5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Champions Manchester City were denied victory in controversial circumstances.

By Press Association Published: 18 August 2019 - 5.37pm

Liverpool and Arsenal emerged from the second round of Premier League fixtures with their perfect records intact as reigning champions Manchester City surrendered theirs in controversial fashion.

There were maiden wins too for promoted duo Norwich and Sheffield United, while Newcastle’s new head coach Steve Bruce was left still awaiting his first point in the job.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at another eventful weekend in the English top flight.

So near and yet so VAR

VAR and the new interpretation of the handball rule are going to be talking points throughout the season, and they certainly were at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Manchester City thought they had snatched a 3-2 victory deep into stoppage time when Gabriel Jesus fired home, only for the goal to be chalked off on review because the ball had clipped Aymeric Laporte’s arm during the build-up. The decision may have been correct, but City boss Pep Guardiola felt doubly aggrieved having seen Spurs’ Fernando Llorente score against his side in the Champions League last season after the ball flicked off his hand.

Frank’s still got the blues

Frank Lampard, who tasted victory so many times as a Chelsea player, is still waiting to do so as the club’s manager. It all started so well for the Blues as midfielder Mason Mount responded to criticism by Jose Mourinho to open the scoring against Leicester on his home debut, only for Wilfred Ndidi, the man Mount had robbed to open his account, to make amends with a bullet header. Having started brightly, the London team wilted and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Aston Villa are going to have to sharpen up if they are to avoid being drawn into a survival fight after enduring mixed fortunes as they attempted to open their top-flight account against Bournemouth. Villa were 2-0 down on their own pitch after just 12 minutes before they launched a fightback which came up just short. Summer signing Tom Heaton conceded a second-minute penalty with a rash challenge and fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz left a ball for Harry Wilson to thump home a deflected second. Luiz redeemed himself with a sumptuous second-half strike but it was not enough.

Auba the moon

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with team-mate Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with team-mate Alexandre Lacazette (Yui Mok/PA)

Arsenal could be a force this season if they can keep striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit and in form. The Gabon international scored the winner at Newcastle last weekend and repeated the feat this time around as the Gunners beat Burnley 2-1, creating space for himself before beating keeper Nick Pope at his near post with an astute finish.

Doom and gloom for the Toon

Steve Bruce scored two own goals on his debut for Norwich as a player, but his return to Carrow Road as Newcastle’s head coach proved even more demoralising. Teemu Pukki’s hat-trick saw the Canaries romp to a 3-1 victory over the Magpies to hand Bruce further evidence that filling Rafael Benitez’s shoes is going to take some doing.