London: Southampton ended Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season as they lost 0-1 in a Premier League match at Anfield on Saturday.
Southampton defender Dejan Lovren scored with a second-half header to emphatically quieten the premature talk of a title push that had been swirling around Merseyside.
Chelsea put a miserable week behind them to return to the summit with a 2-0 home win over Fulham. A first Premier League goal from John Obi Mikel, after Oscar had given them the lead, sealed a victory that will help consign to memory last weekend’s loss at Everton and their shock midweek Champions League reverse at home to Basel.
The victory moved Chelsea on to 10 points from five matches, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.
Everton celebrated a stunning 3-2 win at West Ham United with Leighton Baines twice equalising from free kicks and on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku heading a late winner.
Hull City also twice came back from a goal down to win 3-2 at Newcastle United and Stephane Sessegnon scored against his former club as West Bromwich Albion beat bottom side Sunderland 3-0.
Earlier, Aston Villa’s Libor Kozak came off the bench to score his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win at Norwich City.
Liverpool were without playmaker Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian suffered a shoulder injury against Swansea City on Monday and his creative link play was sorely missed as the Merseysiders laboured.
Southampton grew in confidence as the game wore on and looked by far the more threatening when Lovren headed them into the lead on 53 minutes. The Croat easily held off Daniel Agger to meet an Adam Lallana corner and directed his header back across goal and past Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet.
The visitors then held on comfortably to grab their second win of the season and move up to fifth in the table with eight points. “I just thought we never got going in terms of our tempo and technically we were nowhere near,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “To lose the goal from the corner was a double blow, but the players will recover from it.”
Baines was the hero for Everton after his set-pieces twice hauled them back into the match at West Ham.
The hosts went ahead through Ravel Morrison in the first half and took the lead again after the break when Mark Noble fired home from the spot before being sent off after getting a second booking.
Lukaku showed parent club Chelsea what they are missing when he headed the winner with five minutes remaining. Newcastle’s only major signing of the recent transfer window, Loic Remy was making his first home start and twice put the hosts in the lead at home to Hull.