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Jurgen Klopp hails Liverpool’s progress

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LONDON — Jurgen Klopp was trying to not get ahead of himself, but he couldn’t quite make it to the end of his post-match press conference without positivity flowing through his words.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday to extend their 100 percent record to start the season as they sit top of the Premier League table with five wins from five.

It is only the third time in their history that they’ve opened up a top-flight season with five wins on the spin and although it’s early days, plenty of fans and pundits believe they’re the main contenders to Manchester City for the title.

Klopp knows it is early days, but he is delighted with the progress his team has made as he hailed their best performance of the season so far.

“The performance today was better than the result. Result is perfect and winning here is so difficult, unbelievably difficult,” Klopp said. “It was a really outstanding performance that the boys delivered today. We could have scored more. We controlled the game in a way and let me say it was the best game of the season for us, for sure. We had 85 brilliant minutes.”

Klopp acknowledged that Spurs had a chance to grab a point at the end as Erik Lamela scored in injury time and then Heung-Min Son went down in the box for what looked like a penalty kick, at least from Mauricio Pochettino‘s point of view, but Liverpool were the dominant side throughout and were wasteful on the break.

The German coach said his team would have lost if they’d been ‘5 percent less’ with their performance, but they weren’t and they won again as talk about them winning the title continues.

Klopp knows issues will arise throughout the long and winding campaign, but that air of positivity reared its head once again.

Liverpool has a wonderful vibe surrounding them right now, but they do have a gruesome schedule coming up.

Two games against Chelsea (PL and League Cup), plus a crunch league game with Manchester City and UEFA Champions League clashes with PSG and Napoli await.

“I don’t have the personality to wait for problems, but I’m old enough to know they will come,” Klopp said. “It’s not often in my life I’ve had surprised. We all have the same situation in a football team. I am long enough now in this business to know nobody will play the perfect season. Not even City last season played the perfect season. That’s no problem. I only say it is still early, five games, fantastic we won all the game. Fantastic the improvement we had. The best game so far was the first matchday, but it depends a bit of the opponent maybe. This today was by far the best performance of the season. I like that development. Now we have to prove that and do it again and again and again. We will see if we can do so.”

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.