Liverpool: Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool maintained their 100% winning record at Anfield this season with a 3-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday, their sixth successive Premier League win at home.
Salah — who now has 200 goals in English football — became the first player in history to score in each of Liverpool’s first six home league games of a season as Juergen Klopp’s side climbed over Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal into second in the table on 27 points after 12 games.
“(Salah) is always there, is a goal threat, creates chances and is really important for us like everyone knows. Congratulations to him on his 200th goal,” Diogo Jota, Liverpool’s other scorer on the day, said.
“It’s still early doors,” he added on the title race. “We need to keep winning to be able to be in that title fight towards the end. It is a long road.” Brentford, who saw their three-match winning run end, are 10th on 16 points.
Darwin Nunez had two first-half efforts disallowed for offside as the sense of an impending goal grew.
“Outstanding. Outstanding,” Klopp said of Nunez’s performance. “Everyone can see. Look at him how he kept the ball for us, who would of thought that last year, that he could do that for us? “Work-rate was insane.” Talisman Salah finally broke the deadlock in the 39th minute after Trent Alexander-Arnold drilled a pass to Nunez who slipped it to Salah behind Brentford’s defence for a left-footed finish into the far corner.
The 31-year-old Salah headed in his second at the back post in the 62nd minute after Kostas Tsimikas slid to keep the ball in play on the byline. Jota scored in the 74th when he cut inside and bent the ball into the far corner past keeper Mark Flekken.
Nunez’s disallowed goals came within a few minutes of each other. His first was offside by just a toe, and his second was an overhead kick that would have been terrific had it counted.
Luis Diaz, whose father was released on Thursday after enduring nearly two weeks of captivity by guerrillas, received a standing ovation when he came on as a substitute late in the game.
Brentford were not without their chances, and Bryan Mbeumo was one-on-one with Alisson Becker in the first half but his effort was saved by the Liverpool keeper.
Manager Thomas Frank was angry about what he believed should have been a red card for Wataru Endo’s tackle on captain Christian Norgaard.
“Pictures of clear studs on Norgaard’s leg with blood and everything,” Frank said.
Frank’s side have been holding their own in the Premier League despite the absence of striker Ivan Toney. The team’s top scorer in each of the last three seasons is serving an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules, and cannot return to action until January 16.
Aston Villa beat Fulham
An own goal by Antonee Robinson and strikes from John McGinn and Ollie Watkins helped Aston Villa to cruise to a 3-1 Premier League win over Fulham on Sunday, matching the club’s 40-year-old record of 13 home league wins in a row.
Villa Park has become a fortress under Unai Emery as his side, along with Liverpool and Manchester City, are the only teams to have won all their home matches so far this Premier League season, with Villa netting at least three goals in every home game.
Emery’s side took the lead in the 27th minute when Youri Tielemans snapped up a ball down the left wing and fired it across the goal, where Fulham defender Robinson turned it into his own net.
Villa captain McGinn netted the second goal three minutes before the break, picking up the ball outside the box and advancing before banging a low drive into the bottom corner.
Fulham were strong after the break and Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez got a fingertip to the ball to steer a low shot from Raul Jimenez onto the far post, and Willian almost pulled a goal back with a low drive that flew just wide.
Instead Watkins added the third with a close-range finish in the 64th minute as Villa again sliced open the Fulham defence.
Fulham striker Jimenez netted his first league goal since March 2022 to reduce the deficit but they came no closer, and Watkins should have made it 4-1 but somehow steered a late close-range header wide with the goal at his mercy.
The win leaves Villa in fifth place in the table on 25 points, while the Cottagers are 16th on 12 points.
Sheffield United earn 1-1 draw against Brighton
Brighton & Hove Albion’s winless run in the Premier League extended to six games when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sheffield United on Sunday after a red card for midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud reduced the home side to 10 men.
Simon Adingra scored an early goal for Brighton but Dahoud’s sending-off for a stamp on Ben Osborn’s leg allowed United to capitalise and equalise through an Adam Webster own goal.
The result left Roberto De Zerbi’s side in eighth place with 19 points while the Blades are still in the relegation zone, in 19th place on five points.
“We’ve got to be satisfied with a point, having gone behind against a good team. Although we’re disappointed with the goal,” Blades manager Paul Heckingbottom told Sky Sports after they went two games without defeat for the first time this season.
“It would have been lovely to get the three points but we can’t be greedy. It’s something to build on.” Adingra got Brighton off to a flying start in the sixth minute when the winger scored a dazzling goal after cutting through half the United team.
The 21-year-old came in from the left flank and dribbled past five defenders while playing a one-two pass with Facundo Buonanotte before he slipped the ball past a stunned Wes Foderingham in the Blades’ goal.
Brighton dominated the first half but failed to build on that goal and De Zerbi decided to up the ante by bringing on Kaoru Mitoma and Joao Pedro for the second half.
But Brighton suffered a setback when Dahoud was sent off while fighting for the ball in midfield in the 69th minute and the numerical advantage put a spring in the step of the Blades.
Five minutes later, their incessant pressure paid off when Jayden Bogle drilled a cross into the box and Brighton centre back Webster turned it into his own net.
“We lost two points today, we should kill the game. The possibility was there to do so and we didn’t,” Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross said.
Both teams had phases where they put pressure on their opponents as they searched for a winner, with Bogle coming closest when he dragged his shot wide, but they eventually had to settle for a point.
“Brighton are a very good team so it’s a good point away from home, any point in the Premier League is a good point,” Blades midfielder Oliver Norwood said.
“They are competing in Europe, so for us to come here and get a point is good. I know they went down to 10 men but even 11 v 11 we were starting to get a grip on the game.”
West Ham win against Forest
West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek powered home a late header to seal a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest and end their winless streak in the Premier League on Sunday.
Soucek got on the end of James Ward-Prowse’s corner to seal the points for the Hammers who had gone four games without a victory in the league after a bright start to the campaign.
Forest only had themselves to blame with some slipshod defending, beginning in the third minute when a wayward pass by Nicolas Dominguez allowed Lucas Paqueta to fire home.
The visitors equalised just before the break when Taiwo Awoniyi tapped in a rebound and Forest went ahead when Anthony Elanga finished off a superb move in the 63rd minute.
But straight from the restart Jarrod Bowen was unopposed as he headed West Ham level from another Ward-Prowse delivery and West Ham finished strongly with Soucek securing the points.
Ninth in table
Victory lifted West Ham to ninth in the table with 17 points from 12 games while Forest are 15th with 13 points.
While West Ham are on the cusp of reaching the knockout rounds of the Europa League, their domestic form has been worrying of late with three successive defeats.
And when Elanga’s cool finish from Ola Aina’s cut back from the right nestled in the net, another setback loomed.
But 43 seconds after the restart, Forest switched off from a corner and Bowen, hardly the tallest player in a crowded area, was allowed to head past visiting keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos who had every right to question his defenders.
Forest’s sloppiness almost gifted a goal to Vladimir Coufal minutes later but his stretching effort hit the crossbar and bounced back into the arms of Vlachodimos.
Every time Ward-Prowse delivered the ball into the area Forest were panicky and it was his swinging corner that picked out Soucek to head the winner.
West Ham had lost their way after dominating the opening exchanges and leading and Forest will kick themselves that they went back to the Midlands empty-handed.