Liverpool extended their perfect start to the season with a seventh successive Premier League victory, beating Sheffield United 1-0 after home keeper Dean Henderson fumbled Georginio Wijnaldum’s 70th-minute shot at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Liverpool’s win was their 16th in succession in the league and extends their lead at the top to eight points ahead of champions Manchester City’s trip to Everton later on Saturday.
Despite taking the points, the visitors often looked lethargic, mis-hitting crosses, slicing shots and squandering possession on a ground where they had not won since 1990.
Before Henderson’s error it even looked like promoted United might snatch a shock win, with Oliver Norwood drawing a fine save from Adrian and Callum Robinson twice going close as the Blades frequently threatened.
But Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was rewarded for his positivity after throwing on Divock Origi for Jordan Henderson after 64 minutes. The change left Liverpool with four up front and the Belgian played a pivotal part in the goal.
Picking up the ball on the left, his cross was headed out to Wijnaldum on the edge of the area. As the midfielder shot, there appeared no obvious danger but the otherwise impressive Henderson somehow allowed the ball to slip through his hands and between his legs.
It was rough justice on United who were punished for one lapse in concentration in an otherwise excellent 90 minutes. Even then, they piled men forward until the final whistle in a desperate search for the equaliser.
Klopp admitted he was “frustrated” by his side’s performance. “These games, they are not all beauties and you have to work hard for the results,” he said.
“I was frustrated, and at halftime we spoke about it. We started well, but you have to do the same things again and again. It’s about body language, it starts with the centre halves, it’s the little things.”
The result put Liverpool on 21 points with United in 10th place on eight.