THE Premier League returned with a bang as Huddersfield and Manchester United made impressive starts to the 2017-18 season.
While it is far too early to draw any conclusions over how teams will fare over the next nine months there was plenty to like and dislike over three days of entertaining games.
We got our first look at those sides who are hoping to be battling it out for the title over the course of the campaign.
And we also got a glimpse at the three teams promoted from the Championship last season who are hoping to make their mark on the top division.
There were thrilling wins for Burnley and Arsenal this weekend, while teams like Liverpool failed to reach their potential.
The promoted trio enjoyed a very mixed bag, while big-spending Everton were indebted to a certain home-favourite.
SunSport brings you the winners and losers from the opening weekend of the 2017-18 Premier League.
Check out the full list, below…
IT really shouldn’t have been this way, if you believe football is a game played on paper and using chequebooks.
The Terriers had gained promotion through the play-offs last season and though boss David Wagner had overhauled his squad, they were still supposed to be the top flight kicking boys.
Crystal Palace would have turned up expecting to roll over the never-have-beens of Premier League football, but instead they were handed a rude awakening.
It is not only the 3-0 win that will have made people sit up and take note; it was also the way Huddersfield performed and looked as though they belonged among the elite.
No-one is saying the next nine months are going to be plain sailing.
But getting off the mark early and playing with such conviction will have eased the fears among the players and fans that they didn’t belong.
WHEN you are signed for £75million and have the hopes of the supporters of the biggest club in the world on your shoulders, it would be easy to shrink into yourself.
Not so for Lukaku though, who began his Manchester United career in devastating fashion with two goals on his league debut.
Lukaku has always enjoyed himself against West Ham, and the Hammers helped by turning in such a poor display, but a double is just the way to get started.
There are still questions over whether he can do it in the very biggest matches, and it will be up to him to prove those doubters wrong.
But in 90 minutes he has banished fears that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the pressure of such a huge price tag and also ensured the Old Trafford fans have taken to him already.
IT is hard enough keeping a club with such a small infrastructure as Burnley in the Premier League.
But Dyche’s job has been made that big harder by losing his two best players.
With Michael Keane at Everton and striker Andre Gray offloaded to Watford, it left the Clarets painfully short of top quality players going into the new season.
The last thing Dyche really needed was a trip to the defending champions where a heavy defeat could have really dealt a blow to the confidence of those around Turf Moor.
But Dyche organised and cajoled his unfancied side to a brilliant 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge that will have restored optimism amongst the fans at a stroke.
Forget that Chelsea were reduced to nine men; Burnley were excellent and showed there really is life after Keane and Gray.
All of which will make Dyche’s job just that little bit easier.
THE golden boy of English football for so long, things have not been easy for Wayne Rooney these last two years.
Fitness problems, a loss of form and losing the England captaincy have all taken their toll on a striker who has quite possibly seen his best days pass him by.
But a return to Everton was the choice he made on leaving United, which although an obvious one would have still brought its own pressures.
Does he really fit in with Ronald Koeman’s ambitious plans? Can he still deliver? And was he really worth the big wages he is getting?
No better way, then, to begin answering such questions than by scoring the match-winning goal on your second debut for the club you grew up supporting as a boy.
Rooney has always been a player who needed games to reach full fitness and sharpness, and he didn’t get enough of those at Old Trafford last season.
The likelihood is he will get that opportunity at Goodison Park this season and, if he can can continue his promise from pre-season and Saturday’s win over Stoke, it will be a sight well worth seeing.
Virgil van Dijk
WHEN you’re an outcast at your club and desperate for a move, it is hard to see how a weekend of Premier League football could really be too welcome for a player.
But while Southampton began their season without Van Dijk, events elsewhere could well have played right into the hands of the Dutch defender.
For Liverpool’s painful defensive problems in the 3-3 draw at Watford may well have convinced the club they need to swallow pride and break the bank to sign the centre-back.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp clearly wants him, but the Anfield board have been reluctant to re-open negotiations with Saints having had their fingers burned earlier this summer.
A public apology to avoid being charged with tapping up is bad enough – but the continual humiliation of shocking defending on the pitch cannot go on much longer for Liverpool.
The draw at Watford might just be the turning point which finally gets the Anfield board to cough up the money.
YOU can be the hipster boss with a big personality who loves bounding up and down the touchline as much as you want.
But if you cannot get a defence to do their jobs properly then everything else doesn’t matter a jot.
Klopp is now starting his third season in charge of Liverpool, time enough for any manager to ensure the team he sends out onto the pitch is his side, using his coaching methods.
Yet Liverpool are a shambles at the back, and in 90 minutes of the new season you are already left asking just what Klopp actually does to improve his team.
If you prefer zonal marking from corners, that is your decision.
But whatever way you set up, it is criminal to put one of your weakest defenders up against your opponent’s biggest threat.
That is exactly what Klopp did at Vicarage Road.
Liverpool’s defensive problems lie squarely on the shoulders of one man – Klopp.
IT has been coming after a summer of confusion at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea were given a rude awakening in their home defeat to Burnley.
The transfer business conducted by the Blues over the close season has been baffling to say the least – and there is no excuse for starting a new season with only 14 fit senior players.
All of a sudden the defending champions appear to be ready to splash the cash to bring in three or four new players, something the manager has been banging on about all summer.
Everyone outside of Stamford Bridge could see the potential problems of letting so many leave, but Chelsea bosses still failed to act.
But Antonio Conte must also share some responsibility for the shambolic start, for the way he dealt with Diego Costa and suddenly weakened his club’s position as sellers.
That said, it wasn’t Costa who sanctioned the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United – a decision which not only left him short in a crucial position but also strengthened a title rival.
Matic’s excellent display on his debut against West Ham will have rubbed salt into the wounds that little bit more.
WHAT on Earth were you thinking, Jonjo?
Picture the situation: You are captaining a team on their first game back in the Premier League, against one of the title hopefuls.
The first half has gone OK, if anything you have been the better side and the much-fancied Tottenham are struggling to find their rhythm.
Your manager sends you out for the second half asking for more of the same and a chance will come to take all three points.
Then you see an opponent lying on the floor as a result of a tangle with one of your team-mates that you had nothing to do with.
Do you a) Get back into position as expected? Or b) Decide to stamp on your rival for no reason and get yourself sent off?
Answers on a postcard please.
THE Hammers went into the season with so much optimism on the back of their transfer business which saw them bring in four experienced Premier League pros.
Fair enough, they ran into a Man United side looking more powerful and impressive than they have done for the last three or four years.
But West Ham were still way off the pace at Old Trafford, and if anything a 4-0 defeat was something of a lucky escape.
What is vital now is for Slaven Bilic to ensure that wave of optimism running through the squad and the supporters is not completely washed away on the back of such an emphatic drubbing.
But Bilic will have to find a better way of setting up his team to maximise the talents at his disposal.
Javier Hernandez may have one of the best goals ratios in Premier League football, but he isn’t going to do anything if you don’t supply him.
Frank de Boer
WELCOME to England Mr De Boer.
The Dutchman has been feted in this country for years, largely on the back of him being such a world class footballer over his career.
Time and again he has been linked with Premier League jobs, but every time he has not been given the position.
And some who know European football point to the fact his managerial record is not quite as impressive as people would have you believe.
Crystal Palace took the plunge in the summer and will have expected to take their excellent form from the second half of last season and carry into this year – boosted by several new signings.
What better way to get off and running than a home match against lowly Huddersfield?
Well that went well, didn’t it?
De Boer now knows the size of the challenge he faces, at least…
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