After enduring three months of boring international football and preseason matches, the Premier League finally kicked off last weekend.
Last season runner-up, Liverpool kicked off proceedings with a comfortable 4-1 victory over newly-promoted side Norwich, before Champions Man City sent a message to the rest of the league with a 5-0 victory over West Ham at the Olympic Stadium.
Sheffield United marked their return to the topflight with an impressive 1-1 draw away from home at Bournemouth, while Brighton stunned Watford.
Arsenal earned an unimpressive win over Newcastle, while Leicester played out a barren draw against Wolves. Round one action concluded with United’s dominant win over top-four rivals.
Having seen the results, Soccernet takes a look at what we learned from the first week of action.
Lampard’s baptism of fire: In his first game as a manager in the English topflight, Lampard would have hoped for a better start. But he was given a real lesson as Chelsea suffered an embarrassing loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Although the Blues were the better team in possession, Manchester United were the more clinical team. Sunday’s result gave Lampard a reality check and also showed the magnitude of the job he is facing at Stamford Bridge.
With the departure of Eden Hazard and a transfer ban, Lampard had to play some youngsters against the Red Devils. But they failed their audition which gives the former England international a serious dilemma ahead of next weekend’s game against Leicester.
Manchester United are still not top four material: Despite their impressive win over Chelsea on Sunday, there were still doubts if United have the team to make the top four this season. The Red Devils were outplayed by their opponents for most parts of the match and would have definitely lost if Chelsea had been more clinical in front of goal.
Further games as the season progress will show if United have what it really takes to make the top four this season.
Liverpool and Man City are still a class above the rest: Prior to the start of the season, many believe the league will be contested between Man City and Liverpool who were the top two last season. After last weekend round of games, they showed why they are the picks for the title.
Liverpool blew Norwich away, scoring four in the first half. They could have had more after the break but they were profligate in front of goal. Not to be outdone by their rivals, Man City put five past West Ham the following day to show they are not ready to give away their title. It will be a shock if, at the end of the season, one of these two is not hoisting the trophy.
Arsenal showed they are ready to win ugly: Over the years Arsenal have been criticised for caring about aesthetics when they play, but Sunday’s win over the Magpies showed that they are ready to win ugly. The Gunners were not at their best but they still managed to grind out a win and that will put them in good stead in the battle for top four.
VAR makes its debut: After it was trialled in cup competitions last season, VAR finally made its debut in the English Premier League. Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga have all adopted it in previous seasons which makes the EPL the last of Europe’s top five leagues to adopt it.
It was used on three occasions last weekend, cancelling Raheem Sterling’s goal and also Wolves goal against Leicester. Nevertheless, expect it to draw more controversies as the season progress.