The Premier League returned with a bang this weekend as five of the ‘Big Six’ won their opening fixtures, culminating in Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Here, Sportsmail‘s AMITAI WINEHOUSE picks out 10 things he learned from the opening round of fixtures…
Marcus Rashford (right) scored twice as Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 on Sunday
Last season, for example, they drew six home games and regularly dropped points from winning positions. On Sunday, they had a structure that waited for Chelsea to push for an equaliser and counter-attacked in a ruthless fashion.
There was just 95 seconds between their second and third goals. That ended the game as a contest. Yet they still had the drive to defend doggedly and counter attack for their fourth.
It shows they will not allow games to slip as much as they have in recent campaigns.
Manchester United have shown they have the cutting edge after putting Chelsea to the sword
Remember Chelsea’s phenomenal 13-game winning run under Antonio Conte that essentially secured them the title in 2016-17? Manchester City have broken that mark comfortably in the time since. Twice.
They are a juggernaut of a team, on a 15-game run of victories. Anyone with any optimism of lifting the title ahead of them come May needs to check themselves early doors.
City have so much talent. Raheem Sterling scored his 50th league goal for the club against West Ham. Gabriel Jesus got his 18th goal contribution in his last 10 starts. They brought Sergio Aguero off the bench.
Those individuals aside, the collective has just kept going. Pep Guardiola banged on about the importance of the Premier League all summer. His players have clearly got the message.
Manchester City are on a 15-game run of victories and look unstoppable right now
Trent Alexander-Arnold is showing signs of becoming a generational player at right-back. It is no secret that the Liverpool man is a creative force but his statistical absurdity has continued into the new campaign.
He provided an assist on Friday night against Norwich and in the process became the first Premier League player in four years to do so in five consecutive games.
The 20-year-old is also one of just eight players to post that sort of run in the history of the division. From right-back. There’s a fear of what Liverpool will be without any of their forward line. Alexander-Arnold is just as important.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has all the tools to become a generational player at right-back
Freddie Ljungberg was brought into the Arsenal first-team set-up this summer to improve the pathway from the academy and he’s already having a clear impact.
Arsenal named two English teenagers (Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson) in their starting XI for a Premier League game for the first time since February 1998, which just shows the influence of Unai Emery’s new coach over the summer.
Also of note is the fact that this happened without it being a big deal. English kids just appear in the line-ups of top teams without much fanfare these days. There’s a crop of talent getting their shots.
Joe Willock’s significant involvement in Sunday’s game is testament to Freddie Ljungberg
A statistic floated around social media on Saturday night that was used to sum up Jack Grealish. The Aston Villa man has lost his last 19 Premier League games, the longest such individual run in history.
But that can be taken one of two ways. It either means he is unsuited to the top flight or just demonstrates how poor Villa were in the first few seasons of his career.
Spurs were never likely to help Grealish end that run. Now his job is to prove to those watching on that he can influence his team and, in the process, end his own streak. After all, Gareth Bale did not win any of his first 24 Premier League games and he’s no scrub.
Jack Grealish holds unfortunate record of losing most successive Premier League games (19)
There was a huge risk involved in jettisoning Chris Hughton – who kept Brighton in the Premier League for two seasons – in favour of Graham Potter.
Potter has only had a year of management experience in England and in the second-tier at that. But he was brought in to move Brighton up a level and implement a more attacking style – and the early signs are good. He even brought on two strikers at 1-0 up.
In fact, the 3-0 victory against Watford in his opening game matched Brighton’s highest ever away win in the top flight. The season is long but at least his summer’s work has clearly worked.
Graham Potter brought on Neal Maupay and the striker marked his Brighton debut with a goal
Another note from Brighton’s win – and Sheffield United’s draw with Bournemouth – is the fact that good finishers can translate that talent to any level.
Neal Maupay only arrived at the AMEX on Thursday but made an immediate impact for his new side, scoring the third and becoming the 13th different French player to bag on his Premier League debut.
Meanwhile, Billy Sharp needed just one shot in the Premier League to bag. The step up from the Championship is clearly not that significant – at least in front of goal.
Billy Sharp poked home late on to score his first Premier League goal on Saturday
Ashley Barnes is now hitting his peak for Burnley. After failing to score more than 10 in any of his previous Premier League seasons, he smashed in 12 goals last campaign and has already started in a similar fashion.
It was a double against Southampton en route to a 3-0 win for the 29-year-old. That means he has now bagged 15 per cent of his top flight strikes against the Saints.
While he will obviously dip below a two in one record this season, do not be surprised if Barnes comfortably surpasses his haul from last year.
Ashley Barnes is beginning to become prolific for Burnley and grabbed two against the Saints
There’s a reason why Everton pursued Wilfried Zaha so aggressively in the summer window – their attack is the only thing that is stopping them becoming a really impressive side.
At Selhurst Park they played a part in a 0-0 draw, taking their total number of clean sheets to 11 for 2019. Only Manchester City, with 13, have managed more this calendar year.
Admittedly, the clash was not a classic. The last shot on target came in the 62nd minute. But Everton are notably secure at the back. Now all they need is some quality going forward to step up a level.
It’s no surprise Everton wanted to strengthen in attack as they lacked cutting edge on Saturday
Leicester posted a 70 per cent possession figure against Wolves and had just one shot on target in the process – not even having the positive note of a VAR-denied goal that Wolves scored.
It was a dull performance and, to be honest, the sort Brendan Rodgers side’s occasionally put together.
Not much should be read into this game – after all, derbies tend to be tense affairs. But with significant spend this summer, Rodgers won’t want this domination of the ball leading to a lack of chances to become a trend.
Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed his Leicester side couldn’t turn possession into chances