Premier League: Liverpool Rout Champions Leicester, Arsenal Edge Southampton

Roberto Firmino starred for Liverpool bagging a brace against champions Leicester City.


London: Liverpool crushed champions Leicester City 4-1 on Saturday to make a huge statement of intent in the Premier League while Arsenal edged Southampton 2-1. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Stoke City 4-0.

In front of the biggest Anfield crowd since May 1977, 53,000 fans watched Liverpool mark the unveiling of their extended main stand with a ruthless demolition of Claudio Ranieri’s champions.

Roberto Firmino opened the scoring with a clinical finish in the 13th minute and Sadio Mane increased Liverpool’s advantage with a close-range effort in the 31st.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas, playing out of position in central defence, gave Leicester a lifeline with a terrible 38th-minute backpass that Jamie Vardy drilled into the empty net.

But Adam Lallana’s rocket in the 56th minute and Firmino’s second in the 89th minute wrapped up Liverpool’s second win of the season and left Leicester contemplating a lacklustre start to their title defence.

Well done Son

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal left it late to ease the pressure on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who has been questioned over his transfer dealings and the team’s slow opening to the season.

The critics were sharpening their knives when Arsenal fell behind in the 18th minute through a Petr Cech own goal from Dusan Tadic’s free-kick.

But Arsenal equalised 11 minutes later thanks to a spectacular overhead kick from Laurent Koscielny.

And Santi Cazorla secured Arsenal’s second win of the season when the Spaniard stroked home a controversial penalty awarded for Jose Fonte’s tackle on Olivier Giroud in the 94th minute.

“It is a relief because we missed many chances and they had one or two opportunities having thrown everything forward,” Wenger said.

Tottenham swept to a 4-0 victory at bottom-of-the-table Stoke as South Korea midfielder Son Heung-Min sparkled on his first appearance of the season.

Son volleyed Tottenham in front just before half-time and netted again with a fine finish from 16 yards in the 56th minute.

Dele Alli bagged Tottenham’s third and Harry Kane sealed the rout with his first goal of the season in the 70th minute.

Watford staged a superb recovery to beat West Ham 4-2 and secure Italian manager Walter Mazzarri’s first win since taking charge in the close season.

The Hammers looked in control after Michail Antonio scored with a pair of headers in the fifth minute and 33rd minute at the London Stadium.

But Odion Ighalo netted for Watford in the 41st minute, Troy Deeney equalised in first-half stoppage time and Etienne Capoue put the visitors ahead in the 53rd minute before Jose Holebas made it four 10 minutes later.

Crystal Palace’s 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough ended a three-match winless run, Bournemouth beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 thanks to Callum Wilson’s late back-heel and Burnley drew 1-1 with Hull.

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