Mo Salah picks up where he left off as Liverpool sink West Ham

London: Last season's Premier League top-scorer Mo Salah has struck as Liverpool began their campaign with an easy win 4-0 at home against West Ham United.

Southampton, meanwhile, were held to a goalless draw at home to Burnley.

Liverpool's Mo Salah celebrates scoring his side's first goal against West Ham at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah celebrates scoring his side’s first goal against West Ham at Anfield on Sunday.

The Egyptian Salah gave Juergen Klopp's Liverpool side the lead after 19 minutes from Andy Robertson's precise low cross.

West Ham's new manager Manuel Pellegrini gave debuts to five of their 10 close-season signings, but his revamped team rarely threatened Liverpool's expensive new Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.

Poor defending cost them a second goal just before the interval, to Sadio Mane, who added a third after 53 minutes from an offside position.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge made it four just seconds after coming on.

"We played as good as possible today and we extended a really good pre-season into the Premier League," Klopp told the BBC.

"It was better than I could have expected. The performance of all the boys and the midfield of James and Georginio Wijnaldum was outstanding.

"It's only the middle of August and then in September the games will come. The future of football will be rotation. We need to be ready and have that quality."

Pellegrini conceded that West Ham need to do better.

"We knew before the game that our start was very difficult," he said. "In our first few games we need to play some of the big teams.

"We need to improve in attack and continue working."

Salah's goal featured an important contribution from new signing Naby Keita, while Guinea's Keita was excellent throughout. Liverpool's other debutant, Alisson, was much less involved as the London side struggled to make chances.

Their best one followed a lucky bounce off the referee but Marko Arnautovic miscued his shot.

By the interval they had conceded again after leaving three attackers unmarked in front of goal. Mane was the one who knocked in James Milner's pull-back.

He scored Liverpool's third and Sturridge came off the bench in the final few minutes to score at the far post from a corner with his first touch.

The result continued West Ham's dreadful record at Anfield, which now extends to one win in 46 league games. Liverpool, meanwhile, have not conceded a goal in their last six home games in the league – since West Ham scored against them in February.

Pellegrini gave debuts to Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere, then introduced a sixth newcomer Andriy Yarmolenko as a substitute.

Anderson and Yarmolenko had their moments but overall the visitors were comprehensively outplayed.

Burnley-Southampton stalemate

Former England keeper Joe Hart made some key saves on his league debut for the Clarets, while Saints keeper Alex McCarthy was also in inspired form.

Burnley's Ben Mee attempts an overhead kick against Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday.

Burnley’s Ben Mee attempts an overhead kick against Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Burnley dominated the first half and thought they had gone ahead in the eighth minute when former Southampton midfielder Jack Cork side-footed home, but the effort was ruled to have been offside.

McCarthy then did well to keep out a close-range shot from Aaron Lennon and a header from Jeff Hendrik as Burnley pushed for the opening goal.

Despite having played in Istanbul in the Europa League on Thursday, Burnley looked confident and moved the ball around midfield well but lacked a cutting edge in attack.

Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard, signed by Southampton during the close-season, made a strong debut and the Saints defence looked well-drilled and solid.

Mark Hughes's side looked the more likely to score after the break but England international Hart, who joined Burnley last week from Manchester City, produced some fine saves.

Hart foiled a Jack Stephens close range effort at the back post and produced a fine reaction save to keep out a glancing header from Mario Lemina.

A misplaced header from Ben Mee beat Hart but Burnley defender Matt Lowton headed clear off the line.

Danny Ings, brought in on loan from Liverpool, came off the bench to make his Southampton debut against his former club and added some variety and invention to the attack.

But a draw was a fair result, as Hart acknowledged.

"We played really well in the first half but they changed it round at halftime and pushed us in the second half. I think we're both happy with a point in the end," he said.

His opposite number McCarthy agreed.

"They were the better side in the first half and we think we were better in the second half. I was just happy to keep the ball out the back of the net," he said.

AAP, Reuters

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