The Warmdown: Liverpool return to a full capacity Anfield with a commanding win
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Diogo Jota of Liverpool celebrates scoring with team mates Konstantinos Tsimikas, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield on August 21, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

528 days ago was the last time Jurgen Klopp's men stepped foot onto the emerald grass of Anfield in front of a full capacity crowd and since then a lot has changed.

A few new but familiar faces were watched by the 52,000 in attendance. Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas welcomed a packed Anfield for the first time whilst Harvey Elliot made his Premier League debut start amidst the Anfield faithful. 

Their opponents were a well drilled Burnley side who had ended Liverpool's 68 home game unbeaten run the last time these two teams met at Anfield back in January of last season.

Jota opened the scoring for the Reds after some early scares by Burnley forced Alisson to pull out some impressive saves. With the absence of Andy Robertson, Tsimikas made his second league start, his first at home, and marked it with an assist. A inviting, whipped cross from the left was met by Jota who beat his marker to the ball and produced a bullet header low into the goal. That's two goals in the opening two games for the Portuguese. 

Mohamed Salah would have made it two if it wasn't for a narrowly close but correct offside call by VAR. A beautifully weighted, instinctive pass by Elliot found the Egyptian who slotted away coolly from wide right of the goal before the video assistant intervened. 

Sadio Mane also came close in the first half but lashed at his shot and saw it fly into the Kop End from close range following a brilliant deep cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Senegalese would reap his rewards in the second half and double Liverpool's lead. Starting from the back, Virgil Van Dijk would spray a cross field ball to Elliot who comfortably chested the pass down. A slide pass to Alexander-Arnold in the middle set the right back up to dink a first time chip into the path of Mane. Without hesitation the winger struck a venomous volley past Nick Pope. A real team goal. 

Liverpool go top of the Premier League table after securing all three points in their opening two games with Chelsea their opponents next week. 

Elliot impresses on debut start


With both James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unavailable, Klopp put his trust in 18-year-old Harvey Elliot to make his Premier League debut start, and boy did he not disappoint. 

The starlet played as part of the midfield three and looked as if he had been playing at this level for the past couple of years. Composed on the ball, confident in going forward and an eye for a pass he showed every reason why he should be apart of this talented squad. 

His day would've been rounded off with a brilliant assist if it wasn't for VAR, but the fact he played a full 90 minutes on his first ever league start speaks for his performance. Five fouls won and the third most touches on the pitch, his performance had a real Jack Grealish-esque feel to it. 

Another game, another clean sheet

Jota scoring two goals in the opening two games of the season should not be overshadowed by the two clean sheets that accompany them at the other end of the pitch. 

Van Dijk and Joel Matip have put in two stellar performances at the back highlighting how much the Reds missed them last season. The pair look to be the boss' first choice partnership and you can't complain about it. The gigantic duo not only put in vital tackles and interceptions but their ability to play out from the back, Van Dijk in particular, and spray a pass 40 yards is invaluable. 

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Goalkeeper Alisson also deserves a special mention for these clean sheets. The Brazilian produced a excellent save, rushing quick off his line in the dying stages of the game to keep Ashley Barnes out and Liverpool's clean sheet in tact. 

A skipper's performance

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February 26 was the last time Jordan Henderson made a start for Liverpool before injuring himself against EvertonThe captain returned to Anfield in place of the absent Fabinho. His range of passing, leadership and overall control of the game illustrated him at his best and how the team had missed him. 

With contract talks still ongoing the Liverpool faithful will be hoping Henderson can put pen to paper as a crucial player to this squad.