Three things we learned from the Premier League

Liverpool silenced their critics with a record-equalling rout of Bournemouth, while leaders Arsenal hold the only perfect record in the Premier League.

AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Premier League this weekend:

Van Dijk expects Liverpool surge

Virgil van Dijk expects Liverpool to use Saturday’s record-equalling 9-0 demolition of Bournemouth as fuel to erase the bitter taste of their poor start to the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to win any of their first three games as lacklustre draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace were followed by a limp 2-1 loss at arch rivals Manchester United.

Van Dijk admits Liverpool had a point to prove after critics questioned their hunger and they did just that by amassing a Premier League record-equalling victory over the hapless Cherries at Anfield.

Dutch defender Van Dijk was on the scoresheet with a towering header against Bournemouth, but just as significantly, Liverpool’s creaky defence kept their first clean sheet of the season.

Asked if they were motivated after the United defeat, Van Dijk said: “Yeah. After the game you want to get the next game coming and it was good for us that we only had to wait four days so everyone was motivated.

“Lucky that we didn’t have any injuries in the week before which was a nice change. Obviously great performance.

“Today was a good start, a good win, something to build on but it is never guaranteed that we crack on from here.

“That’s what we want, that is what we work for and that is what we will try to do and it starts on Monday.”

White salutes Arsenal ‘desire’

Ben White says Arsenal’s “desire” has been the key ingredient in their perfect start to the season as the leaders came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 on Saturday.

The Gunners are the only top-flight club to win their first four games this term after Martin Odegaard and Gabriel scored to cancel out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener at the Emirates Stadium.

Gabriel’s late winner atoned for the error which led to Mitrovic breaking the deadlock after the Brazil defender was caught in possession.

Mikel Arteta’s side sit two points clear at the top after becoming only the third Arsenal team in the Premier League era to win their opening four fixtures.

Arsenal defender White believes the way his team hit back after Gabriel’s blunder underlined the spirit in the squad.

“Gabi had a little hiccup and the reaction that he gave was outstanding and helped us get the win, really,” White said.

“I think the attitude and the desire we all have every day in training is showing on the pitch now.”

Sterling sparks Chelsea

Raheem Sterling kick-started his Chelsea career with his first goals for the club in Saturday’s gritty 2-1 win against Leicester.

With Chelsea down to 10 men after Conor Gallagher’s first-half dismissal for two bookings, and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel watching from high in the stands as he served a touchline ban, it was Sterling who stepped up to inspire a much-needed victory.

The England forward, signed from Manchester City in the close season, struck twice following Gallagher’s exit, the first a deflected effort from the edge of the area and the second a tap-in from Reece James’ cross.

That was enough for Chelsea to bounce back from last week’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds with their second win of the season.

“It was a massive three points and one that we needed, especially off the back of last weekend,” Sterling said.

“Even going down to 10 men, the boys showed a lot of passion and commitment to get the job done and it was a good win for us. It was a big team performance and everyone played their part.”


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