Liverpool and Manchester City banged in three en route to three points each but it was otherwise a slog for the traditional Premier League 'Big Six' powers as Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea had to fight for goals.
One — Chelsea — didn't find one, Manchester United did but lost by two, and the remaining North London duo had to labor to get their wins (They meet next Sunday). It was that kind of weekend.
Brighton, to be fair, is far superior to Manchester United at the moment and would politely ask you regard them as a current Big Six team, or perhaps even higher. West Ham was sent back to earth by Man City but Newcastle and Aston Villa will feel pretty good about their status heading into a European week.
Our writers Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola, and Andy Edwards got stuck into analysis on the nine games played in England's top flight.
Jurgen Klopp reminds us just how good he is
Perhaps you could blame Liverpool’s poor first half on the international break and missing the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Perhaps you could blame it on Klopp for starting Alexis Mac Allister (who looked very out of sorts), Dominik Szoboszlai, and Curtis Jones together in central midfield and expecting there to be some defensive shield. Whatever you decide, you can’t deny that Klopp rectified Liverpool’s problems against Wolves with swift changes and tweaks which totally flipped the game on its head. Bringing on Luis Diaz for Mac Allister at half time pushed the entire Liverpool team further up the pitch and allowed Szoboszlai and Jones to sit in midfield and create better balance. Bringing Diaz, Nunez, and Elliott on changed the face of the game and this was a masterclass in how to energize a performance. - Joe Prince-Wright
Trossard’s magic movement saves dreary Everton-Arsenal affair
The silver lining — and given Trossard's hair, perhaps it's a platinum lining — of Arsenal's hard-to-watch win at Everton was obviously Trossard's technical, powerful goal that gave the Gunners all three points. Sean Dyche got whatever he wanted for most of this dull, dull affair at Goodison Park, but Arsenal only needed one moment, though. The 69th minute saw Martin Odegaard cue up Bukayo Saka, who drove the end line and cut back to Leandro Trossard. How the Belgian got power on his left-footed attempt across his body is baffling, but he smashed home and the game felt over. The Gunners will need their share of problem solvers to stay in the title hunt and Trossard clearly stayed ready despite being named on the bench. It’s a good away win against a well-drilled foe. - Nicholas Mendola
Haaland’s elite — nine shots! — but City win all about the playmakers
Erling Haaland gets plenty of headlines and got his goal on his ninth (!?!) shot of the game, so let’s talk about those who were more pivotal to this one. Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez had wonderful games, showing why the former is so wanted by Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain and why the latter was named to the Ballon d’Or shortlist. Alvarez and Silva both created four chances (fotmob.com) and it was the former’s ingenuity that led to the latter’s match-winner. Sure, Nayef Aguerd should’ve done better with it, but Man City asks many, many questions and there’s almost always a missed answer from somewhere in the opposition. No De Bruyne. No Grealish. No Kovacic. Very few problems in the end. -Nicholas Mendola
Problems worsen for Erik ten Hag as Red Devils can’t find ruthless streak
[ COMMENTARY: Ten Hag sounds positive tune — Should he? ]
For large parts of Manchester United's defeat by Brighton it was actually United who created chances and looked sharp. They didn’t take those opportunities, though, as Marcus Rashford carved Brighton open but couldn’t find the key final shot or pass, while Rasmus Hojlund had a goal disallowed by VAR as the ball had just gone out of play by a few millimeters before he finished. That about sums up United’s luck on the pitch to start this season. In the defeats against Arsenal, Tottenham, and now Brighton they could have easily won all three of those games had they been more clinical or had VAR decisions not ruled out goals at key moments. There are a lot of conditionals in there and we also have to remember: their home wins against Wolves and Nottingham Forest were very lucky. So perhaps this all evens out. - Joe Prince-Wright
Ange Postecoglou still developing patterns of play
Four games into the Ange Postecoglou era, Tottenham have proven themselves a deadly counter-attacking side, as expected given everything we knew about the Australian from his time at Celtic. The tough question that would need to be answered eventually (on Saturday, it turns out) was what the attacking play would look like when the opposition didn’t make a real effort to get forward and attack themselves. Sheffield United asked that question, and Spurs did not have the answer until very, very late. Nine of their 26 shots were blocked — including five Dejan Kulusevski efforts — 1.63 xG, 14 corner kicks. 510-170 passes completed. Too long, didn’t read: It was all incredibly predictable from Spurs, and dictated to them by Sheffield United (for 90-plus minutes). Spurs struck twice deep in 10 minutes stoppage, but better sides than Sheffield United will be able to see out a game in similar scenarios. - Andy Edwards
Bees stingless as Magpies control win
Red-hot Bryan Mbeumo and Brentford have made the suspension of former Newcastle prospect and current England man Ivan Toney a non-issue this early season, but his absence was noticeable on Saturday. Brentford managed just 0.44 xG at St. James’ Park and gave the hosts nearly 60 percent possession. The Magpies had almost total control — admittedly scoreless and without cutting edge — before Callum Wilson’s penalty punched them in front in the 64th minute. The deficit and several subs gave Brentford a bit more danger, but not enough to worry the victorious hosts. - Nicholas Mendola
Chelsea’s youth begging for on-field hero, as injuries hamper Pochettino’s plans
Thiago Silva and Raheem Sterling were the only Chelsea starters over the age of 25, with only two Blues even at that quarter-century marker (Axel Disasi and Robert Sanchez). And while injuries are a big part of Chelsea’s slow start, veteran leadership isn’t just going to magically show up with the repair of injured captain Reece James, just 23 himself. Nicolas Jackson again had trouble finishing but was kept in the game largely because there weren’t other options at center forward. Mauricio Pochettino inserted Ian Maatsen and Cole Palmer as more young bucks joined relatively-ancient Ben Chilwell (26) in trying to find all three points. It’s just not there for the Blues right now, who were dragged into a fight by a cagier side and committed 20 of the game’s 34 (?!) fouls. You feel the Blues need to score early to win because the in-game nous just isn’t in them at the moment. There were three players aged 20 or younger in the XI and two of the subs just 21. Talent only gets you so far. - Nicholas Mendola
Edouard replacing Zaha’s goals, but is Crystal Palace now too reliant on him?
Another game, another goal for Odsonne Edouard, who has four on the season now and has quickly moved to fill the void left by Zaha. That’s the positive view of Crystal Palace’s attack. The not-so-positive view is that the Eagles are suddenly just as reliable on him to score as they ever were on Zaha. Chances are at least being created by different sources, though, with Jean-Philippe Mateta tallying his third assist of the campaign on Saturday and Jordan Ayew already picking up a pair of his own. Scoring goals has always felt like pulling teeth for Crystal Palace, and that (sadly) hasn’t yet changed. - Andy Edwards
Fulham’s control matters, but finishing matters more
The non-scoreboard numbers behind this win are elite for Fulham. Man of the Match defender Tim Ream (USMNT) had 153 touches and fellow center back Issa Diop had 10 more than that. Palhinha nearly had 100 in front of them. But for all of that, the match was 0-0 in the second half and could’ve been 1-0 to the Hatters had Carlton Morris, Jacob Brown (goal post!), or Tahith Chong found that clinical edge in the Fulham third. Luton’s Tom Lockyer-led defense slowed all of that Fulham dominance down to just two shots on Thomas Kaminski. Vinicius scored in his first 28 minutes of the season for Fulham, and Raul Jimenez will be looking over his shoulder. The Mexican striker has one assists in 315 Premier League minutes -Nicholas Mendola