The transfer window that lasts through the end of August often makes some early season games in European soccer unwatchable.
No one in the English Premier League seems to have received that memo this weekend.
The season opened Friday with Arsenal rallying from a deficit twice against visiting Leicester City with two goals after the 80th minute to snatch a 4-3 triumph over the 2015-16 champions.
See all the Premier League scores here.
Substitute Olivier Giroud scored the clincher off the crossbar past Kasper Schmeichel to clinch all three points for the Gunners. Leicester’s Jamie Vardy scored twice and frequently put the Arsenal backline in peril. There were two goals scored in the first five minutes.
The seven-goal thriller was just a teaser of what happened Saturday afternoon.
Watford got a tap-in from Miguel Britos in the 94th minute to equalize at home and draw against Liverpool in the first game of the day, 3-3. There were two stretches in the game where goals were scored three and two minutes apart, and the Reds were given three yellow cards in the game.
Last season, Leicester City was stunned by underdog Hull City in their first match as defending champions. But that was hardly an upset the likes of what happened at Stamford Bridge Saturday.
Defending champions Chelsea lost captain Gary Cahill to a red card for his studs-up tackle on Steven Defour just 14 minutes into the game against Burnley and the Blues were routed at home. Burnley held its own last season at Turf Moor but were abysmal away in Premier League games last season – the Clarets had just one win and four draws against 14 losses in the road contests.
But Sam Vokes netted twice before the break and the champions trailed 3-0 at the break en route to a 3-2 defeat. Chelsea closed as a 1.5 goal favorite and finished with just nine players after Cesc Fabrigas was shown a second yellow card in the 81st minute.
Stamford Bridge wasn’t the only stadium in London where the visitors struck quickly – Huddersfield Town became the first team in Premier League history to benefit from an own goal to open their scoring in England’s top flight. Three minutes later, Steve Mounie jumped over everyone to head in and put the guests up 2-0 at a stunned Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace. The Terriers would nab all three points in convincing fashion, 3-0.
Wayne Rooney would provide another feel-good story Saturday, scoring the only goal of the game late in the first half at Goodison Park against Stoke City. He joined the Everton youth team at age 9 and played there from 2002-04 when debuting at Everton at age 16. He had been a mainstay at Manchester United ever since until returning “home” this season.
The first of 38 matchdays for all 20 teams isn’t even in the books until Sunday evening. Yet the action from the highest-paid league in the world has already shown that those investments are warranted. The next round of games isn’t until Aug. 19 and while some managers and front office need the time to shore up their team via transfer, others are probably wishing they played tomorrow.