Liverpool got their 2019/20 Premier League campaign underway in perfect fashion, sealing an emphatic win with four first-half goals, the first of which came just seven minutes in via a Grant Hanley own goal.
Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Champions League hero Divock Origi would all extend the scoreline before Teemu Pukki capitalised on late complacency to give Norwich a consolation goal.
Front three look sharp as attacking flair purrs
Right from the first whistle, Liverpool looked on it. They were hungry for the ball, showing real intensity in their pressing as they looked to dismantle Norwich as efficiently as possible. Roberto Firmino looked really sharp despite a long summer of international duties, with the former dropping deep to regain possession and showcasing great vision to carve out intricate passes.
Elsewhere, Mohamed Salah got off the mark for the new season inside 20 minutes – the third time in a row that he’s scored on the opening day. Grabbing an assist for Van Dijk’s goal, the Egyptian impressed just as he had in the Community Shield against Manchester City.
Divock Origi made great use of his chance, with Sadio Mane only recently returning to Melwood, running the channels well and getting on the scoresheet. A lively performance was just what the doctor ordered and the overall attacking performance will have sent an early statement of intent for the season ahead.
Pattern of defensive frailties continue
Despite what the scoreline would suggest, Liverpool didn’t have it all their own way in the first-half. Yes, they scored four goals, the first of which came after just seven minutes, and yes, Norwich were completely unable to lock off their attackers, but some pre-season trends continue.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right hand side had been exposed over the course of the US tour, with the 20-year-old’s desire to get forward leaving a hole at the back. Indeed, without the necessary midfield cover, Norwich would cause similar problems, getting joy down his side that culminated in some worrying moments while Joe Gomez was also caught out on occasion.
Jurgen Klopp will be keen to clamp down on the defensive jitters and return to the impenetrable structure his back-four had last season.
A bitter blow for Alisson
One of the only real negatives from the night came when Alisson was helped off the field after an injury. The Brazilian has been an instrumental cog in Klopp’s system since joining from AS Roma, bringing communication and authority to the defence while possessing the ability to play out from the back – a feature that has brought a new edge to Liverpool’s counter-attacks.
His absence will be a huge blow in the weeks ahead, with Adrian now set for an extended spell in the team much sooner than he would’ve anticipated.