Premier League takeaways: Salah seethes, Haaland hits ground running, Tonali is terrific

We pick out the main talking points from the English top-flight's opening weekend

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Salah sulks after Klopp call

Mohamed Salah's hopes of continuing his remarkable record at the start of a new season came to an abrupt halt during Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

The Egyptian is currently the only player in the league's history to have scored in six consecutive campaign openers, after converting at Fulham last August.

And Salah looked hungry for more in the first half at Stamford Bridge as he hit the crossbar, supplied an exquisite pass for Luis Diaz to open the scoring and then had a goal disallowed for offside.

So when his number came up after 77 minutes, the forward made clear his displeasure, ripping the strapping off his wrist as he angrily walked off the pitch, before slumping down on the bench without acknowledging manager Jurgen Klopp.

“His reaction was absolutely OK,” insisted Klopp. “When I sub a player and he is jumping in to my arms at 1-1 and he is a striker who thinks he will score, I would be really surprised so that's absolutely fine.”

Spurs blunt up front without Kane

Life after Harry Kane began with a battling draw for Tottenham Hotspur as new manager Ange Postecoglou saw his side earn a point at Brentford.

The main goalscoring responsibilities will now lie with Son Heung-min and Richarlison after record-goalscorer Kane ended his 19-year spell in North London by signing for Bayern Munich.

And Spurs fans will have been worried by what they saw from the pair at the Gtech Community Stadium in a game which saw the Brazilian make little impact, new captain Son substituted with 15 minutes to go, and both goals come from defenders.

It was a strange start to the game for Postecoglou, who saw the kick-off delayed due to a water supply issue at the ground and then the first Australian manager in Premier League history had to substitute a reluctant Cristian Romero who had taken a knock to the head scoring the opener.

Both Brentford goals would have been a source of frustration, the first coming via a dubious penalty call by VAR and the second from Yoane Wissa's shot taking a wicked deflection off Spurs new boy Micky van de Ven.

“Harry Kane was massive figure for this club for a long time and … we wanted to go out and give our supporters some hope and belief in the team. I thought they did that today,” insisted Postecoglou after the match.

Bad day at Goodison Park

As opening days to the new campaign go, it would be fair to say Everton's was not a raging success. After avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth for the second season in a row last time round, Sean Dyche's side squandered a series of golden chances to take the lead against Fulham before going on to lose 1-0.

Dwight McNeil was their top scorer last term with Everton managing just 34 in 38 league games – and if this defeat was anything to go by, goals will continue to be a big problem.

Injury-prone striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was again missing from the squad meaning the line was led by a clearly low on confidence Neale Maupay, who saw three efforts saved by Bernd Leno.

The striker has scored only one league goal since joining from Brighton last summer and Maupay later posted a screenshot of the social media abuse he received after the match. “This is what I get for not scoring. No one should ever deal with this,” he wrote.

“The crowd need to stay with us again because we have roughly the same group of players, we have adapted to what we are and that is what we showed today,” said Dyche.

With protests against the owners now a regular feature at Everton games, Saturday's result and the aftermath suggests it could be another long, hard season ahead for the blue half of Merseyside.

'Magnificent' Tonali's dream debut

It was a tale of two Parks on Saturday as the grim day at Goodison provided a stark contract to the wild celebrations at St James' as Eddie Howe's Newcastle United ripped apart Aston Villa in spectacular fashion.

It was a five-star sandwich of a performance with the sourdough bread provided by new boys Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes scoring the first and last goals, while strikes from Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson supplied a familiar tasty filling for Toon fans.

Dubious food metaphors aside, it was a hugely impressive 5-1 win for the Magpies whose midfield trio of Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton offers the team pace, power, passing ability and the potential for goals.

And it will be particularly heartening for Howe to see a subs bench containing the likes of Tino Livramento, Sean Longstaff, Barnes, and Wilson when the squad depth is tested by the addition of midweek Champions League games.

But it was the performance of Tonali, a £60 millon summer signing from AC Milan, that had Tyneside purring.

“He was magnificent,” said Howe after the match, a sentiment echoed by Newcastle's record goalscorer Alan Shearer: “As debuts go, this was as good as it gets – what a magnificent start to his Newcastle career,” he said on Match of the Day. “It was the perfect midfield performance.”

Haaland high, De Bruyne blow for Man City

It took Erling Haaland all of 185 seconds to open his account for Manchester City this season with the Norwegian striker adding a second 32 minutes later in the 3-0 win at Burnley.

Haaland hit 52 goals during City's treble-winning campaign and his ruthless double at Turf Moor on Friday came from only six touches of the ball in the first half.

Despite Haaland's flying start, manager Pep Guardiola was seen having stern words with his striker as he came off the pitch at half-time, which was played down by the Spaniard. “Not an incident, just understanding the connection and learning what we have to do. No problem at all,” insisted Guardiola.

What was a source of concern for City – who take on Newcastle next weekend – in that first half was the sight of Kevin De Bruyne limping off the pitch after 23 minutes, having spent the summer recovering from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the Champions League final win over Inter Milan.

“He was injured again unfortunately,” added Guardiola. “Same place and position as the Champions League and he will be out for a while … We need to go back and reflect with the medical team.”

Updated: August 14, 2023, 5:05 AM