Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak has joined Norwich City on a season-long loan.

Daniel Farke's men confirmed the deal on Monday, with the newly promoted side retaining the option to buy for a reported £12million (€14m) at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 21-year-old becomes another name on Norwich's growing list of acquisitions as they seek to retain their Premier League status.

Kabak spent the second half of the last campaign at Liverpool amid their shortage of centre-backs, appearing 13 times in all competitions.

The Turkey defender, who made the final squad for Euro 2020 in June, ranked third among Jurgen Klopp's defenders to play more than 10 games for passing accuracy, completing 87.5 per cent.

The Schalke loanee also sat third among club charts for blocks (seven) and fourth for tackles (25).

Upon joining Norwich on loan, Kabak told the club's official website: "I'm very happy to be a part of this family. I'm looking forward to playing in front of the fans and getting some points.

"I spoke with the head coach and I’m really impressed by his project and what he said to me. I believe in him and his project.

"I played in the Premier League last year and I really enjoyed it. So, I want to play again and that's why I’m here. I want to play in the Premier League and to give something to the team.

"I'm looking forward to playing in front of the fans with this jersey. We will work hard to get some wins and take some points to make our fans happy."

Manchester United defender Brandon Williams has joined Norwich City on a season-long loan.

The versatile full-back becomes Norwich's latest acquisition during a busy transfer window as they look to retain their top-flight status.

The 20-year-old's breakthrough campaign with United came in 2019-20, playing 36 times across all competitions in the absence of the injured Luke Shaw.

Playing three games more than Shaw, Williams produced 194 recoveries in comparison to the England international's total of 131, while also winning 11 more duels than his club colleague.

However, with an upturn in Shaw's form and the arrival of Alex Telles at Old Trafford, the academy product - who signed a new four-year deal last term - has fallen down the pecking order.

Upon completion of his loan move to Norwich, Williams told the club's official website: "It feels very different. It’s the first time I’ve ever played for a different club before but I’m just really excited to get started, meet everybody and get my season going.

"It’s a massive club and I like the way they play. I’ve watched them over the years and seen how they play.

"The club like to play out from the back and play football. That really inspired me to come here, and I think that the head coach can really improve me as a player."

Daniel Farke awaits confirmation over whether Williams can feature against Bournemouth in the EFL Cup, but the Norwich head coach is delighted with the new addition.

"Brandon is a young player full of potential," Farke said on Monday. "He has already proven that he can perform on the top level and that he is capable of playing for Manchester United. He has many good skills and qualities.

"We wanted to bring someone in who was capable of playing in the full-back positions to strengthen our squad.

"Brandon has played a lot at left-back for Manchester United, but we know he is also capable of playing on the right side, too."

Manchester City returned to form in style on Saturday and almost matched a Premier League record in a 5-0 hammering of Norwich City.

It was a typically dominant display from Pep Guardiola's team, who had 16 attempts compared to Norwich's one and had 66.9 per cent of the possession.

Tim Krul's own goal after seven minutes opened the floodgates, before Jack Grealish's inadvertent finish saw the £100million signing open his City account.

Aymeric Laporte made it even more comfortable, before Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez rounded off the victory.

In true Guardiola fashion, City attempted 730 passes, completing 684 of them – an accuracy of 93.7 per cent.

That is the second-highest passing accuracy Opta has on record in a Premier League match since 2003-04, with the highest being 94.2 per cent, set by City in a 4-3 win over Newcastle United in May.

Ruben Dias attempted (114) the most passes, while centre-back partner Laporte completed the most (111).

Gabriel Jesus, who provided two assists, led the way in terms of chances created, with three, while Grealish was tied with Ilkay Gundogan for crosses from open play (four).

The former Aston Villa star attempted 43 passes, completing 41 of them (95.3 per cent), with 40 of those coming in Norwich's half.

City ended a run of three defeats in a row in competitive games without scoring stretching back into last season, and Guardiola said it was just reward for the work his champions have put in.

"This result was the consequence of how many good things we have done," Guardiola said.

"We are still not at the top – there are still many things to do. We trained, we were refreshed and I'm happy for these first points.... hopefully they will not be the last!"

Liverpool went top of the Premier League after a Sadio Mane landmark goal helped the Reds sink Burnley.

The Senegal forward struck for the 50th time at Anfield in the competition, becoming just the fifth Reds star to do so in the Premier League era, as Liverpool swept to a 2-0 win.

Danny Ings joined notable company as he scored a stunning goal in Aston Villa's victory over Newcastle United, while Manchester City hit five goals in a game, which is becoming almost routine for Pep Guardiola's champions.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across four of Saturday's standout fixtures.

Liverpool 2-0 Burnley: Mane joins Salah in Anfield 50-goal club

Mane's clincher against Burnley was his 50th Premier League goal at home for Liverpool. The only players to have achieved that feat previously have been Robbie Fowler (85 goals), Steven Gerrard (69), Michael Owen (63) and Mane's team-mate Mohamed Salah (56).

Given their strong finish last term, Jurgen Klopp's team have won each of their past seven Premier League games now. That is as many victories as they enjoyed in their previous 20 games in the competition (D5 L8) and their longest winning streak in the league since a run of 18 ending in February 2020. Their run of fourth clean sheets in the league is their longest since a run of seven between December 2019 and January 2020.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's assist for Mane was the ninth time he has teed up a goal for the former Southampton man, four more than he has for any other Liverpool player.

Virgil van Dijk made his 48th home Premier League appearance with Liverpool and has lost none of those games (W43 D5), with the team's dip last season coming in his injury-enforced absence. Only Lee Sharpe has played more home games for one club in the competition without losing any of them (59 with Manchester United).

As Liverpool celebrated, Burnley were left to lick their wounds after losing five games in a row in the Premier League for the first time, last doing so in any division in the 2008-09 Championship campaign. The Clarets have lost 11 of their 15 Premier League matches against Liverpool (W2 D2), more defeats than they have suffered against any other side in the competition (losing 10 against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City).

Manchester City 5-0 Norwich City: A first for City, but a familiar outcome

For the first time in Manchester City's 25 Premier League campaigns, their opening goal of the season was an own goal, Tim Krul the unlucky man.

But if that was irregular, the final outcome surely surprised very few as the champions put the promoted Canaries to the sword.

Since Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City ahead of the 2016-17 season, there have been 49 Premier League games won by a margin of five or more goals, and the Catalan's team have been responsible for 23 of these (47 per cent).

City have now won their past four home league games against Norwich by an aggregate score of 19-1 since a 3-2 reverse in May 2013.

Jack Grealish became the first English player to score on his home Premier League debut for City since Frank Lampard netted against Chelsea in September 2014, while there was a collector's item from Aymeric Laporte. The defender scored his ninth goal for City in all competitions, but it was his first to come at the Etihad Stadium.

Norwich have had a brutal start, with a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool followed by the torture of City away. In Premier League history, only Leicester City in 2001-02 (-9) and Wigan Athletic in 2010-11 (-10) have ever had a worse goal difference from their opening two games of a season than Norwich's current -8.

Given their awful finish to the 2019-20 season, Norwich have now lost 12 consecutive Premier League games, the outright second-longest losing streak in the competition’s history, behind only Sunderland’s run of 20 from 2003 to 2005.


Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United: Diamond Ings shows his class

Former Southampton frontman Ings is looking like a smart signing by Villa already, and his bicycle kick that stunned Newcastle was a special goal.

Going back to last season with Saints, it means he has been directly involved in seven goals in his past eight Premier League starts, scoring six and assisting one. Ings also became just the fourth player to score in his first two Premier League appearances for Villa, after Dalian Atkinson in 1992, Dion Dublin in 1998 and Ross Barkley in 2020.

Villa have not lost in seven top-flight games in a row against Newcastle (W3 D4), doing so for the first time since a run of seven victories between 1955 and 1958.

The Magpies are having a tough time of it again, having lost their first two games of a league campaign for the fourth time in the past six seasons, after winning or drawing at least one of their first two fixtures in each of the 16 campaigns before that.

Their slow starts in the Premier League are becoming habitual and problematic, with Newcastle having won just two of their past 19 Premier League games in August (D6 L11), beating West Ham at home in 2017 and Tottenham away in 2019.

Leeds United 2-2 Everton: Toffees extend Premier League scoreline record

This was Everton's 70th 2-2 draw in Premier League history, and they have contested at least 15 more matches with that outcome than any other side in the competition.

If that was an all too familiar outcome, there was a first occurrence of note for the Toffees, too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin's opener was his 55th goal in all competitions for Everton, but his first scored from the penalty spot for the team who are now bossed by Rafael Benitez.

Demarai Gray scored his first Premier League goal for Everton, becoming the 34th different player to score both for and against the Toffees in the competition. Only West Ham (46), Aston Villa (42) and Liverpool (39) have had more players score for and against them in the competition.

Mateusz Klich and Raphinha earned a point for Leeds. Klich has now scored two goals in his past three Premier League games for Leeds, more than he had in his previous 32 (one). Klich has now scored five Premier League goals in total, as many as all other Polish players in the competition combined.

Since the start of last season, only Patrick Bamford (17 goals, eight assists) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Leeds United than Raphinha (seven goals, nine assists).

Pep Guardiola hailed Gabriel Jesus' display in Manchester City's 5-0 win against Norwich City and said he feels fortunate to be able to work with a player as selfless as the Brazilian.

Jesus was brought into City's starting line-up as one of five changes from last weekend's defeat to Tottenham as City produced a five-star showing against Norwich.

The Brazil international was fielded to the right of a front three that also contained Ferran Torres and Jack Grealish in Saturday's Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

While Jesus did not find the net, he played a game-high three key passes, which included assists for Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.

He also sent in the ball that led to Grant Hanley and Tim Krul inadvertently combining for City's opener and was heavily praised by Guardiola after the impressive display.

"If one person deserves respect and man of the match prizes then it's him. His mum and dad have to be so proud to have someone like him," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, the Catalan coach added: "He's a player who likes to be wider than central position.

"One of the reasons I'm a manager is when you can work with people and humans like Gabriel. He never complains, he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can.

"He's happy on left, right or centre and today the connection with Kyle [Walker] was exceptional. I'm pleased with his performance – he was involved in three of our goals and is an incredibly important player for us.

"He made an exceptional performance today, and I repeat, if he plays three minutes he plays the best three minutes for the club and everyone. The more you have in this position the better we are. When someone plays like this they deserve to play.

"He's so young, big congratulations because he deserves in life the best. He's so generous and as I say, I'm incredibly satisfied for him."

Jesus has experience of playing in a wide role with the Brazil national team, whom he helped reach the final of the Copa America last month.

The 24-year-old was given an extended break following his Copa exploits but took little time to find his groove on his first start of the season, having been introduced as a second-half substitute against Tottenham last week.

"I play more on the right for the national team," Jesus told BBC Sport. "We have a lot of good wingers here and a very good team overall.

"I feel good and I'm getting my confidence and energy back. I like to play all the time, wherever the manager tries to play me, I try to do my best always.

"I was the last one to come back after the holidays. I didn't lose too much power. I'm a little bit lucky that I can come back, train two days or one week and get back my fitness."

Grealish, Aymeric Laporte, Sterling and Riyad Mahrez were all on target for City in their routine victory after Krul had opened the scoring win an early own goal.

Since Guardiola arrived in the Premier League at the start of the 2016-17 season, City have now been responsible for 23 of the 49 games won by a five-goal margin (47 per cent).

It was a timely win for City, ending a run of three defeats in a row in competitive games without scoring stretching back into last season.

"This result was the consequence of how many good things we have done," Guardiola said.

"We are still not at the top – there are still many things to do. We trained, we were refreshed and I'm happy for these first points.... hopefully they will not be the last!"

Grealish's goal was his first for City since arriving in a British record £100million deal from Aston Villa this month on what was his home debut and third appearance overall.

The England international knew little about the goal, with Jesus' powerful cross hitting his thigh before he could react and flying past Krul.

Citing the example of "machine" Sterling, who has built a reputation for being in the right place to finish off moves, Guardiola expects Grealish to become a regular goalscorer.

"If he gets the mentality to score goals like Raheem, yeah [he can score more]," Guardiola said. "When Raheem was here when I first arrived he didn't have goals in his mind and we immediately changed his arrival.

"Today Raheem scored because he arrives in the centre, he's a machine there. He changed his mind and decided he was going to score. Jack has this mentality to score goals and win games. If he has the Raheem mentality then he can do it, too."

Jack Grealish was among the scorers as Manchester City eased past Norwich City 5-0 on Saturday for their first win of the Premier League season.

The reigning champions fell to a 1-0 loss at Tottenham in their opening game but had no trouble in seeing off their newly promoted opponents at the Etihad Stadium.

British record signing Grealish scored in an unconventional manner 22 minutes into his home debut after Tim Krul's unfortunate own goal had given the hosts an early lead.

Aymeric Laporte added to the scoring in the second half and substitutes Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez piled the misery on Norwich, who slipped to a second successive defeat on their return to the top tier.

City had won their previous three home league games against Norwich by an aggregate score of 14-1 and were ahead inside seven minutes of this latest one-sided encounter.

Gabriel Jesus chested down Rodri's diagonal pass and fired a low cross into the six-yard box, Grant Hanley diverting the ball against goalkeeper Krul and into the net.

Ferran Torres was denied a goal by VAR for Bernardo Silva's trip on Milot Rashica in the build-up, but Grealish netted soon after as Jesus' cross hit his thigh and beat Krul.

Having played a part in those opening two goals, Jesus went close to scoring one of his own early in the second half when dragging a shot just wide from range.

City's third did arrive nine minutes later when Laporte stroked home after Norwich failed to deal with a corner and the ball bounced around in the box.

Sterling was next to register with a close-range finish after being teed up by the impressive Jesus, while Mahrez rounded out the scoring late on, brilliantly controlling Ruben Dias' long pass and tucking in off the inside of the post.

Mohamed Salah does not need extra motivation to break records and achieve potential legendary status, according to Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds cruised to a 3-0 victory against Norwich in their Premier League opener on Sunday, Salah scoring one and assisting twice.

His 74th-minute curler marked his fifth consecutive goal on the opening day of a Premier League season, a feat never achieved before.

As Klopp's men prepare for Saturday against Burnley, who ended Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield last term, Salah nears another Premier League milestone.

The Egypt forward has scored 98 goals in 159 Premier League games, with only four players ever reaching 100 in their first 160 matches in the competition – Alan Shearer (124), Harry Kane (141), Sergio Aguero (147) and Thierry Henry (160).

Klopp, though, says his part in motivating Salah to achieve such accolades is limited.

"I don't have to," Klopp responded when asked if he needed to encourage Salah. "He knows that, he is aware of all these things.

"He enjoys the time here. I didn't know when he broke the record last week. When he plays as hard as he does, he comes in situations that he can score.

"He is very hungry for goals. There is no doubt about that. With his quality, he can set records in assists as well.

"I have never told him that he could be the, or one of the biggest Liverpool legends ever. That is nothing you go for. Records, yes, but becoming a legend… it [is for] after your career is over. Hopefully, he can stay like this."

Since Salah's return to the Premier League in June 2017, no Liverpool player has created more chances than his 252, while only Andy Robertson can boast as many as his 35 assists.

In the same time period, no top-flight player can match his 96 goals for the Reds, Tottenham's Harry Kane eight goals behind in second.

Indeed, Salah ran riot at Carrow Road as he was involved in nine of Liverpool's 19 shots against - no player was involved in more of their side's attempts on matchday one.

While the 29-year-old continues to cause chaos on the pitch, there is still speculation off the field with his current contract due to expire in 2023.

Asked if there was any progress with a new deal, Klopp said: "I am involved with pretty much everything in the club. We don't speak about these things.

"From the first day he came back, he has been absolutely great. We are all professionals. There are talks and there are talks.

"When there is a decision, we will tell you. Until then, it is only important how the parts work together. Two years left, you can imagine that there are talks."

Pep Guardiola had no interest in discussing a potential move for Robert Lewandowski as Manchester City still wait to make a striker signing.

Guardiola was speaking at City's news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich City, where he revealed Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt with an ankle issue.

Even without De Bruyne, City should have enough in creative areas against Norwich, having signed Jack Grealish for a British record £100million fee.

But Guardiola's men remain light up front, with Sergio Aguero departing for Barcelona and a move for Harry Kane so far failing to come to fruition.

Reports this week of Lewandowski's unhappiness at Bayern Munich, Guardiola's former club, prompted questions about possible interest.

Lewandowski was at Bayern for just two of Guardiola's three seasons but still trailed only Thomas Muller (79 and 115) for goals (67) and goal involvements (79) during the Catalan coach's tenure.

It might be an effective link-up, but Guardiola does not anticipate Lewandowski heading to the Premier League any time soon.

"Next question," he replied, as the news conference opened on Lewandowski. "Listen, Lewy is a so important player for Bayern Munich. He will stay in Bayern Munich.

"I'm not going to talk to you and your colleagues today, with 11 days left, about the transfer market. I don't know what's going to happen, nobody knows.

"Tomorrow we have a game, prepare the Arsenal game when we finish. When we come back after the international break, we'll have all the squad to fight for every game in the season."

Even if neither Kane nor an alternative like Lewandowski were signed, Guardiola would be "more than happy" with his City squad.

"It's the same team, except Sergio for Jack Grealish, that we had last season," he explained.

Asked about team news for the Norwich game, Guardiola initially said there was "no news, good news" before a specific query about De Bruyne.

"Kevin couldn't train today, so there is news," he said. "He couldn't train today, a little disturbance, so we will see tomorrow if he can play or not."

City lost their season opener 1-0 at Tottenham and only rivals Manchester United (in 1992-93, 1995-96 and 2012-13) have previously won the Premier League title after being beaten in their first match.

The reigning champions have lost their past three games in all competitions 1-0, part of a run of five defeats in seven, as many as in their previous 56 matches.

Were that miserable run to continue against Norwich, though, it would be unprecedented for a Guardiola side, as he has never seen a team lose four in a row or go four without scoring.

City last lost four straight in August 2006 and have not lost four without reply since March 1986.

Guardiola certainly is not worrying yet, adding: "We have 111 points to play, 37 games.

"I cannot deny I would have preferred to have three points, but tomorrow we have the challenge to win the first three.

"We have to win games, of course, if we want to be there close to the top of the league, but it's the second fixture.

"Many games and many things are going to happen this season. What I would like to see is the team getting better."

Liverpool have condemned an "offensive and inappropriate" chant heard during their Premier League win over Norwich City on Saturday.

The homophobic chant, which could clearly be heard on television coverage of the match, appeared to be aimed at Norwich's on-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour.

Liverpool's LGBTQ+ fan group, Kop Outs!, highlighted the issue on social media.

"Great result today marred by homophobic chanting by some of our fans targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour," the group posted.

"If you can't support without resorting to bigoted nonsense, you don't understand YNWA [you'll never walk alone]."

The club have previously criticised airings of the same chant and shared the post.

Liverpool added: "The chant is offensive and inappropriate – a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside Kop Outs. 

"We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to refrain from using it in the future."

Capacity crowds returned to Premier League stadiums this week for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp conceded his Liverpool players will have to get used to playing in front of crowds again after overseeing an opening 3-0 Premier League win at Norwich City.

Mohamed Salah set a new Premier League record by scoring on a fifth successive opening weekend, having laid on goals for Diogo Jota and substitute Roberto Firmino.

But Klopp felt Liverpool were not at their best before Jota's 26th-minute opener and suggested the capacity Carrow Road crowd was a factor.

"We saw on Sunday and Monday playing against [Athletic] Bilbao and Osasuna, we were sensationally lively from the start," he told Sky Sports, referencing Liverpool's final pre-season friendlies played out in front of fans at Anfield.

"It was not the case today. Let's get used to it. I could see it in the eyes of the players. That's fine for the first game but, of course, we want to start differently.

"And, yes, everybody has to get used to an atmosphere again. Hopefully we have a great atmosphere next Saturday [against Burnley at Anfield] and let's try to use it.

"We scored goals and controlled the game apart from two or three situations.

"It was not perfect, of course, but that's not important. It's important that we get the result and can build on it and work with it. We can work with this performance very well."

Virgil van Dijk came through 90 minutes on his first competitive appearance since last October.

"Top," Klopp said of the Dutch centre-back's display. "After that long time being out, having the pre-season he had and now being back on the pitch… it feels different.

"You could see all his quality, all his class in all moments. It was hard for him to go 90 minutes, maybe he will need a mobile ice bath.

"Kostas [Tsimikas] did really well on his first Premier League start until about 80 minutes when somebody pulled the plug. It was a very professional performance."

There was a clinical edge to Liverpool's play, one exemplified by the prolific Salah.

"They are all in good shape up front, in training they all look really sharp. But Mo is just a good footballer and he loves the competitions," Klopp added.

"As soon as it starts getting competitive again, he goes to the next gear and you saw that today."

Paul Pogba assisted four of Manchester United's goals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side started their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds United.

Bruno Fernandes netted three of them, with Mason Greenwood and Fred also getting in on the action as United issued a statement of intent.

Chelsea followed up that victory with a 3-0 win over Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, while Liverpool rounded out the day by beating newly promoted Norwich City by the same scoreline.

Leicester City, Everton, Watford and Brighton and Hove Albion also claimed wins to get their seasons started in style.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across Saturday's fixtures.

 

Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United: Pogba and Fernandes leave Whites reeling

Pogba became the seventh player in Premier League history to assist four goals in a single game on Saturday, as he and Fernandes helped United seal a record 20th opening-day win. 

Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Santi Cazorla and Harry Kane had previously teed up four goals in a Premier League match.

Two of Pogba's assists were for Fernandes, whose hat-trick was the 10th scored on the opening weekend of a Premier League season, while the playmaker was the first United player to achieve the feat since Lou Macari in 1977.

Mason Greenwood benefitted from a sublime Pogba pass shortly after Luke Ayling's sensational equaliser – the full-back's first top-flight goal – and he is now the fifth-highest scoring teenager in the history of the competition with 18 goals.

United netted five goals in their opening game of a Premier League game for only the second time, after beating Fulham 5-1 in August 2006, while Leeds shipped five in an opener for the first time.

Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool: Records tumble as Salah stars

Liverpool might have relinquished their Premier League title last season, but Mohamed Salah picked up where he left off last term as he scored and provided two assists in Liverpool's 3-0 win at Norwich.

Salah teed up both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino before netting himself in the 74th minute. It means he has scored on matchday one in all five of his Premier League seasons with Liverpool, while he is the first player in the competition's history to find the net on five consecutive opening weekends.

Norwich have now lost 11 successive top-flight games – only Sunderland have had a longer losing streak in the competition.

Firmino came on from the bench to score Liverpool's second. It was the 49th league goal scored by a substitute under Jurgen Klopp, the most of any side in the competition since the German joined in 2015, while the Brazil international also brought up the Reds' 8,000th league goal in the process.

Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace: Pulisic predictably punishes Eagles again

This trip to Stamford Bridge played out in painfully familiar fashion for Palace, who have lost more Premier League games against Chelsea (19) than versus any other side in the competition's history.

In a routine 3-0 opening-day victory, the Blues became the third team – after Tottenham (nine) and Liverpool (eight) – to win eight in a row against Palace in the Premier League era.

The nature of the first two strikes was predictable, too, with Marcos Alonso netting Chelsea's 50th direct free-kick goal in the competition – trailing only United (64) – before Christian Pulisic grabbed his fifth in five games against Palace, more than versus any other opponent.

The third was slightly more surprising, as centre-back Trevoh Chalobah's superb strike made him the second youngest Chelsea player to score on their Premier League debut for the club after Paul Hughes (22y 40d for Chalobah, 20y 274d for Hughes against Derby County in 1997).

Everton 3-1 Southampton: Benitez off to a winning start

Rafael Benitez was a contentious appointment at Everton but his tenure started with a 3-1 win over Southampton. It was the first time the Toffees have won a league match in which they trailed at half-time since September 2015.

On the other hand, since Ralph Hasenhuttl took over at Southampton in December 2018, they have lost 60 points from winning positions in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Adam Armstrong opened his Southampton account to put the visitors ahead at Goodison Park. Since the start of 2019-20, only Ivan Toney (55) has scored more goals in the top four tiers of English football.

Fresh from Olympic glory with Brazil, Richarlison scored the equaliser and has now netted in each of his last four league games against Southampton.

With Abdoulaye Doucoure lashing Everton ahead, Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 3-1 with a diving header. He has now netted 12 headed goals in the league since the start of 2019-20, four more than any other player.

Elsewhere, Leicester City saw off Wolves 1-0 thanks to Jamie Vardy's first-half effort. The Foxes have lost just one of their last 25 home league games against the Midlands club.

Only Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer (all eight) have scored more goals on the opening weekend of Premier League campaigns than Vardy (seven).

Watford 3-2 Aston Villa: Ings on the spot but post-Grealish era starts in defeat

Watford have now lost their opening league match in just one of the past 15 campaigns (W8 D6), after the Hornets overcame Aston Villa 3-2.

Emmanuel Dennis became the fourth different Nigerian player to score on his Premier League debut to put Watford ahead, with Ismaila Sarr registering his 20th goal for the club before Cucho Hernandez became the first Colombian to net on his debut in the competition.

John McGinn scored his second goal in the space of four league appearances, as many as he had in his previous 55, to pull one back, before Danny Ings converted a late penalty.

He is the 24th player to score on his Premier League bow for Villa, while his spot-kick was the 2,000th penalty scored in Premier League history.

Meanwhile, Burnley are now winless in their last 11 home league games (D5 L6) since beating Villa 3-2 in January, equaling their longest run without a win at Turf Moor, after Brighton came from behind to win 2-1.

Virgil van Dijk stated Liverpool had room for improvement despite a 3-0 win at Norwich City on his long-awaited Premier League return.

Van Dijk was playing a competitive match for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury in a collision with Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park last October.

Goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino either side of half-time put Liverpool in control before Mohamed Salah established a new Premier League record by scoring for a fifth consecutive opening weekend.

The Reds were able to close out a clean sheet but a final Opta expected goals (xG) calculation of 1.6-1.4 in Norwich's favour suggested Liverpool rode their luck at times and Van Dijk certainly thought this was the case.

"Winning here 3-0 sounds comfortable but at times we made it difficult for ourselves," he told Sky Sports.

"Maybe that's fatigue, we have to do better. But we can’t be negative about tonight.

"I need games. The manger knows it, I know it. It's time to recover and hopefully I'm ready for next week and it’s going to be a very tough one again against Burnley."

Van Dijk explained how tough it was to watch on from the sidelines as an injury-ravaged Liverpool squad saw their title defence subside last time around.

"In the beginning, mentally it’s tough," he said. "You are going from one day being fully fit to the next day you can't walk, you're full of medication and you can't sleep.

"Everyone has their opinion and you read those things because you have nothing to do.

"We struggled last season with key injuries in key positions. We couldn't play our game with high pressure. When you have midfielders playing centre-back it's not easy and the guys did a fantastic job coming third."

In terms of whether Liverpool can mount a sustained title bid against the likes of champions Manchester City, Manchester United and European champions Chelsea this time around, Van Dijk was keen not to be drawn – instead focusing upon his excitement over being back in the heat of battle.

"I don't know. The only thing we can focus on is the next game," he added, having topped the Liverpool charts for touches (92), passes (85) and successful passes (79) over the course of the 90 minutes.

"I think it's exciting to see the Premier League like this. The quality that the Premier League has with the players coming in and coming back is exciting.

"I enjoy that. If I'm thinking about our team, if we stay fit, we have a good chance to be up there. We'll see what the season brings, we have to enjoy it.

"To play against world class strikers and world class teams against where you can't predict. It’s amazing."

Liverpool got their Premier League title bid off to an untroubled start with a 3-0 win at newly promoted Norwich City.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring in the 26th minute, having been selected to start alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane up front.

Roberto Firmino, recently back in training following Brazil's run to the Copa America final, replaced Jota with an hour played at Carrow Road and swiftly got on the scoresheet.

Salah claimed both assists – the second seemingly far more intentional than the first – and duly got in on the act, finishing emphatically with 16 minutes remaining and becoming the first player to score on five consecutive Premier League opening weekends.

Tim Krul extended himself to tip over an 11th-minute header from Portugal forward Jota before his opposite number was given some work.

Teemu Pukki got in behind the returning Virgil van Dijk on the end of Todd Cantwell's dinked throughball and Alisson had to save sharply at his near post in the 19th minute.

A pleasing back and forth had developed as Salah crashed a volley just wide from Mane's chipped delivery and it was Liverpool who found the breakthrough when the Egypt star failed to control Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross, with the ball falling kindly for Jota to slot home.

Salah made a truer contact on the volley when a left-wing corner was partially cleared, with his strike blocked by Ben Gibson before Pierre Lees-Melou got in the way of Joel Matip's follow-up.

Last-ditch Norwich defending continued early in the second half as Max Aarons and Grant Hanley combined to thwart Mane.

Konstantinos Tsimikas, playing at left-back for Liverpool in the absence of Andy Robertson, stung Krul's palms after the hour and the second goal inevitably arrived when Salah retrieved another blocked Mane effort and cut the ball into Firmino's path for a simple finish.

The goal Salah's endeavours deserved arrived when he snaffled a Gibson clearance and curled impeccably beyond Krul.

Curtis Jones has been ruled out of Liverpool's opening Premier League game of the season at Norwich City through concussion.

The 20-year-old has featured in three of Liverpool's four pre-season friendlies and was pushing for inclusion for Saturday's trip to Carrow Road.

However, Jones was replaced during the first half of Monday's 3-1 win over Osasuna following a collision and will not be available this weekend as per concussion protocols.

"He had a slight concussion so we just have to follow the protocol," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told the club's official website.

"He is fine, he feels fine again, but that’s the protocol. He is available for training from Sunday on I think."

Liverpool will also be without influential left-back Andy Robertson for their meeting with Norwich, one which Jones would have been in contention to start.

The academy product made 24 appearances in the Premier League for the Reds last term, averaging 68.07 successful passes per 90 minutes, sitting him behind only Thiago Alcantara (74.64) and Jordan Henderson (83.51) among Liverpool midfielders.

Thiago and Henderson both made substitute appearances against Osasuna after returning to Liverpool following Euro 2020 duty - and both are in contention to play a part against Norwich.

Asked if there are any other fitness doubts besides Robertson and Jones, Klopp said: "No, not from an injury point of view.

"But yeah, a few players had a shorter pre-season than others. All the others are healthy."

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches against Norwich ahead of this latest meeting, scoring 44 goals across that period at an average of 3.1 per game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit and raring to go as Liverpool prepare for their Premier League opener against Norwich City on Saturday.

The right-back, who signed a new long-term contract at Anfield in July, suffered a thigh injury in June, forcing him to pull out of England's Euro 2020 squad.

Alexander-Arnold has been eased back into pre-season action and finally completed a full 90-minute outing in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

"Yes, definitely," the 22-year-old responded when asked if he was 100 per cent ready. "I’ve started pre-season quite well, in training I've been putting the work in, got the all-clear from the medical staff early doors in pre-season and have been able to push on, get fit and get the full 90 under my belt today.

"I think we've timed it well and it gives us a good couple of days to recover and then go on to Norwich next week."

Jurgen Klopp provided Alexander-Arnold his opportunity down the right flank and the wing-back has appeared in over 40 games a season for the last three campaigns – in which time the Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League.

Since the start of 2018-19, no Liverpool player has created more chances than Alexander Arnold's 212, while he also leads the assist charts with 32 in that period.

Despite failing to recreate his best form from the 2019-20 season which saw him net four times and provided 13 assists, Alexander-Arnold still managed 34 starts and two goals last campaign but was part of a defence hampered by the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as Liverpool failed to retain their top-flight crown.

But Klopp has potential problems ahead of the Norwich opener on the other flank, with Andrew Robertson sustaining a suspected ankle injury in Sunday's outing against Bilbao.

"No, I haven't seen him, to be fair, but I think you know it’s going to be quite bad if Robbo has to come off," Alexander-Arnold said after being asked if he had spoken to his full-back partner.

"It's not something that he normally does so it’s disappointing to see, but I’m sure he will bounce back as soon as he can."

With or without Robertson, after a taste of the Anfield crowd returning for the Bilbao friendly, Alexander-Arnold is excited to perform in front of them during the 2021-22 term.

"This is the moment we’ve been waiting for," he added on seeing a near-full Anfield. "Obviously last season it was very quiet in here but to have the fans back today was special for us all. We've all been waiting for this moment."

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