Liverpool are off to a flying start as they welcome Norwich City back to the Premier League with a 3-0 trashing. Virgil van Dijk returned to the starting line-up alongside Joel Matip, while Klopp decided to keep players like Roberto Firmino and Fabinho on the bench. Their star signing Ibrahima Konate did not feature at all.
Norwich City began the first half well as they produced a few good passing sequences and penetrated through the Liverpool final third without much hassle. They were clearly the better side during the first 15 minutes, but all of that changed when Grant Hanley moved out of position to press Salah, whose heavy touch fell in the path of Diogo Jota. The Portuguese then opened the scoring to give Liverpool the lead. There wasn’t much that happened for the rest of the half.
However, it was all Liverpool in the second half, who constantly found themselves in good positions. Norwich City did have a few breakaways, but any hopes of a comeback were dented when Firmino came off the bench to score Liverpool’s second in the 65th minute. Salah then made it 3-0 nine minutes later to become the first-ever player in Premier League history to score on five consecutive opening days.
Find the player ratings for both sides below:
Tim Krul (GK) (5.5/10): For a keeper of his experience, he should’ve kept out the third goal. Apart from that, there wasn’t much he did wrong. He would’ve hoped to distribute the ball better.
Max Aarons (7/10): One of the best players for Norwich City, as has been the case ever since he broke into the first team. He was good defensively and created problems offensively in the first half. He completed 3 dribbles, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 clearances, 3 blocked shots.
Ben Gibson (6/10): Gibson was immense in the first half and carried on pretty much the same form in the second. However, he could have done better to prevent the second goal. He completed a game-high 12 clearances.
Grant Hanley (5/10): The Scot’s misjudgment led to the Reds getting their noses in front. He lacked sharpness and the Liverpool front three exploited that to good effect.
Dimitris Giannoulis (6/10): The left-back had a decent outing but he clearly lost the battle against Salah and Alexander-Arnold. He completed 3 tackles and 4 clearances.
Todd Cantwell (6/10): The right midfielder got into good spaces down the right-wing in the first half, but his influence waned as Liverpool began to stamp their authority.
Pierre Lees-Melou (6.5/10): Norwich’s #22 had a positive outing in the middle of the field. Although he didn’t have the best of passing rates (79.6%), he won 4 tackles and registered 2 key passes.
Lukas Rupp (5.5/10): With 4 shots to his name, Rupp shot the football more than any other Norwich player, and that was one of the only few positives from his performance.
Billy Gilmour (5/10): Another Scot in Norwich’s ranks, the Chelsea loanee had a quiet debut in the middle of the pitch. For a player of his potential, he heavily underperformed.
Milot Rashica (5.5/10): He completed 3 key passes but was no threat to Alexander-Arnold on the left flank.
Teemu Pukki (5/10): Pukki got little to no support from his fellow Norwich City teammates and had just one shot on target all evening.
Adam Idah (NA)
Joshua Sargent (NA)
Kieran Dowell (NA)
Alisson (GK) (8/10): The reliable Brazilian was not tested much until late in the second half when he made a triple save to prevent the ball from going into the back of the net. A deserved clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (8/10): It didn’t seem as if it was his first game since getting injured. He looked quick and sharp and created a lot of problems for Norwich. The right-back completed 3 key passes.
Joel Matip (7/10): Dealt with everything with ease and communicated well with his partner van Dijk at the heart of the defence.
Virgil van Dijk (7.5/10): The Dutchman returned to the starting XI and put in a reassuring performance at the back. Liverpool will be glad with this performance.
Konstantinos Tsimikas (7/10): The Greek covered for Andy Robertson and put in a decent display at left-back.
Naby Keita (7.5/10): A sort of performance that will boost Keita’s confidence. He has a chance to win a regular spot in the XI with Georginio Wijnaldum gone, and such performances will help him achieve that goal. Had an insane 95.4% pass completion rate.
James Milner (7.5/10): At 35, Milner showed that he deserves to start for Liverpool. He finished the game with 3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 clearances, and a total of 78 touches.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (4.5/10): Invisible. That is an apt way to describe his performance.
Mohamed Salah (9.5/10): 1 goal, 2 assists, what else can you ask from your team’s main man? Salah was back to his absolute best and was hungry for even more. A dream start to the new season for the Egyptian.
Diogo Jota (7.5/10): The Portuguese played as the centre-forward in place of Roberto Firmino, and justified Jurgen Klopp’s decision with a goal and a few flashes of brilliance throughout his 60-minute cameo.
Sadio Mane (7.5/10): Although Mane couldn’t get himself on the scoresheet, he was a handful for the Norwich City defenders as the left-winger. He finished the game with 3 shots, 3 key passes, and 1 dribble.
Fabinho (6/10): A good 30-minute appearance from Fabinho where he did nothing wrong but nothing noteworthy either.
Roberto Firmino (7/10): The Brazilian started on the bench but made an instant impact off the bench by scoring an easy goal.
Harvey Elliott (NA)