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Goals galore behind closed doors – what we learned from the Premier League

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Boyers)

Liverpool continued their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Chelsea while Tottenham also showed their prowess in front of goal.

But remarkably there were 39 goals across the weekend’s eight matches, including three games which featured seven strikes.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the things we learned from this weekend’s action.

Does behind closed doors mean more goals?

There were three seven-goal thrillers over the course of the weekend. Saturday kicked off with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s hat-trick as Everton comfortably beat 10-man West Brom 5-2. The early clash was shortly followed by Leeds’ first Premier League victory in a 4-3 win over Fulham, with five different players putting their names on the score sheet for the newly promoted sides. On Sunday Son Heung-min struck four times as Tottenham came from behind to thrash Southampton 5-2. Leicester and Burnley almost joined the seven-goal party, stopping one short at 4-2.

Eyebrows raised over handball decisions

Referee Martin Atkinson awarded a controversial penalty for a Victor Lindelof handball at Old Trafford

Referee Martin Atkinson awarded a controversial penalty for a Victor Lindelof handball at Old Trafford (Richard Heathcote/PA)

The spotlight moved from VAR to the most recent changes to the handball rule over the weekend. During Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, referee Martin Atkinson consulted the pitchside monitor to determine that Victor Lindelof had handled the ball inside his own box, a controversial decision, and Wilfried Zaha put the penalty away at the second time of asking in a poor performance from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

Has the home advantage disappeared?

Without the vociferous support of a full stadium, home advantage appeared to diminish over the weekend. United slumped to defeat to Palace, while Newcastle were comfortably beaten at home to Brighton. The away teams also notched up the goals in the empty stadiums with Fulham, Brighton and Palace scoring three, Tottenham five and Liverpool two.

Liverpool on top again?

Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (Matt Dunham/PA)

Jurgen Klopp’s men remain the side to beat after they secured two back-to-back victories from the opening games, this weekend recording a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Despite Frank Lampard’s more-than-£200million summer spend, Sadio Mane’s brace sealed a victory which was compounded by Blues mistakes. Liverpool capitalised on Andreas Christensen’s red card for a clumsy challenge on Mane, and were gifted their second following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s howler.

Tottenham firing – and there’s more to come

With Gareth Bale waiting in the wings, Son bagged four during his side’s 5-2 win to remind manager Jose Mourinho of his prowess in front of goal. Bale completed his return to north London on Saturday, and will add to the firepower that Spurs have in the final third of the pitch. Harry Kane assisted all four goals before adding one of his own, and Spurs could prove a threat to all Premier League defences once Bale is added to the squad.