The Liberian Billboard Sports Desk- The English Premier League continued Sunday with three games played, ending the opening weekend of the 2018/2019 edition of the league.
In what was considered an uneven match, Liverpool beat West Ham 4-0 to kick up her 2018/2019 premier league campaign and currently sits at the top of the premier league table.
Mohamed Salah’s early goal set Liverpool on their way to their biggest opening home league win since 1932. The Egyptian tapped in a 19th-minute opener from Andy Robertson’s cross on his return to action for the Reds at Anfield. It took the visitors almost half an hour to fashion a chance of note as they struggled to stem the Liverpool attacking tide. New Reds goalkeeper Alisson, signed for £66.8m from Roma in the summer, comfortably saved a Fabian Balbuena header, one of only two efforts on target for the Hammers.
As the pressure built, the hosts doubled their advantage when Sadio Mane turned in James Milner’s cut-back after being left unmarked six yards from goal. The Senegalese forward added his second and Liverpool’s third early in the second period. Mane appeared marginally offside as he collected Roberto Firmino’s pass, but the flag stayed down and he drilled his effort beyond new West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. New signing Naby Keita, a £50m acquisition from RB Leipzig, impressed in midfield for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He contributed to Liverpool’s first goal and delivered the kind of driving performance that Steven Gerrard once produced wearing the number eight shirt. Substitute Daniel Sturridge rounded off the scoring with his first touch, 24 seconds after coming on, to ensure Liverpool recorded their 500th victory in the Premier League era. It also maintained their fine Anfield record against West Ham, who have now won just one of their past 46 top-flight visits.
The second match of the day saw Southampton and Burley end with a 0-0 draw. Former England number one, Joe Hart produced several second-half saves to keep a second successive clean sheet for the Clarets, after his £3.5m move from Manchester City last Tuesday.
Burnley controlled the tempo of the game early on, despite only returning from Turkey on Friday following Thursday’s 0-0 Europa League draw against Istanbul Basaksehir – where Hart made his debut.Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy denied Aaron Lennon early on before keeping out Jeff Hendrick’s low first-half header. But the hosts came back into the game when new signings Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi were introduced to the action. Jack Stephens saw his side-foot effort at the back post turned aside by Hart, who also saved Mario Lemina’s header.
In the last match of the day, champions Manchester City made an opening statement when they defeated Arsenal 2 goals to 0 in their opening match. The Gunners were playing their first competitive game without Arsene Wenger in charge since 1996 but were well beaten by the defending champions.
Raheem Sterling put City ahead in the 14th minute when he got the ball on the corner of the box, cut beyond two players and rifled home from 20 yards. Riyad Mahrez went close to scoring on his league debut for City when his free-kick was saved by Petr Cech, who denied Aymeric Laporte from the follow-up. It was always going to be a tough first game for Unai Emery at Arsenal and they had few clear-cut chances – with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and substitute Alexandre Lacazette shooting wide from outside the box.
City were brilliant in parts – and controlled in others – and killed off the game when Benjamin Mendy, who assisted both goals, pulled the ball back for Bernardo Silva to blast in a second. “We have a lot of players with a lack of condition but we are more than two seasons together and know what to do,” Guardiola told BBC Sport. “We made a good performance in general and day by day we will get better and better. “I am privileged to be manager of Manchester City. They have given me a fantastic squad. I cannot complain for one minute.”