Is the top four of the Barclays Premier League already taking shape? Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in familiar spots

Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal occupy top spots

We're just one week into the new Premier League season and things at the top already look mighty familiar.

READ MORE: Seven things we learnt from the Premier League, including Fabregas rises to be Chelsea's star man and Ramsey is becoming Arsenal's Lampard
Sam Wallace: Manchester United must ask if they can afford NOT to pay £50m for Angel Di Maria  

Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all won their matches at the weekend leaving last season's top four in those same slots after the opening round of fixtures of the 2014-15 season.

Jose Mourinho's side, despite falling behind against the run of play, looked hugely impressive in their win against newcomers Burnley, with debutants Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa especially impressive.

The Blues, who were defensively excellent last season but too often unable to beat teams whose game plan was to defend, swept aside Burnley with some fantastic passing football. They are already being tipped as the team to beat.

Manchester City secured three points with a measured, disciplined performance against Newcastle, going up through the gears when they needed to.

They only did just enough to win, but still never really looked in trouble against Alan Pardew's much-improved squad. Manuel Pellegrini has trimmed down his squad and addressed two areas that were in need of improvement. Eliaquim Mangala should slot in next to their outstanding captain Vincent Kompany, while Fernando showed why he had been bought - to add solidity and toughness in those difficult away matches.

Liverpool and Arsenal were both slightly less impressive than the above pair, requiring late goals to beat two of last season's surprise packages, Southampton and Crystal Palace. Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring the winner for Liverpool against Southampton Daniel Sturridge scored a late winner for Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers may have lost star man Luis Suarez, but Daniel Sturridge now has 36 goals in 50 matches for the Reds and could easily break the 25-goal barrier this season.

Aaron Ramsey was once again Arsenal's match-winner, scoring the crucial goal that gave the Gunners all three points. This was a game that Arsenal would probably have drawn last year, but after winning the FA Cup there is a renewed confidence running through Arsene Wenger's squad that could see them mount a real title challenge this season.

It's an old football cliche but both Liverpool and Arsenal were able to win despite playing poorly; that's always the sign of a good team. Aaron Ramsey celebrates his late winner against Crystal Palace Aaron Ramsey was again Arsenal's match-winner

Outside of those top four, Manchester United are still clearly in the midst of a hangover caused by David Moyes' disastrous reign. Defeat at home to Swansea was unthinkable before the weekend, but depending on the calibre of the additions they make between now and the end of the transfer window, Louis van Gaal may not have enough talent in this squad to mount a serious challenge on the top four.

Spurs did enough to beat West Ham, though their performance cannot really be judged after a harsh handball reduced them to 10 men, while Everton twice took the lead against newly-promoted Leicester City but still only drew.

No other club in the division has much of a chance of making it into the top four. Louis van Gaal was disappointed with Manchester United's performance against Swansea Manchester United were poor in the defeat to Swansea

Of course it's very early days, and Manchester City face Liverpool next so one of those is likely to drop out of the top four next week, but this weekend could have given us the perfect indicator for the next 37 weeks of the Premier League.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot