As the Premier League opening weekend came to a close, there were many storylines to follow, but none bigger than the “new era” at Manchester United. Coming off a disappointing season, Manchester United were primed to take a step forward with their new coach Erik ten Hag. Although they were coming off a tough end to their 2021-22 season, Manchester United were banking on bounce back seasons from their veteran players. 

Having some of the best players in the world like Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and David de Gea, Manchester United was still ranked fifth as a favorite to win the Premier League. On top of that, Ten Hag brought in a flurry of new players with Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martínez being the two biggest names. However, there are many other rumors floating up in the air of whether that will be their last signings this window. 

To open the season, Manchester United suffered a narrow 1-2 loss at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion, who at times struggled to stay above the relegation zone. On top of that, Manchester United players did not manage to score a goal, with their only point in the game coming via an own goal from Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister. Although they had the majority of the possession, Manchester United lacked the decisive touch, only managing one more shot on goal than the largely out-possessed Brighton. 

To make things worse, Manchester United followed this blunder of a performance by getting defeated  by the newly promoted squad, Brentford. Much like the previous game, Manchester United dominated the possession in the match but were outdone with shots on target by Brentford, ultimately losing the match 0-4. To make matters worse, the schedule for Manchester United begins to get increasingly difficult in the coming weeks. 

Their next opponent, Liverpool, was ranked the second most likely to win the Premier League title and had one of the most recent Premier League titles outside of Manchester City. Although Liverpool had the second-best odds to win the Premier League title on paper, they have had two draws in their opening two matches of the season. 

Not much to everyone’s surprise, the defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, picked up right where they left off. Over the summer transfer window, they added one of the top strikers, Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, along with midfielder Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United. In their first two matches they managed to take two victories, scoring 6 goals while allowing 0 goals to their opponents. 

Off to another hot start is Arsenal, who managed to score 6 goals while conceding just 2 goals, which was good enough for second place to start league play. They were helped by their new Manchester City signings they secured over the summer: forward Gabriel Jesus and left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko

With only a couple matches into the season, there is still much to come for new faces on new teams and managers adjusting to their squads. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the August 25, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.