The Rebound: the real winners of Chelsea vs Liverpool weren’t even at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

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A look back on the weekend’s Premier League action, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and more.

It’s hard to shake the feeling that the real winners of Liverpool’s bohemian slugfest with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon were Brighton. This was a fixture billed, in essence, as a ‘custody of Moises Caicedo ladder match’, and by the end of it, had Albion decided to double their asking price for the Ecuadorian, neither of his suitors would have had a leg to stand on.

Instead, his British record transfer to Chelsea was confirmed the very next day, and on the evidence of the opening weekend, not a moment too soon. Both midfields at Stamford Bridge were about as instinctively discerning as a congested sniffer dog, and neither provided any more solidity than a rice paper hammock. Enzo Fernandez, it transpires, cannot do everything on his lonesome. Still, it made for tremendous fun - albeit in much the same way that careering downhill towards a short pier in a tram trolley with severed brake cables is probably a bit of a rush for a little while.

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The big question now is what becomes of Liverpool. Alongside Caicedo, it would appear that Chelsea - seemingly intent on proving that at least one of the F’s in FFP stands for ‘fallacy’ - have also beaten them to the signing for Southampton teenager Romeo Lavia, and suddenly Jurgen Klopp, jaw agape and club shop baseball cap slightly askew, is facing a very, very concerning end to the transfer window. If things continue on such a dire trajectory, we’re about a fortnight away from the Reds announcing the joint homecoming of Joe Allen and Jonjo Shelvey. Failing that, Jay Spearing is probably kicking about somewhere.

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The Rebound GW1

Elsewhere, Erling Haaland’s overt disdain for the Community Shield was once again illustrated in amusingly blunt terms as he took just four minutes to open his account for the season against Burnley at Turf Moor. The flaxen-haired chill-hop berserker sent a petrifying statement of intent to the rest of the watching Premier League on Friday evening by snatching a first half brace before skulking away into his usual state of foreboding anonymity, like a slumbering dragon who pricks at the contentment of a quiet fishing village as he sleeps on his hoard beneath a looming nearby mountain.

Less promising for City, however, was the withdrawal of an injured Kevin De Bruyne, who made the long limp back to the away dressing room after aggravating an ongoing hamstring complaint. Claims that Mikel Arteta has recently been seen playing with a little ginger voodoo doll remain unfounded.

As for Burnley themselves, they barely laid a glove on the champions, but showed just about enough to suggest that they should be alright this season. Vincent Kompany is pulling together something pretty compelling in Lancashire, and don’t Sky Sports want us to know it. Their coverage of this season’s curtain-raiser contained more pieces to camera with luminescent-fanged American stakeholders than an episode of Jersey Shore, and I have a feeling that between now and the end of the campaign, I may see chairman Alan Pace with greater regularity than some members of my immediate family. Still, as far as 3-0 pestlings that end with a stoppage time dismissal go, this could have been a whole lot worse.

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And finally, Andre Onana has evidently been brushing up on his bedtime stories. Or rather, he’s been skim reading them and slightly misinterpreting their endings. How else would he know that the best way to stop Wolves is to hit them with a blow like a brick outhouse? Or something...

Tenuous preambles aside, Gary O’Neil and his men were inarguably cheated out of a stonewall penalty at Old Trafford on Monday evening. And if you don’t believe us, believe refereeing chief Jon Moss, who has admitted as much himself.

They say that hindsight sees in 20/20, although VAR apparently does not, which is particularly frustrating when you consider the fact that it is, by its very definition, a form of synthetic, on-demand hindsight. Nevertheless, justice has been served, with the officials involved no longer taking charge of any matches this weekend. I’m sure Wolves will rest, fully becalmed and easy, in that knowledge.

Alas, however, Onana’s body slam was not the most devastating display of physical prowess in the Premier League these past few days. That accolade instead goes to Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, who got into a mild skirmish with Sheffield United defender Max Lowe - just the half-century his junior - at Bramall Lane, and was primed and ready to start swinging haymakers were it not for the intervention of his backroom staff.

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The first rule of Roy Hodgson Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Roy Hodgson Fight Club. The second rule of Roy Hodgson Fight Club is that you give him three rings when you get home, just so he knows you’re safe.

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