Premier League winners and losers – Mo Salah masterclass, West Ham horror show

Liverpool began the defence of their Premier League title with an unexpected thriller against newcomers Leeds as the 2020-21 season got underway just 48 days after the last campaign ended.

Arsenal won despite a pre-match bust-up between two of their own players, while Everton laid down a marker to finally gatecrash the top six.

And on Monday night, Frank Lampard's new-look Chelsea lived up to expectations with a 3-1 win over Brighton.

But there were some woeful performances too, with Fulham, West Ham and Tottenham all suffering defeats.

Here are the winners and loses from the opening weekend of action…

Winner of the weekend…

Mo Salah (Liverpool)

Salah became only the second player in the Premier League era to score on the opening day for the fourth consecutive season and, although his hat-trick contained two expertly-dispatched penalties, there was much more to his performance.

On a day when many of his team-mates were well below their best the Egypt international looked a continual threat and after scoring 'only' 19 league goals last season – his worst return in three seasons at Anfield – he is off to a flier.

Honourable mentions…

Willian (Arsenal)

Another Arsenal debutant opened up with a good start in his new surroundings as Willian had a hand in all three goals against Fulham.

Jack Harrison (Leeds)

The on-loan Manchester City winger had the honour of scoring Leeds' first goal on their return to the top flight after a 16-year absence.

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James Rodriguez (Everton)

Everton made a huge statement with the signing of the 2014 World Cup star from Real Madrid and he hit the ground running with a stunning performance in the win over Tottenham. Pulled the strings in midfield and looks like he could have a huge say in Everton's pursuit for glory.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Put transfer speculation to the back of his mind with an impressive display in the win over Southampton, scoring the only goal of the game and was unfortunate not to add to his tally.

Loser of the weekend…

Fulham

Fulham are being tipped by many to head straight back down to the Championship and, while we shouldn't write them off yet, there is no doubt a long and tough season lies ahead.

The Cottagers played some nice football against Arsenal, but they were caught napping as they conceded three goals in a miserable start on their return to the Premier League.

Scott Parker will have to rally his troops if they're to prove their critics wrong…

Honourable mentions…

West Ham

The Hammers were in a mild state of disarray even before a ball was kicked this season, having angered fans and players – notably captain Mark Noble – with the controversial sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom. And the Newcastle defeat hasn't helped matters…

Jose Mourinho

The Tottenham boss is facing a dressing room backlash after branding his players as “lazy” in the aftermath of their defeat by Everton. Mourinho also said he "did not like his team" and they lacked intensity, comments which have seemingly angered his players.

Kyle Bartley

The West Brom defender gave away a needles penalty in the 3-0 defeat by Leicester and was also at fault for at least one other goal, capping off a disappointing top-flight return for the Baggies.

Virgil van Dijk

There's no doubting the Dutchman's world-class ability, but the Liverpool man has rightly been pulled up for some questionable defending in the hard-fought win over Leeds.

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