LONDON: Champions Liverpool and Leicester City maintained their winning starts to the Premier League on Sunday.
Sadio Mane tormented Chelsea as the Liverpool forward struck twice after sparking Andreas Christensen’s dismissal in the champions’ 2-0 win, while there were six different scorers as Leicester beat Burnley 4-2.
Liverpool had made hard work of beating Leeds United 4-3 in their opener, but put Chelsea away with relative ease at Stamford Bridge.
A dull match did turn, however, on the moment Christensen decided to wrestle Mane to the ground after the striker burst through on goal just before the break.
Christensen was initially shown a yellow card but referee Paul Tierney upgraded that to a red after a VAR check and a look at the pitchside monitor.
“Once the yellow is the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely critical that it’s a red to make that difference and I’m not sure it was,” Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said.
As the champions pressed immediately after the break, Mane took five minutes to head in the opener after an interchange between Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
Yet another blunder by Kepa Arrizabalaga gifted Liverpool a second. The Chelsea goalkeeper stopped Fikayo Tomori’s back pass before trying to clear to Jorginho. But it was easily intercepted by Mane to slot into the net.
Chelsea did gain an unexpected chance to stage a comeback when Thiago Alcantara on his Liverpool debut brought down Timo Werner but Jorginho’s penalty was saved by Alisson.
Leicester moved to the top of the table on goal difference ahead of Arsenal, Everton, Crystal Palace and Liverpool after they came from behind to beat Burnley.
After a disappointing end to last season to miss out on Champions League football, Brendan Rodgers’ side have responded well with two convincing wins to start the new campaign.
Chris Wood fired the visitors into a 10th-minute lead at the King Power, but Harvey Barnes sparked the fightback 10 minutes later and Erik Pieters’ own-goal put Leicester ahead five minutes into the second half. James Justin extended the lead in the 61st and although Jimmy Dunne pulled a goal back, Dennis Praet’s powerful shot in the 79th made sure of the win.