Sunday's Premier League matches got started with a bang as USA international Brenden Aaronson scored his first goal for Leeds United in a convincing 3-0 win over Chelsea. Meanwhile, West Ham's Thilo Kehrer had a debut to forget, and in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Newcastle United.
Saturday saw Tottenham Hotspur defeat Wolves 1-0 to kick off the slate of matches. The later matches were full of drama with last minute lead changes aplenty around the Premier League. Crystal Palace rolled over Aston Villa as pressure on Steven Gerrard builds, Fulham nabbed a later winner over Brentford and Jordan Pickford picked up a rare keeper assist to rescue a point for Everton.
Here are some takeaways from the Premier League action during the weekend:
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Too much tactical fouling for Kalidou Koulibaly
Koulibaly has been one of Chelsea's strongest defenders to open the season but everything fell apart early in a 3-0 loss to Leeds United. Eight minutes into the match he pulled down Brenden Aaronson earning a yellow card.
He was beaten for pace but at the time it seemed like a good foul to take as the game was level and he didn't want Leeds to earn an early advantage. Unfortunately,from picking off Edouard Mendy for his first Leeds United goal or the slide that ensued after. As frustration built, Leeds were through again, this time via Joe Gelhardt before Koulibaly pulled him down for a second yellow card.
Now Chelsea will need to face Leicester City with injuries and one of their top center backs suspended. Trevoh Chalobah would be expected to come into the lineup but the hope is that Todd Boehly can complete negotiations for Leicester defender Wesley Fofana to instead line up a new center back at Stamford Bridge. There are a few things that need a rethink after being dominated by Leeds, but the immediate issue lies with replacing Koulibaly, who has impressed in the Premier League so far.
A rough debut for Thilo Kehrer
With West Ham needing defensive help, Thilo Kehrer was thrust into the starting lineup for their 2-0 loss to Brighton. While the score shows that the defense didn't do enough to protect Lukasz Fabianski, Kehrer was particularly rattled. After being beaten in the box, he chopped down Danny Welbeck for a penalty that Alexis Mac Allister converted with ease. Both he and Kurt Zouma were out of position when Pascal Gross played Leandro Trossard in for Brighton's second.
Kehrer was good on the ball, only misplacing five of his 63 passes, but defensively, he'll need to be more combative without fouling. He only attempted three duels, winning two of them, which isn't good enough for a West Ham team that Moyes has built on being hard to score against. While Maxwel Cornet and Gianluca Scamacca need to also play more to improve the attack, West Ham have already allowed five goals to open the season and are the only team not to score a goal in their first three matches.
Arsenal stay atop the Premier League
Three matches into the season, things couldn't be going any better for Mikel Arteta. Gabriel Jesus only netted an assist but could've easily had another match where he was involved in four goals if it wasn't for the offside flag combined with him being selfless. Captain Martin Odegaard led the way with a brace against Bournemouth as Arsenal were basically assured of the result only 11 minutes into the match when he completed his brace.
Gabriel Jesus was involved in both goals as he plucked a pass out of the air to set up Gabriel Martinelli before Odegaard scored from a rebound after Mark Travers' save o the first before Odegaard got his second from a direct Jesus assist as Arsenal swarmed forward. They completed more passes than Bournemouth attempted, despite being able to take their feet off the gas and coast to an easy finish, but not before William Saliba capped off an impressive day by scoring a thunderous goal.
It's enough to keep a clean sheet, but Saliba being able to do things like this will make it hard for Ben White to regain a starting position at center back if his role as a makeshift right back comes to an end. It also bodes well for Arteta that this start to the season has led to maximum points before Europa League play gets underway and the demands of the schedule become more intense. A London derby looms next week against Fulham, but it's hard not to expect Arsenal to roll again after they've scored at least two goals in each match this season while only allowing three total goals. This is a team with their eye on a Champions League place and with a strong start, it's hard to say that they won't accomplish that goal.
Tottenham overcome slow first half
Harry Kane passed Serio Aguero to become the all-time Premier League leading scorer for a single club, netting his 185th goal with a tidy header from an Ivan Perisic flick-on. It's the type of goal from a set play that Antonio Conte dreams about when he goes to sleep at night. And that was enough to secure all three points.
Only Conte and Spurs will know if the goal was a designed play but it's a good time to note that a new set play coach was added during the summer in Gianni Vio who oversaw the Italian national team previously. Son's short corner was flicked on by Perisic and Kane did what he has now done 250 times for his club scoring a goal that would prove to be a winner.
While the goal, and Kane's milestone may be the main talking point of the match, the result was in doubt in the first half as Spurs only took one shot, while enduring 12 from Bruno Lage's side. Halftime adjustments, like tweaking the positioning of Emerson Royal and Dejan Kulusevski, left Spurs much improved in the second period, and on balance they deserved the three points they ended up with, but getting there was a process.
With Davidson Sanchez deputizing for an injured Cristian Romero, Royal stayed in the starting lineup at right wing-back to provide coverage for an onrushing Rayan Ait-Nouri, along with new signing Goncalo Guedes up top. Royal won two tackles but it was his pressure, allowing Sanchez to clean up behind him with five clearances and two blocked shots that kept the Spurs defense from breaking. While Wolves took 20 shots in the match, they could only muster an xG of .62 compared to Spurs' 1.62, a total that was mostly boosted by Kane's goal, a point blank header worth 0.70 xG on its own. For a Spurs team that hasn't hit top gear, this is a result that they'll take, but Conte will want to tinker to find his best rotation before Champions League begins soon.
Wolves could end the weekend in the relegation zone as pressure mounts on Lage. Wolves are now on one point through three matches as new signings Matheus Nunes and Guedes weren't enough to change their fortunes. It was more of the same as Wolves had joy getting into space but were unable to find a finishing touch. Some of that was down to Conte building Spurs into a unit that defends well even when the side isn't at their best, but it's also been a lingering problem for Wolves under Lage. The simple shift next match will be removing striker Daniel Podence for a now healthy Raul Jimenez but Raul only scored six goals in 34 appearances last season so the crux of the scoring woes looms for Lage. A sustained drought for the team could cause the board to look for a change.
Wilfred Zaha challenges for the Golden Boot
After a start to the season that handed Patrick Vieira dates with Arsenal and Liverpool, Crystal Palace were able to secure their first victory of the young season against a struggling Aston Villa team. Mistakes gifted Ollie Watkins an opener for Villa, but Wilfred Zaha struck back two minutes later to push Palace level and start the comeback. Their second goal was a little fortunate as Lucas Digne was called for a handball from a Marc Guéhi header. Emi Martinez was strong to save Zaha's ensuing penalty but he couldn't keep the rebound out of the net for Zaha's third goal of the season.
It's a young season but Zaha is second in the scoring charts behind Rodrigo and level with Aleksandar Mitrovic despite missing a big chance against Liverpool. Crystal Palace's strong defense is allowing him to flourish. Against Villa, Palace racked up 17 shots taking advantage of the absence of defender Diego Carlos. They're in for a tough tie against Manchester City next but Vieira has shown that his side will be ready to play against anyone in the league.
Leicester's defense needs to improve
While the Wesly Fofana transfer saga drags on, Leicester City are struggling defensively and it showed in a 2-1 loss to Southampton. The club's longtime keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, moved to Nice for only £1 million plus potential add-ons but he has left a gaping hole in net. Danny Ward has stepped in but woefully failed to fill his shoes, already conceding eight goals only three games into the season. Leicester manager Brenden Rodgers said that it would be a battle between Ward and Daniel Iversen, but Ward's experience for the Welsh national team gave him the edge. While Iversen's only top flight experience was five matches in Belgium, Rodgers needs to see what he has in his backup before the transfer window closes, especially since more holes could be created in the squad if Fofana and Youri Tielemans do end up moving.
For a team that was on the cusp of qualifying for Champions League just a few seasons ago, things are souring under Rodgers' leadership and this feels like a critical transfer window for the Foxes. Losing more of the squad without bringing in adequate replacements could send the team into a spiral that they can't get out of.
Promoted teams pick up points
Mitrovic scored for Fulham at the death to defeat Brentford, while Brennan Johnson's first Premier League goal was canceled out by Demarai Gray as Nottingham Forest and Everton drew at Goodison park.
It was a thriller at Craven Cottage as Fulham punished Brentford's hangover after defeating Manchester United by scoring only 44 seconds into the match via Bobby Reid. They wouldn't let up going ahead 2-0 by the 20th minute as Joao Palhinha thundered a header home before Thomas Frank's trademark adjustments got Brentford Back into things. Ivan Toney might've thought that his leveler would lead Brentford to push for a winner, but Mitrovic dashed Brentford's hopes.
After struggling last time around in the Premier League, things feel different for Fulham as they're undefeated through their first three matches of the season.
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, will feel hard done as a Jordan Pickford keeper assist caused them to draw on their trip to face Everton, but it has been a marked improvement since an opening day defeat to Newcastle United.
Everton tried Salomón Rondón at striker in another disappointing performance, but Frank Lampard is doing what he can to keep the squad competitive until Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns from injury. He'd have wanted to get a victory against a newly promoted team but as Everton are recognizing the tall task in front of them to avoid relegation, small victories like limiting the Tricky Trees' attack are things to be happy about. The Toffees created their fair share of chances, taking 19 shots, and with an actual forward they could've won the game but it's an important point for both teams as Everton nabs their first of the season to move out of the relegation zone for now.