LONDON: Liverpool opened their new Premier campaign by winning at Norwich for the eighth successive time in the league. Other winners were Watford, Chelsea, Leicester, Everton and Brighton.
Dutch defensive anchor Virgil van Dijk made his return for Liverpool after his lengthy injury absence at Carrow Road to helped his side to a win and a clean sheet.
Mohamed Salah stole the show though, scoring the third after setting up the first and second of Liverpool’s goals, and he has now scored on the opening day for the fifth successive season.
Van Dijk said: “It’s a good start. Now we have time to recover for next week. To be back out there helping the boys, I hope to continue that. I need games – the manager knows it, I know it.
“In the end 3-0 sounds comfortable but at times, especially at the end, we were making it difficult for ourselves. Maybe that’s fatigue, maybe we can do better – we’ll have a look at it.”
Van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury in a clash with Jordan Pickford during a 2-2 draw with Everton on 17 October last year and found it difficult having to watch as Liverpool’s title defence faltered.
He said: “Mentally it’s tough. One day you’re fully fit, the next you’re full of medication and in pain.
“Everyone has their opinion [on what happened] and you read those things because you have nothing to do! We had more injuries in key positions so couldn’t play our game, the way we want to play, with high pressure.
“The guys did a fantastic job to come through it. Hopefully we can build on it and stay fit because we can’t take that for granted either.”
Promoted Watford beat Aston Villa 3-2 in a lively clash at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to Dennis Bonaventure and Ismaila Sarr, and substitute Chucho Hernandez made it three after the hour-mark.
Villa got one back through John McGinn but Watford kept Dean Smith’s side at bay until a very late penalty from new-signing Danny Ings made the scoreline more respectable.
Brighton came from behind to win 2-1 at Burnley.
The Seagulls went behind after two minutes, and were still behind with 20 minutes left before Neal Maupay and Alexis MacAllister struck to grab the three points.
Burnley pushed for an equaliser late on but Brighton withstood the barrage.
Chelsea’s European champions strolled to a 3-0 victory against new boss Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
Marcos Alonso and Christian Pulisic put the Blues 2-0 up at half time, before Premier League debutant Trevoh Chalobah scored from long range to make it three.
The 22-year-old, who has been at Chelsea since he was eight, made a surprise debut in Wednesday’s Uefa Super Cup win over Villarreal, having impressed manager Thomas Tuchel in pre-season.
Rafa Benitez’s Everton came from behind to beat Southampton 3-1 at Goodison Park.
The Toffees went behind after new Saints striker Adam Armstrong opened his account, but a hat-trick of second half goals meant it was a good debut as Everton boss for Benitez.
Richarlison scored the first, before Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin rounded off a deserved win.
Leicester held on for a hard-fought 1-0 win against Wolves, who created plenty of chances under new manager Bruno Lage.
Jamie Vardy opened his account for the season in the 41st minute, but the Foxes really struggled to carve out decent chances.
** Promoted Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 on the opening day on Friday.