The second match-week of the Premier League season was typically filled with comical defending, free-flowing attacking and questionable refereeing, with Manchester City claiming top spot by thrashing Huddersfield.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Watford, Tottenham and Bournemouth make up the remaining sides with a 100%-win record to start the season, whilst Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at the hands of Brighton.
Leicester and Everton picked up their first wins of the season, whilst Champions League hopefuls Arsenal are still yet to pick up a Premier League point.
In what was another brilliant round of fixtures, we take a closer look at the winners and losers from an action-packed weekend.
1) Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
The Argentine certainly had his goal scoring boots on as he netted a superb hat-trick to give City a commanding 6-1 victory in their first match at the Etihad Stadium this season.
In truth, Aguero could have scored five or six, but he showcased once again why he is one of the deadliest forwards in the world.
His treble earned him a standing ovation from the City faithful and a kiss from manager Pep Guardiola.
No doubt, the City hero was the standout performer this weekend.
2) Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City
The goalkeeper was in fine form to help newly-promoted Cardiff City earn their first points of the season. Etheridge capped off his assured performance with a crucial penalty save deep into stoppage time at the end of the second half.
That takes his tally of penalty saves to two already this season after saving a spot kick in the opening fixture against Bournemouth.
Neil Etheridge is the first goalkeeper from the Philippines to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 18, 2018
Last-minute penalty save to seal it. 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/tQlDcb1uBj
3) Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
England’s World Cup hero Kane must have breathed a huge sigh of relief after scoring his first ever Premier League goal in the month of August.
Kane was a danger to the Fulham defence throughout the match and linked impressively with Lucas Moura and Dele Alli as Spurs sealed a 3-1 victory.
The forward can put his barren August run firmly behind him and he will now be looking to push on in the race for the Golden Boot.
1) Kenedy – Newcastle United
The on-loan Chelsea man has cemented his position for the Magpies under Rafa Benitez, but he had an afternoon to forget against Cardiff.
The left-winger failed to complete a single pass in the entire first-half of the match and when he was afforded the chance to snatch all three points for the Toon with a penalty in added time at the end of the match, he fluffed his lines.
The winger was also involved in an off the ball encounter which saw him kick out at an opponent which should have seen him sent off. He’ll be hoping to forget this match in a hurry.
2) Jamie Vardy – Leicester City
The Englishman went into the match against Wolves hoping to score his second goal of the season, but it went terribly wrong for him.
Vardy lunged in and made a reckless tackle on Matt Doherty which saw him given a straight red card just after the hour mark as the Foxes held on for a 2-0 victory.
The club confirmed that they will not be appealing the red card, meaning the 31-year-old will miss two Premier League matches against Southampton and Liverpool and a Carabao Cup fixture against Fleetwood Town.
3 - Since 2015/16, no player has picked up more red cards in the Premier League than Jamie Vardy (3, also Miguel Britos, Simon Francis, Sadio Mané and Victor Wanyama). Mist.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 18, 2018
3) Manchester United
The Red Devils were well below par and were deservedly beaten 3-2 by a well-organised Brighton side.
United’s defence was nervous, shaky and wide open as the Seagulls smashed in three first-half goals to stun Jose Mourinho’s men.
They looked disjointed and were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, with midfield duo Paul Pogba and Fred drawing plenty of criticism. But, they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against Tottenham next Monday.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men won 2-0 at Crystal Palace on Monday night, backing up a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key reasons the Reds have started the season well.
After Loris Karius had a nightmare in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, the need for a new goalkeeper – which had been evident for some time – became a necessity for Klopp.
The club settled upon Brazil number one Allison Becker, signed for a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper to prise him away from Roma.
Liverpool’s new stopper has not conceded a goal in his first two Premier League game and, while he has not been truly tested, it is clear he is an upgrade on previous options.
MO OF THE SAME
The question is always asked of a player who enjoys a marvellous season – can he do it again, year after year?
Mohamed Salah could never have imagined his first year at Anfield would have yielded 44 goals across all competitions and both the PFA Player of the Year and the FWA footballer of the Year accolades.
While he could not inspire Egypt beyond the group stage of the World Cup, the 26-year-old has returned to Liverpool and picked up where he left off, proving to be the talisman of Klopp’s ever-exciting crop.
A NAB HAND
Naby Keita agreed to move to Liverpool a year ago but had to wait almost 12 months to get to the Premier League.
It was certainly worth the wait for the Guinea midfielder, as well as everyone involved with Liverpool.
He has already shown in his first two outings why Klopp was so keen to work with him, his passing ability and perpetual motion feeding straight into Liverpool’s philosophy.
If Salah has started the current season they way he ended the last, then so has Senegal forward Sadio Mane.
The man who scored Liverpool’s equaliser in their European defeat to Real Madrid, the explosiveness of Mane is enough to catch out even the best defences on the continent.
Mane, 26, has already hit three goals in the opening two league games of the season and will remain a key component of any success enjoyed at Anfield this year.
Speaking after United’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton at the weekend, Scholes claimed the Red Devils were lacking leaders and said team captain Pogba had “another really poor game” and was “so inconsistent”.
The ex-England playmaker, speaking to Australian network Optus Sport, also said of United’s record signing: “I just don’t think he uses his brain enough.”
Raiola responded to those comments on Tuesday, saying on his Twitter account: