsea?
A summer of frustration in the transfer market has occurred, though, with Nemanja Matic bizarrely sold to United and Antonio Conte generally voicing his displeasure about the club’s lack of business.
Matters only worsened on Saturday afternoon, as a woeful opening-day defeat saw Burnley prevail 3-2 at Stamford Bridge—a result very few saw coming.
Both Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were sent off, meaning a thin squad will be further tested away to Tottenham next weekend.
It is too early to tell whether this is an actual crisis or a very minor blip, but there are definitely a number of issues to sort currently.
Manchester Pair Make Statements of Intent
While it is wrong to go too overboard with just one game played, the duo look as though they will be the teams to beat in 2017/18.
City’s 2-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion may have seen them have to wait until the 70th minute to open the scoring, but they completely dominated the Premier League newcomers and played some eye-catching football.
United, meanwhile, top the table after a 4-0 triumph at home to West Ham, and in Matic and Romelu Lukaku they have signed two players who will undeniably improve them.
Admittedly, the Manchester rivals looked similarly impressive this time last year before disappointing, but they appear better equipped this time around.
Dream Start for Huddersfield
Every season, one of the newly promoted sides seems to have a glorious opening weekend win, with Huddersfield Town the latest to achieve that feat.
A trip to Crystal Palace never looked easy, especially with Frank de Boer now in charge at Selhurst Park, but the Terriers prevailed 3-0 on a memorable afternoon.
David Wagner’s side were famed for the fearless attacking football that they played in the Championship last year, and on this evidence, Jurgen Klopp‘s good friend will not change his philosophy in the top flight.
Huddersfield will take some beatings throughout the campaign, but they will be a team neutrals get behind because of their refreshing approach.
They’ve made the perfect start to life in the Premier League.
North London Rivals Win, But Look Flawed
Though both picked up welcome victories to open their account, it is understandable that their supporters will not be feeling entirely convinced.
Spurs’ 2-0 win at Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle may look a strong result on paper, but until Jonjo Shelvey’s braindead sending off early in the second half, very little was happening.
With not a single signing made this summer, there were times when they looked as though some freshening up with the squad would do them a world of good.
Arsenal, meanwhile, won a thriller at home to Leicester after a late comeback, but their defensive issues almost saw them lose yet another opening-day fixture.
It is always a lovely feeling to win your first game, but the two bitter rivals cannot be judged on that one result alone.
We will learn more about how equipped they are to challenge for the title in the coming weeks.