Already four rounds into the new season the Premier League has come to life as we truly know it.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are all unbeaten with three wins and a draw from their opening four matches in England's premier division.
Said teams in addition to Man City, Leicester City, Tottenham and West Ham also begin their European campaigns this week.
The 2021/22 Premier League season exploded on the opening weekend as 34 goals hit the back of the net – the second-highest tally in PL history for a 20-team opening round. The only other season with more goals scored in the first round of matches came in 2003/04 (36 goals). That season saw Arsenal become the first and only team to remain unbeaten throughout an entire PL season.
After 40 games played so far there have been a total 108 goals scored, averaging 2,7 goals per game. 2018-19 is to date the highest-scoring 380-game Premier League campaign as 1,072 goals were awarded, an average of 2,7 goals per game.
Despite the restoration of 100% capacity crowds in the Premier League this season, home teams have not been bolstered as expected, with only 19 of the first 40 fixtures won by the home team.
However, 67 of the 108 goals this season were scored by home teams, compared to 41 for away sides.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd all scored commanding victories at the opening weekend, and the three title hopefuls are joint-top of the log each with three wins, one draw and a goal difference of +8.
Everton also sit on 10 points.
Last season’s top 2 goalscorers in Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku both returned to England to rejoin their respective former clubs.
This past weekend both strikers produced emphatic performances upon their second home debuts, each bagging a brace.
Manchester City are breathing down the necks of the trio of title challengers, after an early hiccup in losing to a Harry Kane-less Spurs on the opening weekend.
Pep Guardiola's men have since won thrice on the bounce and have scored more goals than any other PL club this season (11), without conceding since Spurs.
This past weekend the Citizens claimed a massive three points at the King Power Stadium with a 0-1 win over Leicester City.
Prior to the recent international break Man City thumped Arsenal 5-0 as the Gunners lost their opening three games without scoring in 270 minutes.
It was written in the stars for Brentford to take all three points in the season-opener against an ailing Arsenal side, before Mikel Arteta's men were then outplayed by Chelsea featuring a returning Lukaku.
The Blues came up against Liverpool in a controversial encounter on Merseyside. Chelsea defender Reece James was dismissed shortly before the half interval for a handball on Chelsea's goal-line.
Even with an extra man Liverpool failed to muster all three points despite registering 24 shots and twice as many attempts on goal as Chelsea managed. F/T 1-1.
Burnley, Newcastle Utd and Norwich City are all winless thus far with the Canaries unable to deliver a single point from their opening four fixtures.
West Ham striker Michail Antonio and Man Utd playmaker Bruno Fernandes lead the Golden Boot race after four weeks, having converted four goals apiece.
Lukaku, Mo Salah and Mason Greenwood have all netted three times so far, together with Everton duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Demarai Gray.
Paul Pogba has registered seven assists in four games, four more than any other player.
Premier League standings:
P W L PTS GD
1. Man Utd 4 3 0 10 +8
2. Chelsea 4 3 0 10 +8
3. Liverpool 4 3 0 10 +8
4. Everton 4 3 0 10 +6
5. Man City 4 3 1 9 +10
18. Burnley 4 0 3 1 -5
19. Newcastle 4 0 3 1 -7
20. Norwich 4 0 4 0 -10
Super Sunday this weekend sees Man Utd visit London Stadium for a tricky test with West Ham, before Spurs contest a London derby with high-flying Chelsea. Seven days later Spurs cross North London for their latest rendezvous with Arsenal. Man City visit Chelsea on 25 September.
The English League Cup 3rd Round will be played in a week’s time. Selected fixtures:
- Chelsea vs Aston Villa
- Man City vs Wycombe
- Man Utd vs West Ham
- Norwich vs Liverpool
- Wolves vs Tottenham
Before that, however, select clubs have European commitments beginning this evening as the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League commence.
Barcelona host German champions Bayern Munich, 13 months since their last meeting when the Bavarians buried La Blaugrana, 8-2.
Chelsea entertain Zenit, and Man Utd encounter BSC Young Boys in Bern, Switzerland.
Tomorrow on Wednesday Liverpool welcome Spanish champions Atlético Madrid to Anfield, whilst Real Madrid trek from the Spanish to the Italian capital to battle Scudetto holders Inter Milan.
Selected UCL fixtures this week:
- Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
- BSC Young Boys vs Man Utd
- Chelsea vs Zenit
- Villarreal vs Atalanta
- Atletico Madrid vs Porto
- Inter Milan vs Real Madrid
- Liverpool vs AC Milan
- Man City vs RB Leipzig
In the Europa League on Thursday, Scottish champions Rangers host French outfit Lyon, and Leicester play Napoli. West Ham travel to Croatia for a date with Dinamo Zagreb.
In the Italian Serie A, three teams have a 100% record as AC Milan, Napoli and Roma all claimed three wins in as many games.
Juventus are winless this season following two defeats and a draw for La Bianconeri.
Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has netted four goals including a hat-trick versus Spezia.
In Spain there are also three clubs tied at the summit of the log with both Madrid clubs and Valencia on 10 points after four games each in LaLiga.
Barcelona are on 7 points albeit have played a game less after their clash with Sevilla was postponed.
Karim Benzema's hat-trick at the weekend sees the Los Blancos regular skipper top the goal charts in Spain with five goals.
In the German Bundesliga, Wolfsburg are the only team to maintain a 100% record after four rounds of games, with Mark van Bommel's men conceding a single goal in 360 minutes of play.
Bayern claimed three wins and a draw, while Borussia Dortmund are on 9 points after a surprise loss at SC Freiburg.
Robert Lewandowski has scored six league goals, one more than Dortmund's Erling Haaland.
In the recently passed international break, European champions Italy extended their unbeaten run to a stupendous 37 matches, eclipsing the previous record of 35 games undefeated co-held by Brazil (1993-96) and Spain (2007-09).
The Azzurri were held to a stalemate at home to Bulgaria and also away at Switzerland in 2022 World Cup qualifiers, before cruising past Lithuania, 5-0.
Italy's next hurdle comes next month in the UEFA Nations League semifinals, when they meet Spain on 6 October. In the corresponding semi, Belgium battle France on 7 Oct.