Liverpool player ratings as Mohamed Salah scores an 8 while Virgil van Dijk gets a 7

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Liverpool maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at Anfield.

Joel Matip scored the opener in the first half before a Mohamed Salah double in the second. Substitute Lucas Torreira grabbed a late consolation for the Gunners.

How did the Liverpool players perform individually? We take a look.

ADRIAN: Never looked entirely secure but made a couple of decent saves and was not at fault for the goal. 6/10

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD: Given a huge amount of space going forward and sent in plenty of crosses but did not find his range until the corner that set up the opening goal. 7

VIRGIL VAN DIJK: Did not look entirely comfortable playing against livewire Nicolas Pepe but commanded the back line well as usual and was a threat at the other end. 7

JOEL MATIP: Matip is not known for his ability in front of goal but it was a fine header to put Liverpool ahead. Played in an unusually advanced role in the first half due to the Reds’ dominance. 7

ANDY ROBERTSON: Sent in a dangerous cross in the opening moments but after that did not really take advantage of the space afforded to him. 6

FABINHO: A key reason for the dominance of Liverpool’s midfield. A strong showing from the Brazilian. 7

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM: Teamed up very well with Wijnaldum to ensure Liverpool kept the heat on virtually throughout the game. 7

JORDAN HENDERSON: Showed his talents in attack with some fine passes. Caught out a couple of times in the first half, allowing Arsenal to break. 6

SADIO MANE: A relatively quiet afternoon for the in-form forward, who shot straight at Bernd Leno with his best opportunity. 6

MOHAMED SALAH: A performance showing what Salah at his best is all about. Won and then took the penalty brilliantly before beating the Arsenal defence with a wonderful solo goal. 8

ROBERTO FIRMINO: One flick and shot had Anfield purring. Heavily involved without engineering a clear-cut chance himself. 7

Substitutes

JAMES MILNER (for Wijnaldum, 69): Mr Dependable. Produced one excellent block. 6

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (for Mane, 77): A brief chance to impress against his former club. 5

ADAM LALLANA (for Firmino, 86): Came on when Liverpool were on the defensive. 5

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Frank Lampard to celebrate first win in unique style after Chelsea prevail in five-goal thriller

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Lampard celebrates Chelsea's opener with Tammy Abraham.

Frank Lampard will toast his first win as Chelsea boss by spending the evening in front of a baby monitor after his young Blues downed Norwich.

Academy products Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount grabbed the goals in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Carrow Road – the Canaries twice coming from behind to draw level.

Abraham opened the scoring early on with his first senior goal for Chelsea before Todd Cantwell levelled from close range.

In-form Teemu Pukki then grabbed a second equaliser before half-time after Mount had struck.

Chelsea were more dominant in the second half and had a Kurt Zouma goal ruled out by VAR – with Abraham’s second settling an entertaining contest.

Lampard, whose third child was born last year, had not managed a win in his first three games in charge but has no grand plans to celebrate his maiden victory.

Asked if he had given himself a chance to celebrate, the former Chelsea midfielder replied: “If celebration means a couple of glasses while watching the baby monitor this evening and watching Match of the Day, then that will be it. That’s the way life is these days!

“For me, I am happy, very happy with the result. We want to win games, I want to stay in contention.

“I didn’t want a slow start. We had a tough start and I have got to say I am happy with a lot of the performances.

“But you can’t shout that too loudly if you aren’t winning games. So it changes it for me, today. So I am very happy.

“It gives me more determination to work. I saw a lot of good things, things we can improve but a real good belief in the players, the way they played today. I am happy, but determined, I suppose.”

Chelsea’s travelling support revelled in the fact their goals came from two players who have come up through the ranks at Stamford Bridge.

Abraham has spent plenty of time out on loan and excelled at Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship last season before returning to chelsea and becoming Lampard’s first-choice striker.

Mount spent last year with Lampard at Derby and the manager was pleased to see both his proteges on the scoresheet.

“I think it’s the age-old story, fans like to see players that really feel the club,” he added.

“They are not necessarily local boys, not in the modern way of football because players are from all over the world.

“But I think they enjoy seeing something because if you come through the academy here you should feel the club, if you work daily and come through at a young age your absolute desire is to do that.”

Norwich, on the back of an impressive win over Newcastle last weekend, played their part – especially in the first half.

Daniel Farke’s side had not lost a home league game since Lampard prevailed with Derby in December and Pukki continued his fine start to the season with an assist for Cantwell and his fifth goal in three games.

Ben Godfrey almost rescued a point when he headed against the crossbar, with Farke ruing the defending for Abraham’s winner.

“We conceded early but I knew the lads would react to a setback,” said the Norwich boss. “I can trust my players. For me, a draw at half-time was a fair result. They had spells, we had spells.

“In the second half for the first 15 minutes they put a lot of pressure on us and were the better side. You have to expect this. Chelsea at this level will be able to dominate for a spell against Norwich.

“They score out of a counter when we are two against one. That was disappointing.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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Liverpool look to maintain impeccable record against Arsenal and other talking points

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The Premier League’s top two coming into the weekend face off on Saturday (20:30 UAE) in a high-voltage fixture, from which both will be aiming to extend perfect records this season.

Liverpool host Arsenal following a 2-1 win at Southampton in which they had to work hard for all three points. The Gunners overcame Burnley at home with the same scoreline after Dani Ceballos inspired them with a remarkable show in midfield.

Which team will prevail in the top-of-the-table clash? We take a look at the talking points:

Liverpool look to maintain unblemished record

liverpool

The Reds have dominated the north London club in recent times.

Their current unbeaten run stretches over eight games, across all competitions.

When the two teams met at Anfield last season, Roberto Firmino ripped through the Arsenal defence to walk away with the match-ball. Liverpool were 5-1 victors in what was one-way traffic, with Arsenal failing to react to first-half carnage.

The hosts had earlier registered 4-0 and 3-1 victories in the two meetings before the onslaught. This means that the Reds enjoy an aggregate of 12-2 over the last three games played between the two sides at Anfield.

This, aided by the fact that Liverpool are on an 11-game winning streak in the Premier League – their best in the competition – means that the hosts are overwhelming favourites and will look to keep up the excellent record.

Aubameyang to back his words with performance?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed that Arsenal’s front-line is comparable to that of Liverpool – one of the deadliest in Europe.

“Pepe and me, we are quick players like Mane and Salah, while Laca is a player who can keep the ball and is really good with his feet like Firmino. So yes, we can say we are close enough,” he told Sky Sports.

Arsenal’s attack is certainly at its peak, with Ligue 1 sensation Nicolas Pepe and Real Madrid loanee Ceballos adding more firepower to the blitzing duo of Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Aubameyang, a Gabon international, scored in each of Arsenal two games this season and could cause Liverpool a lot of trouble, especially on the counter.

Unai Emery has sparingly used Pepe, but the manager indicated that he could start the former Lille star on Saturday. From what the winger showed during his time in France, Pepe could wear out Andrew Robertson and prevent him from adding much to the attack.

With Arsenal’s attack brimming with quality and Liverpool’s defence displaying unusual cracks, amplified by the injury to goalkeeper Alisson, this could be the Gunners’ best shot at breaking the curse.

A tactical surprise from Emery?

unai emery

Unai Emery has invariably preferred building from the back at Arsenal, entertaining long strings of possession and striking when most opportune.

This system is most vulnerable to Liverpool’s gegenpressing, as evidenced by their big-margin wins over Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal in the last couple of seasons.

It will be interesting to see if Emery sticks to his ideals and risks another poor result or opts for a more direct approach. Ceballos showed against Burnley that there is certain directness associated with his game and he could be Emery’s go-to man, should he go ahead with the tactical shuffle.

However, the former Real Betis starlet will be pitted against Fabinho on Saturday and not Burnley’s Ashley Westwood or Jack Cork. The 25-year-old endured a sorry start to his Liverpool career, but turned it around to grow into a crucial element of their Champions League-winning midfield.

The two players can forge an exciting battle at the centre of the pitch.

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