Liverpool flex their muscles
Reds beat Tottenham 21; Chelsea lead on goal difference
LONDON: Liverpool continued their perfect start to the season after a goal in each half gave them a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Saturday.
Georginio Wijnaldum picked the perfect time to score his first away goal in the Premier League when he headed Liverpool into a 39th-minute lead, before Roberto Firmino steered home a second soon after halftime to ensure Liverpool made it five wins from five.
Since October last year they have had the best defensive record in the Premier League, keeping more clean sheets than any other team, but they were denied another by Erik Lamela in stoppage time.
Lamela’s goal from a tight angle was deemed a mere consolation, though, as Spurs slipped to consecutive league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2015-16 season, meaning they remain outside the top four.
“We were that good it was difficult for Tottenham,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. “The performance today was better than the result. It was the best game of the season for us.”
Determined to write the wrongs of their 4-1 defeat by Tottenham last season, Liverpool started quickly and Firmino had the ball in his net inside the first minute, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Harry Winks, making his first Premier League start since December, helped Spurs to calm the storm initially but defensive mistakes allowed Liverpool to create openings.
Soon enough, Wijnaldum headed Liverpool in front from a corner, capitalising on a poor punch from goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Spurs’ best chance to get back into the contest came when Lucas Moura drove at the Liverpool defence, drilling against the foot of the post and giving Wembley hope that the tide had turned.
“When Lucas Moura hit the post that was the key moment,”
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “Moments like this are when you can get confidence. This type of game shows we need to improve if we are
going to be contenders.”
Hope of a recovery vanished minutes later when Firmino was on hand to tap the ball home almost on the goal line.
HAZARD SHINES IN CHELSEA VICTORY
A hat-trick from Belgian magician Eden Hazard ensured Chelsea kept their 100 percent record this season with a 4-1 win over promoted Cardiff City that sent the Londoners to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.
Chelsea, who have won their first five games of the season, were stunned when an unmarked Sol Bamba flicked home to put Cardiff ahead in the 16th minute, but Hazard replied twice before halftime as the home side upped the tempo.
He hit the bottom corner after dancing round two defenders to shoot low in the 37th minute, then latched on to another Olivier Giroud layoff with the Frenchman at full stretch in the
44th. The Belgian scored a cool penalty in the 81st minute.
Willian rounded off it off for the London side, who moved top on goal difference, with a dipping shot from outside the area.
With three goals against Cardiff City, Eden Hazard became the fourth player to score multiple Premier League hattricks for Chelsea.