Declan Rice scored his first goal for Arsenal, Liverpool look like they’ve rediscovered their best form, and despite spending a billion on new players, Chelsea are still bad. We take a look at the Premier League weekend that was.
MANCHESTER City maintained the only perfect record in the Premier League, but Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham produced impressive wins this weekend to remain just two points behind at the top of the table.
Erling Haaland’s hat-trick eased City to a 5-1 win over Fulham, while Son Heung-min also bagged a treble as Spurs continued to impress under Ange Postecoglou in a 5-2 victory at Burnley.
Liverpool swept aside Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield.
And stoppage time goals from Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus ensured Arsenal took the three points from a 3-1 win over Manchester United.
AFP Sport looks at three major talking points from the Premier League weekend.
Rice off mark for Gunners
Rice was not signed by Arsenal to score goals but his first strike for his new club could not have been better timed as the Gunners roared back to beat United.
The England international cost a club-record fee of £100 million plus £5 million in add-ons from West Ham to add steel to the midfield.
But Rice, who scored 15 goals in 245 games for the Hammers, is off the mark in just his fourth Premier League game for Arsenal, turning the ball in at the back post to put his team 2-1 ahead in the 96th minute before Jesus sealed the points.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hailed Rice’s “tremendous performance”.
“He was really dominant and then obviously he produced a magic moment to win us the game so I’m really happy with him,” he said.
Arsenal have not been at their fluent best so far this season but they have three wins from four games and go into the international break with a spring in their step.
Billion pound Chelsea blues
Chelsea’s spending in the final week of the transfer window took their total outlay on new players to over £1 billion in little over a year since a takeover fronted by Todd Boehly.
The LA Dodgers co-owner’s consortium has bet big on young players on lengthy contracts coming good in the long term.
But patience is wearing thin at Stamford Bridge as a miserable start to Mauricio Pochettino’s reign has followed a disastrous campaign under four different managers last season.
Despite the huge sums splashed out in the last three transfer windows, Chelsea still lack a natural goalscorer.
On Saturday, they suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest with Nicolas Jackson guilty of fluffing his lines with two great chances to equalise.
And it was their British record signing Moises Caicedo who was at fault for Forest’s goal.
The Ecuador international, who could cost Chelsea up to £115 million, gave the ball away in midfield as Taiwo Awoniyi teed up Anthony Elanga to hand Forest their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1995.
Liverpool roll back the years
Jurgen Klopp may have had to completely rebuild Liverpool’s midfield during the transfer window, but it was like watching his sides of old as Villa were overrun and outclassed at Anfield.
Dominik Szoboszlai scored his first goal since a £60 million move from RB Leipzig to cap a brilliant performance from the Hungarian.
Alexis Mac Allister has also impressed early in his Liverpool career and controlled the game with the aid of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who shone in his new hybrid role of moving into midfield when in possession from right-back.
Up front Darwin Nunez continues to find his feet after a difficult first season, while Liverpool’s refusal to cash in on a huge Saudi bid for Mohamed Salah this week was rewarded with another goal.
Klopp’s men had consistently been Manchester City’s biggest challengers for the title for the four years prior to last season’s slump that saw them finish fifth.
The challenge of facing Chelsea and Newcastle away before the visit of Villa looked like a tricky start.
But 10 points from a possible 12 is just what Liverpool needed to raise hope on Merseyside they can be back challenging the European champions for the title once more come May.