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Result: Liverpool stroll past Southampton to maintain 100% start

:Headline: Result: Liverpool stroll past Southampton to maintain 100% start:
Mohamed Salah returns to the scoresheet as Liverpool continue their 100% start to the season with a comfortable 3-0 win over Southampton at Anfield.
By , Reporter | 1y

Title hopefuls Liverpool continued their 100% start to the Premier League season and set a new club record by cruising past Southampton 3-0 at Anfield this afternoon.

The Reds were two up inside 21 minutes and made the result safe as early as half time when Mohamed Salah ended a four-game scoring drought on the stroke of the break.

It is the first time in Liverpool's history that they have begun a campaign with seven successive wins in all competitions, following Tuesday's late Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain.

Jurgen Klopp drafted in Xherdan Shaqiri for his full Liverpool debut and the former Stoke City winger played a role in the opening goal on 10 minutes, cutting inside onto his right foot for a shot which Wesley Hoedt clumsily steered into his own net.

Southampton responded reasonably well as Jannik Vestergaard went close from a corner, and Virgil van Dijk, playing against his former club, had to be expertly positioned to ensure that Shane Long did not make the most of some good crosses into the box.

The visitors soon slipped further behind though, and it was another player to benefit from Klopp's rotation who doubled Liverpool's lead as Joel Matip got a run on 6ft 6in Vestergaard to head his first goal at Anfield beyond Alex McCarthy and into the top corner.

Klopp's men surrendered a two-goal lead to PSG in midweek but there appeared to be little danger of a repeat, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg passing up one of Southampton's few chances when he completely scuffed his half-volley from Ryan Bertrand's cross.

Salah raced up the other end and nearly scored within 15 seconds of Hojbjerg's miss, back-heeling wide of the post from inside the six-yard box, while Sadio Mane tested the handling of McCarthy as Liverpool knocked on the door for a third before the interval.

The Saints could not get to the break for some respite as Shaqiri, who was surprisingly hooked at half time despite his contribution to two goals, whipped a 30-yard free kick against the crossbar, and Salah raced in to tap home the rebound from only a yard out.

Liverpool strolled through much of the second period in second gear, although the loss of Van Dijk to injury may have soured Klopp's afternoon ahead of next week's double header against unbeaten Chelsea, who visit Anfield on Wednesday in the EFL Cup before welcoming the Reds to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Joe Gomez, rested from the start today, deputised with authority as the Reds made it eight top-flight home matches without conceding.

It was not until the final 10 minutes that Liverpool looked like adding to the score, as Andrew Robertson volleyed narrowly over the crossbar from 25 yards and Salah saw a goal disallowed for offside during a goalmouth scramble in which James Milner had two efforts blocked.

Only in stoppage time did the Saints register a shot on target when Charlie Austin's low drive was turned around the post by Alisson Becker.

With a sixth win from six, Liverpool go clear at the top of the table although Chelsea can join them on 18 points with victory over West Ham United tomorrow.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk (Gomez, 55'), Robertson; Wijnaldum (Keita, 70'), Henderson, Shaqiri (Milner, 46'); Mane, Salah, Firmino

SOUTHAMPTON (4-5-1): McCarthy; Cedric, Vestergaard, Hoedt, Bertrand; Redmond, Hojbjerg, Lemina, Romeu (Bednarek, 55'), Targett (Armstrong, 55'); Long (Austin, 79') body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
6Crystal Palace842288014
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
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Championship Table
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom116412113822
2Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest11641169722
3Preston North EndPreston1163223121121
4Swansea CitySwansea11632169721
5Leeds UnitedLeeds11623157820
6Bristol City115511813520
8Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds11614169719
9Queens Park RangersQPR116141819-119
10Charlton AthleticCharlton115331512318
11Cardiff CityCardiff114431616016
12Birmingham CityBirmingham115151114-316
13Derby CountyDerby113621515015
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn114251315-214
16Hull City113441416-213
18Luton TownLuton113261520-511
19Wigan AthleticWigan11326916-711
21Huddersfield TownHuddersfield112271218-68
24Stoke CityStoke111281122-115
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