Manchester United have begun their Premier League campaign with a performance as disjointed as their off-season while Arsenal and Everton made it two wins from as many games.
Maybe United's 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday shouldn't really have come as a surprise.
After all, they only ended a pandemic-prolonged 2019-20 season 33 days ago and had a COVID-19 case with star midfielder Paul Pogba, captain Harry Maguire convicted of assault in Greece (he has been granted a re-trial), and young star Mason Greenwood dropped by England - and made to train alone - for breaching coronavirus rules.
To top it all off, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was without the majority of his squad for more than a week because of international commitments.
Still, how to explain such a listless display against an injury-hit Palace team?
"Today was a performance you don't see very often from this group," Solskjaer said.
Palace - battle-hardened after a more intense pre-season and an opening-day win over Southampton last weekend - simply picked off United at an empty Old Trafford.
"We knew Manchester United didn't play last week and that we had the mental advantage," Palace winger Andros Townsend said.
"If anything, we could have won it by more."
Townsend scored the opening goal in the seventh minute and former United winger Wilfried Zaha netted twice in the final 16 minutes, the first being a retaken penalty after United goalkeeper David de Gea was adjudged to have encroached before saving the initial spot kick taken by Jordan Ayew.
The only positive for United was a debut goal for off-season signing Donny van de Beek, who came off the bench and made it 2-1 in the 80th with a precise finish.
In the day's later game, Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score an 85th-minute winner as Arsenal beat West Ham United 2-1.
The England under-21 striker had only been on the field for eight minutes when he stretched to tap in a low cross from Dani Ceballos.
Alexandre Lacazette's opener for the Gunners had been cancelled out by a well-worked team goal finished off by Michail Antonio just before halftime.
Two games in and James Rodriguez is already making a big impact at Everton.
The Colombia playmaker scored his first goal in English football and set up the last of Dominic Calvert-Lewin's three goals as Everton overwhelmed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-2 at Goodison Park.
Aside from his goal and assist, Rodriguez was involved in the game's key moment when he was shoved in the face by Kieran Gibbs with the West Brom left back sent off in first-half stoppage time.
With two 4-3 score lines so far, Leeds United appear set to be the entertainers.
This time, however, Marcelo Bielsa's men were on the right side of a seven-goal thriller as they edged fellow promoted side Fulham for their first top-flight win in 16 years..
Helder Costa scored twice, either side of strikes by Mateusz Klich - from the penalty spot - and Patrick Bamford, to give Leeds a 4-1 cushion.
Bobby Reid and Aleksandar Mitrovic, with his second goal of the game, ensured a nervy finale at Elland Road but Leeds hung on.
"What the matches have showed is that we have to continue doing what made us successful in the first place," Bielsa said of his team's attacking intent.
Australian Associated Press