Liverpool extend unbeaten start to season with comfortable win over West Ham

Chelsea's woes continue after defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday

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Liverpool continued their flying start to the Premier League season as they eased past West Ham with a 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's team ticked most boxes as striker Darwin Nunez netted a brilliant goal in a clinical win over a dogged West Ham, deftly steering home a volley on the hour mark.

The visitors fell behind when Mohamed Salah was hacked down by Nayef Aguerd in the 15th minute for a penalty. The Egyptian star stepped up to smash home the resulting spot kick for the opener.

However, the Hammers still managed to level before the break when Jarrod Bowen dived at the feet of Virgil van Dijk to score with a superb low header for his fourth goal of the season.

Nunez volleyed in a lofted pass from Alexis Mac Allister and Diogo Jota hooked the ball home from a late corner to wrap up a win that leaves the Reds in second spot on 16 points, two behind leaders Manchester City, while West Ham are seventh on 10 points.

After finishing fifth last season - their worst in seven campaigns - the Reds are still unbeaten in the league with five wins and a draw.

Liverpool's Mac Allister was, as expected, overjoyed by the result. "Very tough game. We knew that they were going to try and defend a lot and try to counter attack. We prepared really well for the game and thank goodness we won it," he told the BBC.

"It was my first assist for the club and even nicer because it was to Darwin, very happy, but of course the most important thing is the result.

"We are working really hard and everyone can see we have improved a lot since the beginning and this is the way and we will have to keep working."

Meanwhile, Ollie Watkins struck late to help Aston Villa earn all three points at 10-man Chelsea.

Watkins tore apart the home defence on the counter and angled his shot through Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez's legs and in off the far post.

Chelsea had been in charge for most of the match, with Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson finding space behind the defenders. But as has been the case in recent months, they failed to find the finishing touch with Villa's Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez stopping a string of chances.

Villa found more ambition after Malo Gusto was sent off in the 58th minute following a VAR check for a late tackle on Lucas Digne.

Chelsea thus failed to score for a third successive game to remain in 14th position in the league.

Elsewhere, Roberto De Zerbi's inspired double substitution helped Brighton come from behind to defeat Bournemouth 3-1.

The Seagulls trailed after Dominic Solanke's strike but went in level at half-time thanks to a Milos Kerkez own goal.

De Zerbi, who had made nine changes to his starting line-up from Thursday's Europa League defeat by AEK Athens, sent on Ansu Fati and Kaoru Mitoma at half-time.

And the pair had an instant impact, combining for an exquisite goal just 15 seconds into the second half, with Mitoma applying the finishing touch.

Japan winger Mitoma then wrapped up the victory with a late header to leave the Cherries still winless from their first six league matches.

Updated: September 24, 2023, 7:03 PM