Premier League champions Liverpool maintained their 100% start to the season with a 3-1 win against Arsenal at Anfield on Monday leaving them level on nine points with pacesetters Everton and Leicester City.
Liverpool created the early openings with Trent Alexander Arnold causing the visitors problems down their left. His cross was headed goalwards by Virgil van Dijk but Arsenal’s David Luiz cleared off the line and then another ball from the full-back was volleyed straight at goalkeeper Bernd Leno by Sadio Mane.
But in the 25th minute, totally against the run of play, Arsenal grabbed the lead when they broke down the left and Andy Robertson miscontrolled Ainsley Matiland-Niles’ cross, the ball falling to Alexandre Lacazette whose scuffed shot deceived keeper Alisson.
Liverpool responded swiftly though, drawing level three minutes later when Mohamed Salah burst in from the left and Leno parried his shot straight into the path of Mane who made no mistake from close range.
Robertson then made up for his mistake when he was picked out by Alexander-Arnold at the far post, chested the cross down and flicked the ball past Leno to make it 2-1 after 34 minutes.
Arsenal made life more difficult for the home side after the break and should have drawn level in the 63rd minute when Lacazette sprung the offside trap but his shot was too easy for Alisson, who parried it to safety.
But new Liverpool signing Diogo Jota, the Portuguese forward signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers, marked his debut from the bench with the goal that made sure of the win as he struck a well-taken volley from the edge of the box.
The Gunners, who won their first two games, have now gone 28 games without a win away from home against ‘Big Six’ opposition.
Villa beat Fulham 3-0 to move into top four
Aston Villa moved into the Premier League top four after they strolled to a 3-0 win at Fulham thanks to goals from Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings in a lopsided contest on Monday.
The result left Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight last season, fourth on a maximum six points from two games while promoted Fulham are bottom with no points after a third successive defeat.
Villa will be pleased with their clinical finishing but it was more shambolic defending from Fulham, who have conceded 10 goals in their opening three matches, which made the visitors’ job easier at Craven Cottage.
Grealish fired Villa ahead in the fourth minute when he took a simple pass from John McGinn into his stride and drilled a low shot past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from a tight angle.
Hourihane doubled their lead in the 15th after a lightning quick move down the left flank as McGinn racked up another assist when he teed up the Ireland midfielder to sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner.
The match was over as a contest in the 48th minute when Villa’s England centre back Tyrone Mings ghosted into the penalty area and turned in a predictable cross from the left with Fulham’s defenders positioned like statues.