Week two of the 2019/20 Premier League isn’t over just yet, with Manchester United going to Wolves on Monday night to round off the action.
A win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would see them become the third side to record two victories from two games thus far, with Liverpool and Arsenal currently boasting the only two 100 per cent records after Manchester City dropped points at home to Tottenham on Saturday.
City were left cursing the decision of the VAR to disallow a late Gabriel Jesus goal as they drew 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium, but that wasn’t the only talking point of the weekend’s action.
Thankfully we’ve gone and found nine more.
1. Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: Nicolas Pepe’s eyecatching cameo raises a question
Nicolas Pepe was sent for at half-time when the scores were level at the Emirates, and although it wasn’t a Roy of the Rovers-style impact from the summer signing, the £72million man did at least show enough to justify what all the hype has been about – particularly in one turn away from Ben Mee .
Arsenal – for whom Dani Ceballos was excellent – have now won their first two matches of a Premier League season for the first time in 10 years, but with Liverpool and Tottenham on the Gunners’ horizon the question has to be asked: when will we see Pepe start with Saturday’s goalscorers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
2. Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth: Dean Smith’s harsh lesson
In the short time that Aston Villa have been away from the Premier League one of the major changes is the number of legitimate goal threats possessed by the so-called lesser sides.
Instead of having one player scoring almost all of their goals, most teams in mid-table and the bottom half have a few who share them about a bit, as you’ll imagine Bournemouth will this season with the likes of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Saturday’s scorers Josh King and Harry Wilson.
Villa boss Dean Smith – who spoke of a “harsh lesson” at full-time – must hope his side have the same.
3. Brighton 1-1 West Ham: Leandro Trossard makes his mark
Leandro Trossard scored 22 goals and racked up 11 assists in 47 games for Genk last season, after which the 24-year-old was tentatively linked with Arsenal and Tottenham.
All of which means that the fact he signed for Brighton should probably have been bigger news in Premier League Land.
Having scored on his debut and had another chalked off by VAR, you’d suggest he may soon be hogging some more of those headlines.
4. Everton 1-0 Watford: Fortress Goodison looks different this time
When you discover that this was Everton’s fifth straight home victory your eye is immediately drawn to the last time they did that, in April 2017 under Ronald Koeman, and so you’re reminded of the series of false dawns that have befallen Goodison Park.
This time all five came with clean sheets though, and after wins over Chelsea , Arsenal and Manchester United at the end of last season they can now add this win over a club who have become their rivals in recent years.
Maybe it’s going to be different this time?
5. Norwich 3-1 Newcastle: Teemu Pukki primed for the Premier League
He doesn’t really hold the ball up, doesn’t really get involved in build-up play and doesn’t seem to have any form of trick on him, but Teemu Pukki doesn’t really need to do any of that.
The Finn just gets the ball and puts it in the goal, and after his treble made this a miserable afternoon for Steve Bruce, the Finn’s boss Daniel Farke will be desperate for the 29-year-old to remain the figurehead for his exciting side.
6. Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: Sadio Mane might just be Jurgen Klopp’s best signing
Liverpool needed to be dug out of a hole in Hampshire and ultimately it was a man who knows the area well who did the digging.
Sadio Mane is a far, far better player now than the one who left Southampton for Merseyside three years ago, and in the week he helped Liverpool add the European Super Cup to the Champions League, he was also vital to these three points.
He might just be Jurgen Klopp’s best ever signing.
7. Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham: Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero play the odd couple again
It seems strange to think now, but when Pep Guardiola took over at Manchester City in 2016 there were immediate suggestions that Sergio Aguero was going to leave the club.
Of course the Argentinean stayed, became City’s top scorer of all-time and won all you can win in the English game, but you get the sense that personal relations between the star forward and his manager have never been quite as good as they are between Guardiola and other members of his squad.
As Aguero was replaced by Gabriel Jesus – who seems primed to challenge him for the guaranteed starter spot this season – against Spurs, that odd couple relationship came out again.
8. Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham: Handball is the issue, not VAR
Manchester City versus Tottenham at the Etihad again produced some late drama with the aid of the VAR, but the Jesus goal-no-goal had more in common with Fernando Llorente’s bundled effort in that Champions League game and not Raheem Sterling’s disallowed strike.
It was because of incidents like the Llorente goal that the handball law was changed to mean that any contact with the ball would be an infringement, and so if you thought that that one shouldn’t have counted then you should think that it was the correct decision to disallow the Jesus goal after Aymeric Laporte handled here.
Although plenty of City fans will disagree, presumably.
9. Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace: Home is where the Blades will be sharpest
There have been plenty of people falling over themselves to insist that Sheffield United will surprise a few people over this campaign, but this win over an insipid Crystal Palace wouldn’t have shocked anyone who saw them play last season.
Chris Wilder’s men are going to be difficult to beat at Bramall Lane, and after John Lundstram’s winner gave them a first three points in the top-flight for 12 years, the sense that teams won’t enjoy facing the Blades on their own patch this season was a real one.
10. Chelsea 1-1 Leicester: Two clubs on a collision course
With exciting young attackers and erratic displays from some of the players who were tasked with defensive duties you cold be forgiven for thinking that these two sides had a lot of similarities during Sunday’s draw.
Hamstrung by a lack of transfers and trusting the managerial skills of a relative novice, Chelsea of course would always set out to be better than a team of Leicester’s resources in any given season.
But Brendan Rodgers oversees a talented team, and don’t be surprised if these two are as close to each other as this scoreline suggests come May.