Liverpool hit four goals to begin their Premier League campaign against West Ham United at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds went top and laid down an early marker in the burgeoning title race on the same day champions Manchester City won 2-0 at Arsenal.
The Gunners were playing their first league game since late-1996 without Arsene Wenger in the dugout. Unai Emery took his place, but saw City win at a canter.
Earlier, Southampton and Burnley battled to a goalless draw at St. Mary's Stadium, with Joe Hart in fine form in the Clarets' goal.
- Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United
- Southampton 0-0 Burnley
- Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City
Matches Played, Goal Difference and Points
1. Liverpool: 1, +4, 3
2. Chelsea: 1, +3, 3
3. Bournemouth: 1, +2, 3
4. Crystal Palace: 1, +2, 3
5. Manchester City: 1, +2, 3
6. Watford: 1, +2, 3
7. Manchester United: 1, +1, 3
8. Tottenham Hotspur: 1, +1, 3
9. Everton: 1, 0, 1
10. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 1, 0, 1
11. Burnley: 1, 0, 1
12. Southampton: 1, 0, 1
13. Leicester City: 1, -1, 0
14. Newcastle United: 1, -1, 0
15. Arsenal: 1, -2, 0
16. Brighton & Hove Albion: 1, -2, 0
17. Cardiff City: 1, -2, 0
18. Fulham: 1, -2, 0
19. Huddersfield Town: 1, -3, 0
20. West Ham United: 1, -4, 0
Full standings, per BBC Sport.
The Emery era looked eerily similar to the final year of Wenger's tenure as Arsenal showed familiar fragility in defensive areas. Goalkeeper Petr Cech struggled, particularly when playing out from the back, while midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles was run ragged at left-back before injury struck.
City took full advantage thanks to clever work from striker Sergio Aguero and winger Raheem Sterling. The latter scored the first after 14 minutes, netting a landmark goal:
Arsenal worked hard, but lacked assurance at the back and efficiency up top. It meant City were able to coast for large portions of the match, before upping the pace when needed.
The icing on the cake came when Bernardo Silva swept in a blistering left-footed shot four minutes after the hour mark. It was all the Citizens needed to begin their title defence in serene fashion.
By contrast, Emery appears set for a rough transition with the Gunners. He needs to get key players up to speed in the type of tactical structures he favours.
Coaxing greater discipline from many of the free spirits in this squad won't be easy, though. Nor will getting more from under-performing stars such as Mesut Ozil, who disappointed on the day:
Liverpool's statement of intent was obvious from the 19th minute when Mohamed Salah prodded in the opener from close range. Last season's Golden Boot winner showed he's lost none of his appetite for goals.
It'a an appetite shared by fellow attackers Roberto Fimino and Sadio Mane, with the latter next to get on the scoresheet. Mane had completed a brace eight minutes after the break, latching onto a pass from Firmino for his second.
The Reds weren't done scoring as substitute Daniel Sturridge capped an impressive display of attacking football from Jurgen Klopp's team.
While Klopp's attackers garnered the headlines, recent buys centre-back Virgil van Dijk and midfielder Naby Keita also caught the eye. Oliver Kay of The Times applauded Liverpool's patient use of the transfer market:
Klopp has assembled a squad perfectly suited to his high-pressing approach, one already producing a landmark performance:
The Hammers offered little resistance, but Manuel Pellegrini's new-look side will be judged more accurately on fixtures less demanding than a trip to Anfield.
Like Liverpool and Klopp, Sean Dyche can feel happy with Burnley's transfer business, particularly the £3.5 million capture of Joe Hart. The fee looks like a true bargain after the way Hart stood firm against the Saints:
Dyche should be especially delighted with a useful point on his travels from the opening day.
City and Liverpool already look like the class of the expected title contenders, while Arsenal are left with plenty to do before experiencing a successful transition from life under Wenger.