Sunday Night Takeaways: Mourinho imposes his style while Arsenal and Liverpool still can't defend

A seven goal thriller was the pick of the games on Sunday

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, Liverpool

Image: Nigel French / EMPICS Sport

The Premier League opening weekend featured some heavyweights in action on Sunday as Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal all played their first fixture of the new season.

With Mourinho taking charge at Old Trafford and Klopp getting his first full pre-season in charge of Liverpool, there were high expectations for both teams on Sunday.

Business as Mou-sual

Manchester United went about their business in a typical Mourinho style on Sunday afternoon as they dispatched with the challenge of Bournemouth with a fairly routine win. 

Goals from Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney punished errors at the back from Bournemouth, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic's speculative effort from distance was well placed as it rolled past Artur Boruc in the Bournemouth goal. 

Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Without really being spectacular, United controlled the game and were very solid at the back, in particular Eric Bailly who seems to be settling in to life in the Premier League quite well. He's likely to pick up as many bookings as he is Man of the Match awards (like he did today) but he's not going to shirk a challenge, which will endear him to his Portuguese manager.

Eddie Howe might not be too worried about the result, given the quality of the opposition, but the defending in particular on the first goal really hindered his team on Sunday. They will need to be much better at the back if they hope to keep their heads above water this season. In attack they showed some flashes of good play, and a nice goal from Adam Smith gave them some hope, but there are still a few pieces on the puzzle yet to click into place.

The best form of defence is attack

Liverpool and Arsenal produced a seven-goal thriller at the Emirates on Sunday evening, and while there were plenty of goals for the fans to enjoy, there really wasn't much in the way of defending. 

Arsenal didn't have many fit players to turn out, leaving them playing Callum Chambers and Rob Holding as a completely untested pairing in the middle of the defence, and Coutinho made them pay with some brilliant passing before he was taken off injured in the second half. 

There wasn't much that anyone in the Arsenal team could have done about his magical free kick, however. 

Equally, at the back for Klopp's side, they kept to their time-honoured tradition of sending their defenders off to Clown College for the summer instead of pre-season training. Lovren got completely lost on Callum Chambers' goal from the corner, leaving him unmarked to nod past Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

Image: Nigel French / EMPICS Sport

Although he also saved a penalty, Mignolet was beaten at his near post as Oxlade-Chamberlain danced past three or four Liverpool tackles to bring Arsenal back into the game. Alberto Moreno's questionable decision making in diving in to make the challenge that gave away the penalty highlights what a liability he is defensively, and despite Mignolet's save, the Spaniard was caught out again moments later when Walcott popped up totally unmarked on his side to give Arsenal the lead.

On the plus side, Mane showed what exactly he can bring to the team with a spectacular solo goal which proved to be decisive. He was unpredictable in his running and ruthless in his finishing, and looks like he has already settled into the system in the way his manager would want. 

For both sides, however, there's a lot more work to be done on the training ground when it comes to keeping it tight at the back. The boos at the final whistle may kick Arsenal into gear in the transfer market to buy the defender that they so clearly need. With another injury to Ramsey too, Arsenal's squad is already looking thin after one match.