The Reds had still won their first league game for five years. This was not the case on Saturday at Craven Cottage, where the promoted Fulham delivered a rougher performance than expected (2-2). Led twice after two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic (32nd, 72nd), Jürgen Klopp’s men only owed their salvation to the duo Darwin Nunez – Salah, authors of a goal each (64th, 80th).
“We started the match in the exact opposite way to what we wanted. We didn’t deserve more. A lot of progress has to be made,” admitted the German manager, who also regretted the injury exit of his midfielder Thiago Alcantara at the start of the second half, an injury that worries the Liverpool staff.
Nunez at the rendezvous
The only good news of the day is the decidedly very quick adaptation of rookie Darwin Nunez, author of a goal and an assist, and directly involved in four of the five goals scored by Liverpool in his first two official matches, a week after the Community Shield won against Manchester City (3-1).
The Fulham defense went through real hell between the 64th and 69th minute, first with his equalizer on a backheel, then on two other chances obtained thanks to his heading game. He also made a pass to Salah for the second equalizer (80th).
The Uruguayan has shown his ability to weigh, to combine, to devour space, to dominate the aerial sector. So many areas in which the holder Roberto Firmino had been almost transparent in the first fifty minutes of play, until his replacement.
Tottenham in tone
The afternoon was much better for Tottenham but it will take a few weeks before optimism wins the ranks of Spurs. The latter had won their first three league games last season, under the short term of Nuno Espirito Santo, without conceding a goal before suffering three consecutive losses.
But the victory obtained by the formation of Antonio Conte against Southampton has the merit of being clear (4-1), with a good reaction following a difficult start to the match, marked by the opener of the score of the Saints (Ward- Prowse, 12th).
Ryan Sessegnon equalized less than ten minutes later thanks to good work from Kulusevski, before Spurs took the lead on the half-hour mark, again through a defender (Eric Dier, 32nd, 2-1) .
Dejan Kulusevski definitively validated the victory of his team shortly after the hour mark (63rd, 4-1), just after an own goal from Salisu (61st) and confirmed that he was ready to represent more than a complement of the two forwards Son and Kane.
This first day of the championship was also marked by the victories of Newcastle against Nottingham Forest (2-0) and Leeds against Wolverhampton (2-1).