Liverpool romped to a wonderful 3-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday. Here are five things we learned as the Reds kicked off their season.
Virgil van Dijk didn’t just make his competitive return here – he started the game. That’s huge news for Liverpool and suggests we’ll get close to a full season of the Dutchman.
Though, the Reds will continue to be careful with Van Dijk. Maybe he doesn’t start the next one, maybe they’ll take him off early a few times.
Regardless, Van Dijk is back and Liverpool are instantly a far better team.
No Jordan Henderson or Thiago for this one – but we knew that. Fabinho not starting the game was a surprise, though.
It meant Klopp played James Milner behind Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. All three are players with some doubts about them, be it age, injury or form, but they were okay here.
Getting three points with a midfield entirely made up of your backup players is something to shout about. If all three stay fit, Liverpool can boast some decent midfield depth. There’s Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones about, too, of course.
Firmino v Jota
Both Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota got goals here and both did it with very different styles. That gives Klopp plenty to think about.
Jota kept his head up towards goal, running in behind, leading the charge and as a traditional no.9.
Firmino, on the other hand, played his usual link-man role, dropping deep to connect with midfield. We’ve got ot say, Liverpool gave themselves much more control with the Brazilian there.
But what a wonderful situation for Klopp. Two different styles, both of which work well and give you goals. There are real options up top this season.
A special mention for Mohamed Salah – what a performance this was. Two assists and a goal for the Egyptian as he bagged on opening day for the fifth year in a row.
It’s a reminder of how important Salah will be again this season. He’s an elite forward, capable of doing damage from anywhere. That’s not news to anyone, of course, but we’ll shout about it nonetheless.
After last year, we wanted to see signs that Liverpool were on their way back to their standards of the previous two seasons. We got that in the best way.
The defence was solid, though with room to improve, while Liverpool were lethal going forward as they beat Norwich 3-0. This was reminiscent of the dominant side that cantered to the title.
Yes, it’s matchday one but this was a fantastic reminder that last year was an anomaly. This team can with the title.