All but one of the top six picked up wins on matchday one in the Premier League. How did Liverpool look compared to their rivals?
Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City
The Reds weren’t without problems but their opening game was as comfortable as it could be in the end. 4-0 up at half-time, Liverpool just saw out the second half.
Going forward, Liverpool look sharp. Defensively, however, there was clear rust and Norwich got in on a good few occasions. Alisson’s injury makes things tougher back there, too. Still, things were routine – and that’s what’s required this season.
West Ham United 0 – 5 Manchester City
There was VAR ‘controversy’ and City didn’t start particularly well, but this was an expected result. City won there 4-0 last campaign and 4-1 the season before. Raheem Sterling is a worry for the rest – he looked unstoppable.
Same old City, it seems. They did start slowly, though, and it remains to be seen if Rodri can influence things as well as the ageing Fernandinho. Questions still need to be answered, much like Liverpool – although, both teams look the most comfortable of the top six after matchday one.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa
The real worry for Spurs is that little happened until Christian Eriksen got on the pitch. He could still leave before the end of the month and if he does, Spurs have problems.
Giovani Lo Celso may fill that void but their ability to compete this season, based on their first game, could well hinge on Eriksen staying.
Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal
Tough to read into this one too much, given Newcastle’s problems. Arsenal have multiple new signings to come back in, too. The big question will be how they look after David Luiz and Kieran Tierney lineup for them.
Right now, Liverpool look sharper. Despite their summer, Arsenal don’t look to be at that top level – yet.
Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea
What a strange game. Chelsea didn’t look too bad, honestly, but struggled to both create chances and put them away. Perhaps that’s to be expected when your attack features two players who played Championship football last season.
At the back, though, they fell to pieces, unable to handle United’s counter-attack. That’s something that should excite Liverpool ahead of the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.
They appear to have a long way to go – although, the transfer ban and Eden Hazard’s exit was always going to make things difficult. Right now, Liverpool don’t have too much to worry about from Chelsea.
As for United, it was an emphatic win but they appeared to have plenty of issues at the back. Chelsea got in fairly easily on several occasions and the balance in midfield didn’t seem quite right.
Going forward, they were emphatic in the second half as Chelsea pushed forward. That will surely be their biggest asset. But we need to see them against an efficient attack before we judge them properly.
How Liverpool compare
The top six looks about where you’d expect after matchday one. Liverpool and City look the most comfortable, picking up routine wins, and will fight for the title on early evidence.
The others need to sort a few things out before we judge them properly. But all sides have questions about them – luckily we’ll learn quite a lot more after this coming weekend.