Eight games acoss the Premier League on Saturday and Sunday produced goals galore.
Saturday’s early kickoff at Goodison produced seven goals at Everton beat West Brom 5-2, and things didn’t look back from there.
Leeds United claimed their first win back in the top flight, winning 4-3 against fellow new boys Fulham, before Manchester United slumped to a 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men producing a lacklustre display and being suitably punished.
Both north London clubs claimed victories, as Arsenal beat West Ham 2-1 before Spurs scored five at Southampton – Son Heung-min notching four.
Brighton score three in their win at Newcastle, while champions Liverpool had Sadio Mane to thank, as he scored twice in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
Leicester wrapped things up with a 4-2 win over Burnley on Sunday night ahead of Monday night’s fixture double. Ahead of that, here are 10 talking points from the weekend.
1. Stats life
Dominic Calvert-Lewin stole the headlines as Everton beat West Brom with the England hopeful netting a hat-trick.
Calvert-Lewin is enjoying an excellent start to the season and his tuition from Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson.
But it was James Rodriguez, the Colombian playmaker, who once more caught the eye at Goodison.
James, now 29, is giving Everton real creative edge, and is enjoying working with Carlo Ancelotti once more.
And one stat, as shown on Match of the Day, really jumped out from his latest showing: he didn’t make one high intensity sprint at all on Saturday.
There were 47 passes and 68 touches, but not a single sprint. Remarkable.
2. Manchester United’s defence must improve
If Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are going to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice pairing and stay there, then they need to improve fast.
Because this was awful. Absolutely awful. From both.
Forget the penalty given against Lindelof. Just disregard it.
The rest of the game, the pair of them were all over the place.
Positioning was dire at various points from both – Maguire was lazy in not covering space on the first goal – they struggled for speed against both Jordan Ayew and Zaha, but continued to put themselves in foot races with the Palace front two.
Their passing out from the back was largely sloppy, and neither was particularly commanding in the air nor in the tackle – witness Lindelof on the third goal.
United have every right to expect better.
3. Zaha finally makes his mark at Old Trafford
Wilfried Zaha made just four appearances for Manchester United and failed to make his mark at Old Trafford.
On his return this time, he both started up front and wore the captain’s armband for the Eagles.
And he duly put in a match-winning performance.
His penalty was taken with aplomb, his second was fired hard and low and into the bottom corner but more than just his goals he was outstanding.
Not restrained to the left side, he worked all along the line, used his skill and speed to terrorise the United defence, but also showed intelligence to bring others into play and strength to hold possession and get his side up the field.
An excellent all-round display.
4. Leeds Klich into gear
One thing is for certain this season: Leeds United are going to be fun.
Two games down and two 4-3 thrillers for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who this week were on the right side of the scoreline against fellow new boys Fulham.
At the heart of the action was all-action Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich.
After a wonderful strike at Anfield on week one, he followed it up with a coolly-taken penalty at Elland Road, before an outstanding pivot and through pass teed up Patrick Bamford.
Hard-working and creative, he epitomises the style of Bielsa’s side.
5. Lacazette hits 50
Alexandre Lacazette has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this transfer window, but he reaffirmed his value by scoring the opening goal for the second game in a row.
The headed effort was also a personal landmark for the 29-year-old, who scored his 50th goal in his 129th game for Arsenal.
Though Arteta is forced to play Aubameyang in a wide position if he fields Lacazette, the pair – who are great friends off the pitch – have a telepathic connection when they line up together.
After finding the back of the net just 12 times in 39 games last season, Lacazette insisted he is “happy” in north London after the win over Fulham.
Given the way he’s started the season, the Frenchman certainly seems to have a spring in his step.
6. Clinical Son makes light of Alli absence
Pre-game, Dele Alli’s absence from Spurs travelling party at Southampton made the headlines.
At half-time, after a first-half in which they’d fallen behind, and were perhaps a little fortunate to be level at 1-1, Jose Mourinho may well have been anticipating plenty of questions on the subject.
But a second half blitz, led by Son Heung-min – ably assisted by Harry Kane – put paid to that.
Son is a superstar in South Korea, something that doesn’t entirely sit well with him given he prefers to let his feet do the talking.
And he did precisely that at St Mary’s, with his magnificent movement and clinical finishing simply too much for Southampton’s high defensive line.
After an iffy opening two matches – losing to Everton, coming from behind to win in Bulgaria – Son’s tour de force was precisely what Jose Mourinho needed.
7. White shines
It’s easy to see precisely why Brighton rebuffed Leeds time and again over the summer as they pursued Ben White.
After shining on loan at Elland Road last term, he’s now back on the south coast and part of Graham Potter’s first team plans.
After the 3-0 win over Newcastle, much of the focus will rightly be on Brighton’s creative attacking play – which really put their hosts lacklustre attacking efforts to shame.
But White deserves credit after an immaculate display, where he coped with the physical threats of Andy Carroll and Callum Wilson, while also showcasing his ball-playing ability.
8. How long left for Dyche?
Burnley kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 4-2 loss at Leicester.
Another good win for the Foxes, who are now two wins from two in the next campaign.
Burnley toiled manfully throughout and played some decent stuff at times – but you do get the feeling that Sean Dyche’s tenure is heading towards its end.
Relations between Dyche and chairman Mike Garlick are strained, and Dyche has been unhappy with a lack of backing throughout the summer – only third choice ‘keeper Will Norris has arrived.
The Clarets pitched up at Leicester with a depleted squad minus a host of regulars, including James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes.
“I have no knowledge that we are on the cusp of anything so therefore we work with what we have got.”
Garlick needs to give him something before the window closes.
9. Mane’s improvement
Since joining Liverpool from Southampton back in 2016 Mane has continued to improve season after season after season.
His work-rate is unmeasured, and he simply never switches off deciphering how he can / what he can do to give Liverpool an advantage.
Sunday’s match was drab in the first half with Liverpool – who aren’t quite as intense as they were last season – feeling out this new look Chelsea team.
And it was Mane who gave the fixture a much-needed shot of adrenaline, forcing Christensen to make an ultimately wrong decision.
After his trickery saw Chelsea reduced to 10 men, Mane took the game to the Blues in the second half with two great goals.
The first a powerful header after he intelligently found space in the box, and the second the result of his, as aforementioned, unmeasured work-rate.
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10. Kepa buckles… again
He’s the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in the history of the sport, but put plainly, Kepa is just not good enough.
The Chelsea defence seem acutely aware the shot-stopper has a mistake in his locker every game, and there’s a noticeable nervousness at the back.
On Sunday the keeper was put under a little pressure and buckled.
He was out of position when Christensen was dismissed, and his attempted pass out – intercepted by Mane for the second goal – showed how short of confidence he is; the idea wasn’t dreadful, the execution however showed a man very much struggling at present.
Comparing him to Liverpool’s keeper Alisson – who kept out a penalty at the other end – and it’s like chalk and cheese.
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