Manchester United beat Liverpool last time out. | PETER POWELL

Liverpool's slow start has been the most surprising theme of the new Premier League season and while there is no sense of panic at Anfield the alarm bells will start to ring if they fail to beat Bournemouth at home on Saturday.

Three games in, Liverpool have managed only two points from fixtures against Fulham, Crystal Palace and supposed "crisis club" Manchester United.

Monday's defeat at Old Trafford means Liverpool have suffered their worst start to a season under Juergen Klopp and have failed to win any of their opening three games for the first time since 2012-13.

There are mitigating factors, namely a long injury list, but the sight of Manchester United out-running and out-pressing Klopp's unusually listless side will be a concern.

Midfielder James Milner's public dressing down of Virgil van Dijk after United's opening goal also hinted at some tension in the usually tight-knit Liverpool ranks.

Liverpool have yet to lead a game this season as they have struggled to rediscover their trademark intensity, a situation left back Andy Robertson said must change soon.

"We gave every team a goal start and that's the base of the game," the Scot said after the Old Trafford defeat.

"You can't keep giving yourself an uphill battle. We've conceded an early goal again, started slow again, that's what needs to change. We need to pull our fingers out quickly."

Liverpool will again be without new signing Darwin Nunez against Bournemouth as he continues his suspension following a red card for a headbutt against Palace.

They will also be without midfielder Thiago Alcantara, striker Diogo Jota, defender Ibrahima Konate against Bournemouth while midfielder Naby Keita is doubtful.

But even with so many absentees, Liverpool will be expected to get their season up and running against promoted Bournemouth who lost 4-0 to Manchester City and 3-0 to Arsenal in their previous two league games. While Liverpool seek a first win, early leaders Arsenal will aim to maintain the only remaining 100% record as they host Fulham on Saturday.

It is Arsenal's best start to a Premier League season for 17 years and a mood of optimism is sweeping the club, although manager Mikel Arteta remains cautious.

"It is just three games, it doesn't mean anything," the Spaniard said. The weekend programme kicks off with Manchester United at Southampton, hoping to prove that their impressive defeat of Liverpool was no flash in the pan.

Manager Erik ten Hag has challenged his players to repeat the work ethic they displayed against Liverpool every week.

"What I demand is that players bring the top spirit every day. Every day, they have to bring it to the club," he said. "It has to be a way of life and I hope they understand."

Champions Manchester City, who dropped their first points in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle United, host Crystal Palace while surprise package Leeds United, who are third, aim to back up their win against Chelsea with an away trip to Brighton who are also unbeaten. Fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are away at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.