The Premier League has returned and Liverpool have finally ended their 30-year wait for a league title.
After a lacklustre Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Crystal Palace 4-0 in a dominant display at Anfield.
And with Manchester City losing 2-1 at Chelsea, it meant the Reds were crowned Premier League champions for the first time.
Elsewhere, Manchester United won 3-0 against Sheffield United, while Tottenham eased to a 2-0 victory over West Ham.
Bottom club Norwich lost 1-0 to Everton, and fellow strugglers Bournemouth also fell to a 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Newcastle, Leicester and Brighton drew 0-0, Arsenal won 2-0 at Southampton and Burnley claimed a 1-0 victory over Watford.
Here’s my team of the week – have a read and then select your own below.
Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal)
Martinez: I can’t make my mind up about Arsenal at the moment. They are neither here nor there. What I’m absolutely certain about is they are not a good enough to keep the likes of Mesut Ozil out of the team.
One bright spark though in a ordinary Arsenal side is stand-in goal keeper Emiliano Martinez. The Argentine came into the side at a difficult time for the injured Bernd Leno and he produced a superb one handed save from Southampton’s Danny Ings when Arsenal were under immense pressure.
It was the turning point the game. Arsenal rode their luck in this fixture but it provided Mikel Arteta with his the first away Premier League win.
Did you know? Martinez has kept a clean sheet in four of his six starts for Arsenal in the Premier League.
Defenders – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
Alexander-Arnold: The free-kick that ripped past Wayne Hennessey in the Crystal Palace goal was about as good as it gets.
We’ve seen him do it before and we now know what Trent Alexander-Arnold is capable of, which makes it all the more maddening if you are a Palace fan knowing you can do absolutely nothing about it.
Palace were blasted off the pitch at Anfield as Liverpool returned to their old form and took a step closer to the Premier League title. What a start to a career. You’re 21 years old, you’ve won the Champions League and about to lift your first Premier League title and you’ve hardly broken sweat.
Did you know? Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick was his 30th Premier League goal involvement (five goals, 25 assists); since his debut in December 2016. This is more than any other defender in the competition.
Robertson: The ball for Mohamed Salah immediately after half-time sliced the Palace defence in half and left Hennessey rooted to the spot. A further indication of what Andy Robertson has to offer. This lad has been delivering these crosses all season and been an absolute delight to watch.
I’ve often taken the view that when fans sing the name of their full-back you know what they think of that player and Robertson’s name is sung on regular occasions at Anfield. What a pity Liverpool fans weren’t there to see him and this extraordinary team put Palace to the sword.
Did you know? Robertson has created 40 chances from open play in the Premier League this season, the joint-most of any defender, along with team-mate Alexander-Arnold.
Keane: Since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti Everton are no longer a soft touch.
Their two central defenders have become the fulcrum of the team. Mason Holgate, a player who has made my team of the week on more than one occasion this season, and Michael Keane were the names that stood out against a Norwich team staring relegation in the face.
It was Keane who got Everton’s winner and his performance deserved it. He was solid throughout, won almost every header and, under Ancelotti, seems to be limiting his errors with the ball at his feet.
If Keane keeps this form up he could be knocking on England boss Gareth Southgate’s door again.
Did you know? Four of Keane’s five goals in the Premier League have been scored away from home, including each of his three in the competition for Everton.
Midfielders – Adama Traore (Wolves), Fabinho (Liverpool), Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd), Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
Traore: I just can’t leave him out of my team at the moment. He was outstanding against West Ham and even more devastating against Bournemouth. This time Nuno Espirito Santo didn’t leave his best player on the bench twiddling his thumbs.
Instead he gave him the Molineux stage and boy did he run the show. Adama Traore is playing the football of his life and the next decision he has to make may be the biggest one of his life. Does he stay at Wolves or listen to the overtures of clubs now desperate to buy him?
I would wait for Nuno to move to a bigger club and follow him.
Did you know? Wolves pair Traore and Raul Jimenez have combined for 10 Premier League goals in 2019-20, the most of any duo this season, and just the seventh different partnership to manage at least 10 combinations in a single campaign in the competition.
Fabinho: What a screamer. He scored a similar one against Manchester City and the strike against Crystal Palace was hit just as sweetly.
Fabinho is one of Liverpool’s great unsung heroes in one of their greatest seasons and follows in the footsteps of legends like Ian Callaghan and Jimmy Case.
Liverpool had won everything there is to win in the game but never a Premier League title. The Brazilian is to Liverpool what Fernandinho is to Manchester City. They are happiest doing the most difficult jobs and getting the least praise.
Like James Milner and Jordan Henderson, he has been a great professional and integral to an amazing season.
Did you know? Fabinho celebrated his 41st victory in what was his 50th Premier League appearance – only Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben, Ederson (all 42) and Aymeric Laporte (43) won more of their first 50 games in the competition.
Fernandes: There was a moment when Bruno Fernandes required treatment against Sheffield United and there was a sudden sense of panic in the Manchester United ranks.
The Portugal midfielder has, in a matter of months, become a key component to United’s fortunes and he must remain fit in order for the club to retain any chance of a Champions League spot.
Also key is his relationship on the park with Paul Pogba.
Although it’s early days in the partnership, they remind me of Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins and the way they used to link up and influence the play. If Fernandes and Pogba can have the same influence as Robson and Wilkins then good times are certainly on the horizon at Old Trafford.
Did you know? Since making his Premier League debut at the start of February, no Manchester United player has been directly involved in more goals than Fernandes (six – joint-high along with Anthony Martial).
De Bruyne: Every so often a player comes along who is so clearly gifted. Whenever they receive the ball people move to the edge of their seats in anticipation. Glen Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne had it, and so does Kevin de Bruyne.
Games since the restart have been ordinary at best, but De Bruyne has been in a different league to everyone else around him.
He might have been on the losing side against Chelsea – but who cares? His wonderful free-kick that gave Manchester City the equaliser was a mere taste of what this player has to offer. He is one of the best players in the world and it’s a pleasure watching him play.
Did you know? De Bruyne became the first player to reach double figures for both goals (10) and assists (16) in the Premier League this season.
Forwards – Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Mane: I rarely see this player score a scruffy goal. They are always finishes of the highest quality. The strike against Crystal Palace was as clinical as a surgeon’s scalpel. Of all the Liverpool forwards this season, I think Sadio Mane has been their most consistent. There have been times when he has carried Salah through games, especially when Roberto Firmino has been absent.
However when all three are on song, as we saw against Crystal Palace, there cannot be a better forward line anywhere in the world.
Did you know? Mane became the 10th player to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances against a single opponent, and the second to do so for Liverpool after Salah against Bournemouth.
Martial: Is it me or are Manchester United starting to look like a proper team again?
You’ve got Pogba and Fernandes loading the pistols and Rashford, Greenwood and Anthony Martial up front firing the bullets.
Martial seems to be the main beneficiary with a hat-trick against a tired-looking Sheffield United, who have had a magnificent season but are running out of gas and have had seven goals put past them in three games.
Martial looks like he’s having a party at the moment, playing with a smile on his face and, for now, having lost the frown.
Did you know? Martial has scored 19 goals for Manchester United this season – his most prolific season for them.
Kane: This game was something of a non-event. West Ham are well short of the class they need a player who can excite their fans. It’ just as well their fans are not in attendance to make their feelings known.
What was worth watching was Harry Kane coming back into some form. He was a passenger in the previous fixture against Manchester United but the England captain looked considerably sharper the Hammers.
The way he sprinted from his own half in order to latch onto Son Heung-min’s pass which flashed past the post was an indicator of his hunger and desire. However when a second clear chance came to put the game out of West Ham’s reach Kane was bang on the money.
Did you know? Kane has now scored 137 goals in 200 appearances for Spurs in the Premier League – the only player in the competition’s history to have scored more after 200 games for a club is Sergio Aguero (138).
Pick your Team of the Week
I’ve picked my team now it’s time for you to pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.
The Crooks of the Matter
The Premier League restart reminds me of a great Morecambe and Wise sketch. For those of us old enough to remember, Eric Morecambe turns to the audience and asks, ‘what do you think of the show so far?’ – before then turning his head away and shouting: ‘Rubbish!’
Well that’s exactly what most football fans thought about the resumption.
Football without fans simply isn’t working, folks. What recent fixtures have taught us is that the game is nothing without supporters. The players don’t like it, the pundits definitely don’t like it, the commentators are trying to make sense of it, and TV coverage looks naked without it.
The standard in the first set of games was poor. I appreciate some teams will have been a little rusty and need time to get into the swing of things, but the game is – and always has been – about the arena.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Anfield, Goodison Park, Old Trafford and St James’ Park are some of the best football grounds around, but they are nothing without fans bursting out from every corner.
What we have at the moment is rows of empty galleries. Seats everywhere but with nobody in them. You can cover them up by draping banners with witty slogans over them, but when there are no fans demanding blood, sweat and tears from their heroes one minute, and then worshipping the ground they walk on after someone’s hit the most glorious winner the next, it is not the same.
Those things breathe life into the gladiators in the arena. I’ve been there and I know what it feels like – and it’s priceless.