10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 2




What did we learn on Week 2 of the 2022-23 Premier League season? We'll try to avoid sweeping generalizations from this terribly small sample size… but we learned quite a bit.

There's still one more match to go in Week 2, by the way, so be ready to pull some lessons from Crystal Palace's visit to Liverpool on Sunday (Watch live at 3pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

Here's a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Andy Edwards (AE), and Nicholas Mendola (NM) share their observations from across the most recent PL games.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Let's get to it.

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10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 2

1. Chaos ensues in Battle of the Bridge 2022 (Chelsea 2-2 Spurs): This match was pure chaos starting with the Hojbjerg equalizer, which Chelsea were fuming with after they believed Havertz was fouled. Tuchel and Conte clashed on the sidelines as the benches were emptied. Tuchel then ran down the sidelines to celebrate Chelsea's second goal and then there was more pandemonium. After Romero's hair pull wasn't punished by VAR, Spurs scored from the resulting 96th minute corner to grab a point. At the final whistle Conte and Tuchel then went at it as they shook hands as a massive brawl broke out. This London derby rarely disappoints. On the pitch it was an intense spectacle and off it there were strong Battle of the Bridge vibes. (JPW)

2. Man United's problems more mentality than talent (Brentford 4-0 Man Utd): Take almost any player out of this Manchester United and present a Premier League manager the chance to find a starting use for them in their system. More often than not, the boss is going to leap at the chance to sign a Marcus Rashford, a Fred, a Harry Maguire. But all of these players appear less than themselves in a Man United shirt right now, and have under multiple managers. That sure seems to point to the club, doesn't it? There's something going wrong between the ears. Some have claimed there are too many cliques at Old Trafford. "Mean Girls" doesn't win trophies. (NM)

3. Gabriel Jesus is feasting on freedom (Arsenal 4-2 Leicester): There's no question Gabriel Jesus was effective in Pep Guardiola's system, but Mikel Arteta's running an operation that allows for a bit more freedom and, well, it's working very well for Jesus. It says something that Jesus left the pitch a little dejected because he knew he could've had a day for the history books, even for an Arsenal team who's posted magnificent numbers across club history. Leicester's defense isn't strong right now but it's also not tissue paper. He was rampant. (NM)

4. This season is huge for Gerrard, Lampard (Aston Villa 2-1 Everton): It was only Week 2 but the passion on the sidelines showed us just how big of a season this is for the former England teammates and friends. Gerrard got the better of Lampard this time and his Villa side did just deserve the win. A successful season for Villa is a top 10 finish, while Lampard will be very happy if Everton can stay in midtable and away from a relegation scrap. They are at very similar clubs and it will be intriguing to see whether or not both can kick their teams on. (JPW)

5. Spurs' Plan B is very dangerous (Chelsea 2-2 Spurs): When Spurs went to a 4-2-4 formation and brought on Richarlison to partner Harry Kane up top and it worked. They equalized (twice) created a few big chances and this is a great option for Conte when Spurs are struggling to create chances. After struggling to have any kind of rhythm throughout the game, the switch to a 4-2-4 gave them the chance to actually keep the ball higher up the pitch. Against weaker defenses than Chelsea they will have a field day with this approach. (JPW)

Premier League analysis
Premier League analysis  

6. Manchester City does just fine with Haaland in complementary role (Man City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth): Week 1 saw Erling Haaland provide a brief glimpse of what he can be for Manchester City, a perennial candidate for best team in the world, as a generational talent that can fill its last remaining need. On Saturday, the big Norwegian striker was rather quiet compared to his debut. Man City proceeded to pour goals past goalkeeper Mark Travers anyway. Haaland played his part by setting up Ilkay Gundogan's opener with the final ball in, moving to dispel notions he's a goal-scorer and a goal-scorer only (although, stats like this won't help). It's likely that he will continue to excel against the Premier League's bigger clubs who can hold a bit more possession, leading to counter-attacking opportunities. When Man City face a likely relegation candidate and they have nearly 70 percent of possession, there won't be much room for Haaland to operate and he can go quiet for a short time. (AE)

7. Southampton's defensive woes continue (Southampton 2-2 Leeds): Saints were all over the place defensively and it looked like they were going to be punished for that once again. Southampton had the fourth-worst defense in the Premier League last season and they have to improve if they're going to push up the table this season. After two games they've now conceded six goals. (AE)

8. Dean Henderson keeps on delivering for newly-promoted sides (Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Ham): For all the shining done by West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski in the first half - and he was in control of his box while under duress - baseball-capped counterpart Dean Henderson answered the bell when he quickly popped up following Pablo Fornals' smashing off the crossbar, leaping to get his right paw to Tomas Soucek's headed rebound. He'd later stop a Declan Rice penalty to help Forest claim a win that can set their Premier League season on a safe path. Henderson was decent against Newcastle the previous week and it's clear he'll be as key to Forest's survival bid as he was to Sheffield United's efforts a few years ago. (NM)

9. A moment to remember in May if Fulham are relegated (Wolves 0-0 Fulham): There are no two ways about this: If a newly promoted team wishes to remain in the Premier League for a second season,it must convert penalty kicks to steal all three points when handed a golden opportunity with 10 minutes left. Fulham definitely did not do that on Saturday. A point gained is nice as a moral victory, but the fact remains that three points were there for the taking with one kick of the ball. Dropped points in August hurt exactly the same as points dropped in March, April, and May. (AE)

10. Brighton still needs a finishing upgrade but… so do most teams (including Newcastle) (Brighton 0-0 Newcastle): Danny Welbeck was busy for Brighton but not as bright as Week 1. Neal Maupay looks set to leave, which means the Seagulls must have a big plan for their finishing, a problem dating back two years. Future buys are nice, but Brighton needs a guy for now. As for the Magpies, Callum Wilson's a very good center forward but he's certainly not the focus man the Magpies will want when their project gathers full steam. And with his injury history, it's silly to think that Newcastle could be well-covered by Chris Wood and some kids. (NM)

More Premier League

Tuchel on scrap with Conte, red card vs Spurs: 'Another bad decision... Chelsea vs Tottenham: Drama galore as epic battle ends even Chelsea vs Tottenham player ratings after combustible London derby

10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 2 originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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