Football-Liverpool and Brighton in the lead, Man City bounce back By Reuters
© Reuters. Soccer Football – Premier League – Liverpool v Burnley – Anfield, Liverpool, Great Britain – August 21st 2021 Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates his second goal with Diogo Jota REUTERS / Russell Cheyne
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – Liverpool hosted a full house at Anfield and rewarded them with a 2-0 win over Burnley to climb to the top of the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion also showing impressive early form to post a second victory Saturday.
Juergen Klopp’s side started slowly with Burnley hitting the post in the opening five minutes, but goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane helped them to a comfortable victory.
Brighton joined them six points later with a comfortable 2-0 win over Watford – Shane Duffy and Neal Maupay on target.
Champions Manchester City rebounded from their Day 1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur to demolish promoted Norwich City 5-0 with the record signing Jack Grealish scoring on his home debut.
Brentford maintained their impressive start to their first top campaign in 74 years as they played a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace while Everton and Leeds United also shared the points in a draw 2 -2 at Elland Road.
Newcastle United suffered a second straight loss as they lost 2-0 to Aston Villa.
It was an emotional day at Anfield where the first capacity crowd since March 2020 paid tribute to lifelong fan Andrew Devine, the 97th victim of the Hillsborough tragedy who died in July, 32 years after suffering life-changing injuries .
If anything, the atmosphere embarrassed Liverpool from the start and Dwight McNeil hit the post for Burnley.
But Jota settled the nerves in the 18th minute, heading in the first game ahead of Nick Pope.
Burnley saw a goal from Ashley Barnes disallowed for offside, but Liverpool dominated after the break with 17 goal attempts but had to wait until the 69th minute to secure the points when Mane scored his 50th goal for Liverpool thanks to an assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“Everyone was really looking forward to this football festival, this game, and I don’t think anyone leaves this place today with any disappointment because I think all of our dreams have been realized today, in terms of ‘ambiance,’ Klopp said.
“The way the game was also was pretty special, because Burnley is Burnley – and Burnley is giving you trouble.”
Brighton took back-to-back wins at the start of a top-level season for the first time in history with Duffy in the lead and Maupay grabbing a mistake to bring the score to 2-0 shortly before halftime.
Manchester City were not up to speed last weekend against Tottenham but have been ruthless against a Norwich side who faced a cruel matchlist to kick off their top-flight return.
City took the lead in the seventh minute when Gabriel Jesus’ cross forced a panicked clearance that bounced into the net of Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul before the £ 100million man Grealish found himself in a cross. Jesus in the 22nd minute.
Aymeric Laporte made it 3-0 in the 65th minute before substitutes Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez ended the rout.
“This result is the consequence of the number of good things we have done,” said city manager Pep Guardiola.
“We are still not at the top, there is still a lot to do. We trained, we were refreshed, happy with these first points … I hope they will not be the last!”
While Grealish scored on his home debut for City, Danny Ings did the same for Aston Villa, producing an acrobatic cycle kick volley to open the scoring against Newcastle.
Anwar El Ghazi’s penalty sealed the points.
“We saw Danny Ings do it against us so it’s good he’s an Aston Villa player now,” Villa boss Dean Smith said of the striker they recruited from Southampton .
Leeds have fought twice to draw Everton in a scintillating clash at Elland Road.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty gave Everton a lead which was canceled out by Mateusz Klich but Demarai Gray gave Everton the lead again.
Raphinha put in a superb effort with 18 minutes remaining to give Leeds their first point of the season.
Patrick Vieira got his first point as Crystal Palace manager in a lackluster stalemate with London rivals Brentford who have yet to concede.
Chelsea will face Arsenal on Sunday after host Southampton, Manchester United, and Tottenham surrendered to Wolves.