London, 29 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Champions Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season as they came from behind to beat Arsenal 3-1 on Monday.
Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead but Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and new signing Diogo Jota scored the goals as Liverpool joined Everton and Leicester at the top with nine points.
“The football we played tonight was absolutely exceptional,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.
“From the first second dominant against a team in form. We won it completely deserved. Could we have scored more goals? Yes. Could they have scored more, obviously.”
Lacazette gave Arsenal the lead on 25 minutes against the run of play after a mix-up in the Liverpool defence.
But their lead lasted just two minutes as Mane scored from close range and Robertson then made it 2-1 before half-time.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson denied Lacazette in a 1-on-1 chance before substitute Jota, who had already hit the side netting, scored on his home debut with a fine finish on 88 minutes to seal the victory.
“We can’t have too many complaints, other than my assist at the wrong end,” Liverpool full back Robertson said.
“Ninety-nine times out of 100 I clear that. The lads dug me out of a hole. A couple of years ago I’d have let that get to my performance.
“We showed a positive reaction. We could have had a couple more. We’ll take the 3-1. It’s nice to beat your rivals and make it three wins from three.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted his side still have a long way to go before they can match Liverpool.
“We were in the game for a big part of the game (but) the reality is they are superior to us in many aspects. You could see that is some phases,” he said.
“I’m really happy in the way the team competed and kept believing. This is the standard we have to reach. We are on a different journey. They’ve been together five years, we’ve had a few months.”
Fulham owner Tony Khan took to social media to apologize after his side were beaten 3-0 at home by Aston Villa in the night’s other match.
Jack Grealish put Aston Villa ahead after only four minutes, Conor Hourihane doubled the lead 11 minutes later and defender Tyrone Mings finished it off on 48 minutes to leave Fulham bottom.
“I apologize to Fulham FC supporters for our performance tonight,” Khan said on Twitter.
“We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley, I’m sorry we haven’t yet as 2 got COVID + we lost a Free we thought was close + had another issue with a 4th CB. I promise players in + better efforts from this squad.
“I should + will apologize repeatedly for that performance. I’m sorry everybody. We all need to do a better job. Everyone at the club for the past year worked really hard to get the team up, & now we need to work significantly harder to stay up. I promise better efforts than today.”
Villa manager Dean Smith was delighted with the effort put in by his players.
“They gave me everything and they’ve continued to do that since the end of last season,” he said.
“I feel like we’ve added well to the squad. The players that were there at the end of last season also have improved and there are lots of positives.”
Fulham manager Scott Parker was at a loss to explain the defeat.
“It’s difficult, really,” he said. “For large parts I liked us. I thought we had a real quality about us but I’m stood here now for third game repeating myself.
“The first time they get into our box we concede, the second time the same. You can’t give away goals like we have given away goals in this league. We need to improve.”