Liverpool 4-1 Norwich: Reds off to a flyer as they ease Premier League opener against the newly-promted Canaries 
Photo: Getty Images - John Powell

A resplendent Anfield welcomed back the European champions fittingly as Liverpool resumed normal practice in their latest pursuit of glory.

There was no glimpse of Ole Big Ears following the heroics of Madrid on June 1 after Jurgen Klopp made it publically aware that the party celebrations and euphoria of that famous night were firmly put to bed for the challenge ahead.

It's going to be practically impossible to replicate the nights of last season that will last a lifetime, but that's what Klopp's players are expected to do. This winning machine that has been oiled together have become giants of a modern era and despite looking rather rusty than expected three points easily came Liverpool's way.

The flag's emerged from all angles of the Anfield stadium glistening with that added star following the triumphs of Madrid with the face of their heroic manager sitting proudly amongst the legendary likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish and Rafa Benitez.

This latest Liverpool team have written their own history and have lifted the burden of never having something tangible for their immense progress under Klopp and it showed tonight as they schooled the travelling visitors.

The tourists on Merseyside, in this case, were the Championship winners of last season Norwich City who fielded a team without any fresh signings from the summer window as Daniel Farke opted to maintain his faith in the players that set the Championship alight last season.

To the German manager's credit, his team played with the courage and flamboyance that many promoted teams would never dream of attempting on their first night of Premier League action, let alone at the home of the European champions.

The story of the match

Norwich had very promising moments early on and caused the Reds an unfamiliar threat that looked worrying on Klopp's part. Marco Stiepermann forced Alisson Becker into an early save which the Brazilian was alert to deny the Canaries an early lead.

Farke's message was certainly not for his players to hold out and hope for the best, but rather take matters into their own hands. Even after falling four goals behind inside the first-half, Norwich never abandoned their game-plan.

Their club-captain Grant Hanley had scored an own goal inside seven minutes before Mohamed Salah demonstrated why he is once again the undoubted favourite to retain his Premier League Golden Boot after he stroked home a second.

The PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk got off the mark to expose some worrying defensive frailties on Norwich's part and it got even worse when Divock Origi headed in a fourth as the floodlights appeared to be making their way before proceedings had really started.

Alisson gives cause for concern

However, even the four goals could not deflect the sense of foreboding around the ground when Liverpool's recent Copa America-winning goalkeeper Alisson dropped to the ground signalling a problem after the Brazilian slipped taking a goal kick. The worst was feared when the physios signalled for the stretcher but Alisson was able to leave the field and was swiftly substituted for new signing Adrian San Miguel, who only signed for the Reds just four days ago.

The Spaniard arrived on a free from West Ham United and his first touch was a pass clipped out to Andy Robertson on the left side showing he looks a simple fit into Klopp's ball-playing philosophy.

No Red's hangover after last season's title heartbreak

Salah had scored the second in ruthless fashion after Norwich failed on several occasions to clear and Roberto Firmino flicked the ball through to his teammate who was never going to miss to get off the mark on the opening day similarly to last season. Trent Alexander-Arnold is already off the mark in terms of assists after picking out Origi for the fourth. Norwich's Premier League status suddenly appeared bleak at best following such naive defending that was epitomised when Hanley rashly threw a boot at Origi's cross to crash home the first goal of the 2019/20 campaign after only seven minutes.

Liverpool's previous match under the lights at the Red's famous fortress was that unforgettable encounter against Barcelona and despite once again putting four on the board it was never going to be a repeat of such a spectacle to live in Anfield folklore. Instead, this was one of those occasions where Klopp's team had to play from memory to emerge quickly into the ascendency.

Despite his players on the verge of crumbling into anarchy, Farke's insistence on a passing game weighed heavily on his player's determination to stick to their usual game. Despite the VAR delay forcing Anfield into hysterics on the new system's long-awaited debut in the Premier League play soon continued after the break, Liverpool continued to hunt in packs preying on further Norwich defensive breakdowns.

However, it was Norwich instead who capitalised on the host's sloppiness. Tim Krul made an important save to deny the Red's Champions League-winning captain Jordan Henderson which proved to be the moment the tide began to turn.

The visitors finally had something to show for their efforts when the Championship's top-scorer of last season finished instinctively past Adrian to give Norwich something to show for their efforts. The Finland international was played in nicely by Argentine midfielder Emiliano Buendia to make the five-hour journey back to Norfolk that little more bearable despite the closest train departing Liverpool Lime street as early as 6 am.

The introduction and the long-awaited return of Sadio Mane gave supporters something to smile about despite a rather uninspiring second-half showing. James Milner was also introduced after recovering from an injury that forced him to miss last week's Community Shield showdown. The pair failed to inspire nor generate another goal for the fans to cheer, in fact, it was Norwich who looked the more comfortable by the end. Liverpool got the win, but the European champions were certainly far from their best.