Brain explosions and epic implosions: Week 2 of the EPL had it all

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is on the left and Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez is seen on the right.
Manchester United and Liverpool both had games to forget in week two of the Premier League ahead of their showdown at Old Trafford. Pic: AAP

New Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag finds his team bottom of the Premier League after a dismal 4-0 defeat away at Brentford on Saturday.

All four goals came within thirty-five shambolic first half minutes for United, with goalkeeper David de Gea at fault for the first two, as the Bees put their more illustrious opponents to the sword.

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Despite stemming the tide in the second half, the Red Devils were unable to reduce the deficit, and have still to register one point in their first two games of the new season - their worst Premier League start since 1992.

The shocking result prompted a rare public statement from Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), who condemned the club’s owners for a ‘decade of decline’ after a performance they described as ‘humiliating’.

Such a reaction is likely timed to elicit a response before United’s next game - at home to fierce rivals Liverpool - when a similar performance will be intolerable to the red half of Manchester.

It’s a different story at cross town rivals Manchester City, who brushed aside newly promoted Bournemouth by a similar 4-0 scoreline, to return to the top of the table.

First half goals from midfielders Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden gave City a commanding lead at the break, with a late own goal from Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma completing the rout at the City of Manchester Stadium.

High profile new striker Erling Haaland failed to add to last week’s opening two goals in what was his home debut for the Sky Blues, but that was hardly a concern for a City team who have now taken maximum points from their opening two fixtures.

The only other team with a 100% record is Arsenal, who also made it two wins out of two with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Leicester.

New Brazilian signing Gabriel Jesus was the star of the show at The Emirates, scoring twice and providing two assists to further enhance his impressive start to his Arsenal career.

Seen here, Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring for Arsenal in the Premier League win over Leicester.
Gabriel Jesus was the star of the show for Arsenal against Leicester as the Gunners made it two wins from two to start the new Premier League season. Pic: Getty

William Saliba’s own goal late in the first half gave Leicester hope after going behind early, but Arsenal were far too strong throughout, running out comfortable winners despite James Maddison adding Leicester’s second late on.

In the game of the round, Chelsea and Tottenham fought out a fiercely competitive 2-2 draw on Sunday, ensuring both teams remain unbeaten in the league going into next week.

Harry Kane’s late header rescued a point for Spurs in a feisty game at Stamford Bridge, with both managers given red cards for a touchline bust-up in a chaotic ending to a match Chelsea dominated but couldn’t close out.

Nottingham Forest grab drought-breaking win

Sunday also saw the first Premier League win in over two decades for newcomers Nottingham Forest, who overcame West Ham 1-0 thanks to record signing Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal in first half stoppage time.

Forest had goalkeeper Dean Henderson to thank for a second half penalty save, denying West Ham’s Declan Rice to secure a precious three points for his new side.

The irony of Henderson – on-loan from Manchester United – being the hero for Forest while his parent club are in crisis, was yet another twist to the weekend’s action.

This photo shows Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Dean Henderson celebrating during his side's Premier League victory over West Ham.
Nottingham Forest's on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson celebrates during his side's Premier League victory over West Ham. Pic: Getty

Elsewhere, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa overcame Frank Lampard’s Everton in a battle of the two ex-England midfielders, who were meeting for the first time as rival managers.

Villa’s Danny Ings opened the scoring in the 31st minute, with midfielder Emilio Buendia securing the points late on with a close-range finish. Everton, who were once again playing with no recognised strikers due to injuries – did manage a consolation goal through a Digne own goal immediately after Buendia’s strike, but it wasn’t enough to deny Villa a comfortable 2-1 victory.

The points were shared in the other three Saturday games, with Leeds fighting back to claim a 2-2 draw at Southampton, maintaining their unbeaten start.

Brighton failed to build on last weekend’s shock win at United, playing out a 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle, and it was a similar scoreline at Wolves, where Fulham gained their second successive draw in a dour encounter.

Darwin Nunez brain snap costs Liverpool

Finally, in the Monday night game, a wonder goal from Colombian forward Luis Diaz earned a point for 10-man Liverpool, as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace at Anfield.

A first half Wilfred Zaha goal had given Palace a shock lead at the break, and things looked to be going from bad to worse for Liverpool when new striker Darwin Nunez was sent off midway through the second half for headbutting Joachim Anderson.

Seen here, Darwin Nunez headbutts Crystal Palace player Joachim Andersen to earn a red card for Liverpool.
Darwin Nunez saw red for Liverpool after a headbutt to the face of Crystal Palace player Joachim Andersen. Pic: Getty/Optus Sport

Just minutes later Diaz beat three players before rifling a shot into the top right corner to level the scores.

Although 10-man Liverpool pushed for a winner in the closing stages, Palace held out to earn their first point of the season.

As for Jurgen Klopp’s side, they must now regroup after taking only two points from their opening two games.

The Reds will likely be without striker Nunez, who faces a lengthy suspension after the headbutting incident.

Their next game at Manchester United takes on even more significance, where both sides will be aiming for their first win of the season.

It promises to be quite a showdown next weekend at Old Trafford, in a match where neither side would dare to contemplate defeat, even at this early stage of the season.

You can get regular updates on all the highs and lows during the Premier League season here at Yahoo Sport Australia, with our comprehensive roundup each week.

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