LONDON: Liverpool scored a superb 2-1 win at Tottenham to avenge last season’s Wembley beating but Eden Hazard’s hat-trick against Cardiff City kept Chelsea top of the Premier League table.
This was the first time Liverpool have won their first five games of a season since 1990 when they were reiging champions.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino struck either side of half-time at Wembley to make it five wins in as many games for last season’s Champions League runners-up.
Erik Lamela pounced in second-half injury time to cause a few nervous moments within a late Spurs fightback, but Liverpool dominated throughout and should have finished emphatic winners.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “For me the performance was better than the result. But the result is the most important thing and the result is perfect because winning here is so difficult.
“You need an outstanding performance to win and that’s what the boys delivered. We could have scored more and we controlled the game.
“It was our best game of the season for sure. We had 85 brilliant minutes, although unfortunately we didn’t finish the game off. Tottenham have the quality to strike back and that’s what they did off the corner.
“I’m really happy and proud of the performance. We played the type of football that is really nice for a manager. It was a very good performance, maybe our best against Tottenham. But only five per cent less and we would probably have lost.
“Tottenham won’t be happy but because we were so good, it was difficult for them. We deserved to win.”
The only cloud hanging over an otherwise successful afternoon in London was an eye injury sustained by Firmino during a 75th-minute clash with Jan Vertonghen that saw Spurs awarded a free-kick.
Klopp said: “I didn’t see it back. I only saw the situation from 60 yards. I have no clue exactly what happened. It’s something to do with the eye and for sure it’s uncomfortable for him.”
Even after Lamela had scored there was still time for Tottenham to launch one last attack and it was during this sequence that Sadio Mane appeared to hack down Son Heung-min as the South Korean was about to shoot.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “In the end, I think everyone saw it was very clearly a penalty on Son from Mane. We should be talking in a different way now because if it was given, it’s 2-2 if we score the goal.
“Now we’re talking about character and personality. We need to improve a lot.
“I want to say that Liverpool deserved the victory but if you analyse the game, there are some key moments like the goal that we conceded.
“The first half was even and then we conceded again from a set-piece. This type of game shows you that we need to improve if we want to contend for the title.”
Ironically VAR was tested off-line on Saturday during the simultaneous 3pm afternoon games.
Chelsea beat Cardiff 4-1 after the promoted Welsh club had the audacity to take an early lead at Stamford Bridge through Sol Bamba. After that Eden Hazard took over.
Hazard started and finished a fine move for the equaliser and put Chelsea ahead just before half time, before completing his hat-trick with a second half penalty. WIllian added the fourth as Maurizio Sarri’s men moved above Liverpool on goal difference.
Champions Manchester City enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 home win over Fulham which saw Germany winger Leroy Sane mark his return to the side with an early goal.
Sane struck within two minutes of his first league start of the season and David Silva and Raheem Sterling were also on target as Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
Jose Mourinho saw his Manchester United side win back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season despite Nemanja Matic’s late red card.
United edged home 2-1 against Watford at Vicarage Road and had David De Gea to thank for a stoppage-time save from Christian Kabasele as the Hornets pushed for a leveller.
The hosts had won all four of their league outings before encountering United, who ended that 100 per cent start thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling. The reply came from Andre Gray.
Ryan Fraser was the key man for Bournemouth in their 4-2 defeat of Leicester. The Cherries led 4-0 before the Foxes scored two late consolations.
It was 3-0 at half time thanks to a Fraser double and a penalty from Joshua King who would not allow Fraser to take the spot-kick to complete his hat-trick. Wes Morgan was sent off in the second half before Adam Smith made it four and Leicester scored late on through James Maddison and Marc Albrighton.
Mesut Ozil scored his first goal of the season as Arsenal shook off a slow start to cruise to a third successive Premier League victory by 2-1 at Newcastle.
The controversial former Germany playmaker cemented a 2-1 win at St James’ Park with his 58th-minute strike nine minutes after Granit Xhaka had opened the scoring with a fine free-kick.
Petr Cech was beaten only right at the end by Ciaran Clark.
Wilfried Zaha proved his star quality yet again as he scored the only goal of the game against a Huddersfield team who continue to struggle in front of goal.
The Terriers had 15 shots during the game but could only put two on target as they failed to turn their possession and chances into goals again.