Salah on target as Liverpool start with easy win

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores their first goal.

LIVERPOOL, August 12: Mohamed Salah opened his account for the new campaign as Liverpool backed up pre-season hype they can challenge champions Manchester City for the Premier League title by sweeping aside West Ham 4-0 at Anfield.
Sadio Mane scored twice and Daniel Sturridge added a late fourth in an impressive display by Jurgen Klopp’s men as £65 million ($83 million) goalkeeper Alisson Becker kept a clean sheet on debut.
Liverpool haven’t been crowned champions of England since 1989/90 and finished 25 points behind City last season.
But after reaching the Champions League final last season and spending more than anyone else in the Premier League in the offseason, there is palpable belief that near three-decade wait can come to an end in May.
Midfielder Naby Keita and Alisson were the only debutants to start from a reported £170 million summer splurge in the transfer market as Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri had to make do with a place on the bench.
However, there was little tinkering for Klopp to do up front after Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino combined for 91 goals last season, and they again provided the firepower to outclass a sorry West Ham despite their own near £100 million outlay on nine new players.
Salah and Mane’s pain at international level was Liverpool’s gain as early exits at the World Cup with Egypt and Senegal meant they could join the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, unlike a host of Premier League stars who returned to training just last week after their exertions in Russia.
A revelation in his first season at Anfield with 44 goals in all competitions, Salah is now a marked man.
Southampton hold Burnley
Former England first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart kept his second successive clean sheet for Burnley in an entertaining scoreless draw with Southampton in their Premier League clash on Sunday.
Hart, who made his Burnley debut in Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Istanbul Basaksehir in Europa League qualifying, made a couple of outstanding saves while former Clarets favourite Danny Ings made a similarly eye-catching debut for Southampton after his loan move from Liverpool. (AFP)