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Three talking points from the Premier League’s opening weekend

Manchester City took an early on lead in the expected fight for the Premier League title with Liverpool following the first weekend of the growing season as Erling Haaland’s debut double gave the champions a 2-0 win at West Ham.

Liverpool were held 2-2 by newly-promoted Fulham each day earlier, but may possibly also take delight in the impact of these new striker Darwin Nunez, who came off the bench to rescue his side a spot.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were all victorious in the first running for the very best four, but Manchester United started because they ended last season in a dispiriting 2-1 home defeat to Brighton in Erik ten Hag’s first match in control.

AFP Sport talks about three talking points from the opening games of the Premier League season.

Haaland worth the hype

Manchester City took their time after passing up on Harry Kane because the successor to Sergio Aguero last summer and were rewarded by beating off your competition around Europe to sign Haaland from Borussia Dortmund for a bargain 51 million ($63 million).

Adding among the world’s most feared strikers to a side which have won back-to-back titles with out a natural goalscorer proved as fearsome a prospect since it promised on the opening weekend.

At a ground where City nearly threw the title away in the penultimate game of last season, West Ham barely got a kick for the first-half.

Haaland’s arrival is made to get rid of the days when City neglect to make their dominance show on the scoreboard and he delivered right away as his acceleration lured Alphonse Areola into committing a penalty for the opening goal.

Scoring spot-kicks is another problem the Norwegian wonderkid could solve for his new club as he slotted away the penalty and showed his pace again to race onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to kill the overall game following the break.

“It might have already been more,” Haaland warned ominously for another title contenders.

Ten Hag’s troubled start

Any hope a new manager would immediately herald a turnaround in Manchester United’s fortunes were washed away with 45 minutes of the Ten Hag era at Old Trafford.

Brighton didn’t manage the humiliation they inflicted on the Red Devils towards the finish of Ralf Rangnick’s ill-fated caretaker spell with a 4-0 win towards the finish of last season.

However the Seagulls did leave Manchester making use of their first ever win at Old Trafford because of a double from Pascal Gross.

Following the promise of some pre-season performances, there is little to tell apart United beneath the Dutchman from the shambles that finished sixth in the Premier League last season.

A disorganised defence weren’t helped by United’s spacious midfield, while these were blunt in advance with out a natural striker.

Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench because of his insufficient pre-season training because the five-time Ballon d’Or winner tries to engineer an exit out of Old Trafford.

“The direction they played today, sixth may be the highest they are able to finish this year,” said former United midfielder Paul Scholes.

Klopp happy sloppy Liverpool punished

Jurgen Klopp didn’t make an effort to sugercoat Liverpool’s unexpectedly poor start as Fulham were well worth at least a spot on their go back to the Premier League.

The Reds had exactly the same verve and hunger of the medial side that came so near winning an unprecedented quadruple last season in beating City 3-1 to lift the city Shield weekly before.

Fast-forward a week and there is a complacency to Liverpool that has been punished by Aleksandar Mitrovic’s double for the hosts.

Twice during the past four seasons, Liverpool have lost the league title by way of a single indicate City and Klopp knows his side can ill-afford to remember to find top form if they’re to help keep pace with the champions.

“I’m happy for the punishment we got with losing two points,” said Klopp. “I’d want to get three points, but I’d have loved a lot more to play excellent, in all honesty, and we didn’t do this.

“The performance was a defeat the effect isn’t a defeat however the performance was a defeat so in retrospect we need to find out what happened.”

kca/nr

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