Hull the new Leicester, Sunderland stalling and other takeaways from Round 2

It's still early days, but the Premier League picture gets a little clearer every week. Here are some things we took away from Round 2 including the Tigers flying out of the blocks, the Black Cats stalling, and Liverpool continuing to confuse and frustrate.

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Collage of Jason Puncheon, David Moyes and Andre Gray Source: Getty Images

Hull could be the new Leicester

Things could not have looked much more grim for the Tigers' faithful as the season approached, given they had no manager and only 13 fit senior players.

An immediate return to the Championship seemed booked in before the race was run, but against the odds caretaker manager Mike Phelan has seen to it that Hull have become only the second promoted side to take 6 points from their first two Premier League games.

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What's more, the Tigers have registered 26 shots from those two matches, which shows these victories were no counter-attacking flukes.

Hull sit joint top of the league, but merely their survival would be the fairytale of the season.

Liverpool consistently inconsistent

On the back winning a thriller 4-3 away to Arsenal, few punters would have hesitated to tip Liverpool against promoted Burnley, who lost their own opener 1-0 to Swansea.

But they didn't count on Alberto Moreno and his passionate mission to destroy what remains of his credibility as a defender.

A lone clean sheet in their last 11 away games tells the story of the Reds' lack of defensive cohesion, while their 80.4% possession marked the highest ever for a losing Premier League side since the statistic began back in 2003.

Stalling Sunderland

After Sam Allardyce managed to pull Sunderland out of the relegation zone last season, there was hope that without the off-field distractions of last season, the Black Cats would be able to return to being a competitive side in the top-flight.

Their first match against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City was always going to be a tough affair, but their performance against the newly-promoted Hull left much to be desired and saw them booed off the field at half time.

In the second half their performance did improve, but in the immediate future their lack of goal-scoring experience is a worry.

Known more for developing a long-term culture of success with a relatively low spending budget during his time at Everton, David Moyes may have to dip his feet back in the transfer market if he is to keep Sunderland out of the relegation zone.



The best Manchester derby yet

Both the red and blue of Manchester are off to strong starts and as they continue to get used to their new managers, the derby on September 10th is shaping up to be one of the best we've seen.

With squads featuring the likes of Ibrahimovic, Aguero, Pogba, Silva, Smalling and Stones this is a fixture that could go a long way in determining who ends up holding the Premier League title at the end of the season.

Add to that the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guariola and this will make for one of the can't miss fixtures of the season.



Jedinak transfer the start of Eagles downfall?

Alan Pardew made it clear that the Australia captain wasn't part of his long-term plans for Crystal Palace when he took over last season and made James McArthur and Yohan Cabaye duo his first choice pairing in central midfield.

Against the wishes of many fans who had seen Jedinak lead the side from the Championship to the Premier League, Pardew decided to move Jedinak on to Aston Villa during the preseason. 

Palace's start has been slow so far with losses to West Brom and Tottenham following their troubling finish last season that saw them win only two of their last twenty games.

The hope is that with the eventual introductions of French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Christian Benteke, the Eagles will look to replicate some of the form that saw them finish in the top half of the competition in 2014-2015.




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4 min read
Published 23 August 2016 at 1:40pm
Source: SBS