Liverpool’s Premier League title race got off to a slow start, with the Reds tied 2-2 at newly promoted Fulham, while Tottenham delivered on their pre-season hype by thrashing Southampton 4-1 on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp admitted that the best part of Liverpool’s day was the result, as the Champions League finalists twice had to come out from behind at Craven Cottage.
Aleksandar Mitrovic maintained his impressive form from last season in the Championship, with the Serbian overcoming Trent Alexander-Arnold to take Fulham to a well-deserved half-time lead.
The introduction of Darwin Nunez in the second half brought Liverpool to life and the Uruguayan scored his first Premier League goal since a €75m ($77m) transfer from Benfica for the equaliser.
Mitrovic re-established Fulham’s lead from the penalty spot after being brought down by Virgil van Dijk inside the area.
But Mohamed Salah ensured that Liverpool did not at least start the season with a defeat by scoring an empty goal after a Nunez pass.
“We actually started off in exactly the opposite way that we wanted to,” Klopp said.
“We’re used to having more dominance and we never get that because we don’t play well enough, not fast enough, not accurate enough.”
Tottenham’s title dream
On the other hand, Tottenham got off to a dreamy start to their campaign to raise hopes of being able to compete for their first league title in 61 years.
Spurs also fell behind with a James Ward-Prowse shot from just outside the area in the 12th minute, but Antonio Conte’s men responded emphatically.
The game-changing goals before half-time came from unlikely sources, with Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier scoring for home.
Mohammed Salisu then passed the ball into his own net for a comical goal at the hour mark.
Dejan Kulusevski completed the scoring with a cool, accurate finish in the far corner to take Spurs above Arsenal at the top of the table.
Newcastle may not have gotten the big name signings that many had been hoping for on the transfer market, but the Magpies did the business on the pitch to spoil Nottingham Forest’s return to the English top flight with a 2-0 win.
Forest have even surpassed Newcastle in the window on 12 new signings so far, but have been given a lesson in the Premier League quality boost at St James’ Park.
Fabian Schar’s sensational goal opened the scoring before a predatory Callum Wilson finish sealed the three points.
Bournemouth also beat Aston Villa 2-0, dispelling pre-season blues after a lack of transfer activity.
Jefferson Lerma started the Cherries well after just three minutes and Kieffer Moore scored the second with 10 minutes to go.
Leeds played down the loss of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha over the summer by beating Wolves 2-1 at Elland Road.
Daniel Podence put Wolves in the lead, but Jesse Marsch’s men reacted impressively.
Rodrigo fired from a narrow angle to equalize before Ryan Ait-Nouri’s own goal decided the game with 16 minutes remaining.
Chelsea started their campaign on Saturday, away from home to Everton.