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Liverpool too good for Arsenal

Van Aanholt gives Palace shock 2-1 win at Man United

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores his side’s second goal of the game from the penalty spot during the English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at Anfield, Liverpool, England on Aug 24. (AP)

LIVERPOOL, England, Aug 24, (Agencies): Liverpool made it three wins out of three as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday to take control at the top of the Premier League.

 Arsenal had won their opening two games and the Gunners’ record signing, winger Nicolas Pepe, could have opened the scoring three times as he threatened on the counter-attack.

 Yet four minutes before the break, the European champions, who dominated the early possession, broke the deadlock with Joel Matip rising to power home a header from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

 The game looked poised at the interval but Liverpool doubled their lead just four minutes after the restart as Arsenal’s former Chelsea defender David Luiz blatantly pulled Salah’s shirt in the box and the Egyptian hammered home the resulting spot kick.

 It was an inexplicable decision from Luiz and his bad day continued when he was left for dead by Salah, who burst goalwards and then superbly buried the ball in the far bottom corner to make it 3-0.  Substitute Lucas Torreira pulled a goal back for Arsenal in the 85th minute, but by then the damage had been done.

In Manchester, a stoppage-time goal by defender Patrick van Aanholt gave Crystal Palace their first Premier League win at Old Trafford as they beat a toothless Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday.

Van Aanholt powered a shot past United keeper David De Gea after new signing Daniel James scored an 89th-minute equaliser to cancel out Jordan Ayew’s first-half opener for the visitors.

Marcus Rashford, who put in a forgettable performance like most of his team mates as United lacked creativity in midfield and bite up front, missed a 70th-minute penalty when his spot-kick cannoned off the post.

The result left both sides on four points from three games but while Palace manager Roy Hodgson will have been delighted with his team’s smash-and-grab victory, his counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fuming.

Palace soaked up pressure in the opening stages and Ayew scored in the 32nd minute as Jeffrey Schlupp headed on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita’s punt upfield and the Ghanaian striker steered a low shot past De Gea after taking the ball in his stride. With Pogba missing a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rashford stepped up after Luka Milivojevic tripped Scott McTominay and failed to score despite sending Guaita the wrong way.

Wales winger James, who scored on his debut in the 4-0 home win over Chelsea, equalised when he curled a delightful shot into the top corner after the home side’s solitary flowing move of the afternoon.

Norwich 2, Chelsea 3

In Norwich, Tammy Abraham scored twice as Chelsea beat Norwich 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to hand Frank Lampard his first win as manager in his fourth match in charge.

The young English striker had already opened the scoring in the fourth minute of a wild game at Carrow Road when he controlled a pass forward and smashed home a fierce shot from the edge of the area for the winner in the 69th. Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time scorer who took over from Maurizio Sarri this offseason, has shown faith in youth in his early weeks at the helm and another youngster, playmaker Mason Mount, scored the team’s other goal against the promoted hosts.

Chelsea had lost 4-0 at Manchester United and been held 1-1 by Leicester in its opening two league matches, while also losing the UEFA Super League to Liverpool in a penalty shootout.

Teemu Pukki, an early sensation in the Premier League this season , made it five goals in his first three games in the English top flight by scoring Norwich’s second, having laid on the first for Todd Cantwell that brought the home side level.

Sheffield Utd 1, Leicester City 2

In Sheffield, Harvey Barnes thrashed home a magnificent strike to earn Leicester City a 2-1 win on the road on Saturday while rudely ending Sheffield United’s bright start to their return to the Premier League.

After a Jamie Vardy goal had underlined City’s first-half domination, United fought back in stirring fashion on home soil at Bramall Lane to equalise just after the hour through record signing and substitute Ollie McBurnie.

Yet their unbeaten opening to life in the top-flight was then undone by a remarkable goal from Barnes, who powered home a half-volley from outside the box after being found by Christian Fuchs’ cross.

United, undefeated after two matches, went into the game with dreams of going, temporarily at least, to the top of the table but Sheffield-born Vardy’s clinical 38th-minute finish always looked on the cards as Leicester controlled affairs.

Watford 1, West Ham 3

In London, record signing Sebastien Haller scored a tap-in and a superb bicycle kick for West Ham as they beat Watford 3-1 in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Saturday, the home side’s third straight league defeat of the season.  On the 15th anniversary of his West Ham debut, Mark Noble put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Manuel Lanzini was crudely chopped down in the box by Abdoulaye Doucoure in the opening minute.

Andre Gray scored Watford’s first goal of the season to put the home side level in the 17th minute, latching on to a Will Hughes pass and lashing the ball home first time. After a superb attacking display in the first half, Watford started the second period brightly but the wheels came off when Hughes missed from point-blank range after more good work by Gray.

That mistake was to prove costly in the 64th minute as Felipe Anderson got free down the left before angling a pass in to the feet of Haller, who signed for a reported 45 million pounds ($55.25 million) from Eintracht Frankfurt in July, and he fired home with ease.

Brighton 0, Southampton 2

In Brighton, Southampton collected their first Premier League points of the season with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion, courtesy of second-half goals from new signing Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond, at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Brighton started on the front foot with forward Neal Maupay creating the early chances but the hosts suffered a blow on the half-hour mark when Florin Andone was shown a straight red card for a horrific tackle on Southampton Yan Valery’s knee.

“The red card would make it difficult for the rest of the game,” Brighton boss Graham Potter said after the match.

“That’s not a tackle we want to see. I don’t think he meant to do it but it’s one we can’t defend.”

Reduced to 10 men, Brighton thought they had taken a surprise lead with centre back Lewis Dunk heading home from a corner but the goal was swiftly chalked off for offside after a VAR review.

Southampton were more aggressive after the interval and they were rewarded when Djenepo, signed for a reported 14 million pounds ($17.2 million) from Standard Liege, curled a rasping shot past Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

It was Djenepo’s first involvement after coming off the bench in the 53rd minute and his strike partner Danny Ings was delighted to watch the Malian forward make an instant impact.

“Moussa Djenepo let his feet do the talking, coming inside and put it in the top corner — it was a huge lift, fresh legs coming on and on a hot day,” Ings said.

Potter introduced striker Glenn Murray late in the contest as Brighton tried to avoid their first league defeat of the new season.

Juergen Locadia struck the post for Brighton but it was Southampton midfielder Redmond who slid home Sofiane Boufal’s cross from close range to seal the points for the visitors in injury time.

“I should probably get more of those sort of goals in those areas,” Redmond said.

“It’s getting tough to win games in the Premier League – teams are playing good football.

“If you don’t get points against teams around us then we’ll be kicking ourselves later in the campaign.”

It was a first league win since April for Southampton, who provisionally moved up to 17th in the league table.

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