Chelsea, Liverpool, Brighton and Tottenham continued their 100 per cent starts to the new Premier League season while champions Manchester City got off the mark, but the early signs were ominous for new boys Norwich.
Here, we take a look at what we learned from this weekend’s top-flight action.
Lukaku the missing link?
It is four years since the Premier League title was last lifted at Stamford Bridge, with Manchester City and Liverpool reigning supreme in recent seasons, but Chelsea may have found their missing link in Romelu LukakuDiego Costa was the last player to hit 20 league goals for the Blues and it took just 15 minutes for record signing Lukaku to open his account in his second spell with the west Londoners. The former Inter Milan ace immediately settled into old surroundings in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Arsenal to fire a warning to the chasing pack.
Another twist in Harry Kane saga
The story that has dominated the headlines all summer took another twist on Sunday when Harry Kane made his first appearance of the season for Spurs. Included in the squad to face Wolves, the forward was summoned from the bench in the 72nd minute and helped Tottenham hold on for a 1-0 win. Having returned late from holiday amid his desire to join Manchester City, everyone at the north London club would have welcomed the vice-captain’s return to action while the travelling fans chanted “One of our own” throughout at Molineux.
The resurrection of Jesus
After Manchester City fired a blank on the opening weekend at Tottenham, Pep Guardiola’s side returned to form with a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich on Saturday with Gabriel Jesus key to the triumph. Off the back of a poor end to the previous term and a disappointing Copa America which concluded with a red card for a karate kick against Chile, the Brazilian was in the mood at the Etihad Stadium and assisted three goals to show he can fill the void left by Sergio Aguero… and not yet filled by Kane.
Deja vu for Norwich?
While Norwich were handed a terrible run of fixtures to start the new season, Daniel Farke must wonder if he has travelled back in time. The Canaries opened their last Premier League campaign with a three-goal loss to Liverpool and also suffered a 5-0 reverse at Manchester City, with both already happening again on their top-flight return. The Sky Bet Championship winners will face easier opposition over the coming months but must cut out their naive defending and find a way to create chances for Teemu Pukki. Otherwise it will be another long season.
Brighton have quietly accumulated maximum points from their first two matches of the campaign and may have finally worked out a clinical edge in front of goal. It was no secret Graham Potter’s men struggled to take their opportunities during the 2020-21 term, with their expected goals value (xG) suggesting their points tally should have been 67, not 41. With Neal Maupay on target at Burnley and again in this weekend’s win over Watford, plus Alexis Mac Allister and Shane Duffy chipping in already, the signs are positive the Seagulls could be ready to turn their fine football into wins on a consistent basis.