LONDON — Manchester United suffered its worst-ever start to an English Premier League game and still managed to win. Arsenal gave away a goal after less than a minute and couldn’t quite pull off a similar comeback.
United bounced back from conceding two goals in the opening four minutes to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Old Trafford and avoid an early inquest following a dispiriting loss at Tottenham last weekend.
Arsenal also thought it turned the game around against Fulham when led 2-1 in the second half, only to concede an 87th-minute equalizer from a corner for a 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium that ended the Gunners’ perfect start to the campaign.
For United, it was the first time the club trailed by two goals after four minutes in the league, but captain Bruno Fernandes completed the comeback from the penalty spot in the 76th minute after Forest went down to 10 men.
“Horror start,” United manager Erik ten Hag said. “But the character of the team was brilliant. We stayed so calm and so composed. We stuck to our belief, stuck to our plan, played some good football and scored three good goals. It was a great comeback.”
For Arsenal, not quite. While Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah scored second-half goals for the Gunners, they couldn’t quite pull off a win in the driving rain as Joao Palhinha was left unmarked to slot home the late equalizer after a corner. That was despite Fulham also going down to 10 men by then after a second booking for Calvin Bassey.
It continued a trend of Arsenal giving away sloppy goals at home, which contributed to the team’s late season collapse as it finished second to Manchester City in the previous campaign.
“We have to show another level of commitment and desire and `over my dead body,'” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. “With 10 men, you cannot concede a goal.”
Everton still can’t score as Sean Dyche’s team went scoreless in a third straight defeat. Wolverhampton scored late to win 1-0.
Brentford drew at home against Crystal Palace 1-1, while West Ham beat Brighton 3-1 away in the late kickoff to end the host’s perfect start to the season.
In the early kickoff, Tottenham won at Bournemouth 2-0 to remain unbeaten under Ange Postecoglou.
Tottenham was all but counted out before the season after selling Harry Kane to Bayern Munich. Spurs are suddenly looking like legitimate top-four contenders, though, after following last weekend´s home win over Manchester United with another impressive performance.
James Maddison scored his first goal for Tottenham and Dejan Kulusevski doubled the advantage to give them two wins and a draw under Postecoglou while playing his attack-minded “Angeball.”
While striker Richarlison remained without a goal in three games as he tries to fill Kane’s shoes, Maddison is showing he can be the new focal point of Tottenham’s attack.
“He really wants to be the person,” Postecoglou said of the playmaker. “He´s that creative force for us. … And I think there´s more to come when he gets more understanding with our forward players and they get more understanding with him.”
Sean Dyche is the first manager to find himself under real pressure this season after a third straight loss without scoring.
Just like against Fulham on the opening weekend, though, Everton largely dominated before conceding a late goal as Wolverhampton substitute Sasa Kalajdzic netted from their first shot on target in the 87th.
“It´s very frustrating,” Dyche said. “It´s a performance that should win but it doesn´t so we have to take responsibility for that. It´s not just one individual, collectively. We´ve created enough quality chances. Their keeper is probably man of the match.”
Chelsea earned its first win of the season by beating Luton 3-0 at home.