Reds Open The Season With A Win

Liverpool collected their first victory of the Premier League season in some style on Sunday after putting four past West Ham with no return. Expectations were high for the Reds who had strengthened their side during the summer transfer window but there was no reason to fear as Klopp’s side made this game look relatively straightforward.

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The Liverpool XI featured new signings Keita and Alisson but Shaqiri and Fabinho started on the bench. Keita, in particular, made a real impression on the game leaving pundits drooling over his obvious ability. He’s the kind of player who is always looking for the next ball, the next pass, the next move forward and just going off Sunday’s performance I think we can expect to see a lot from him this season.

The first goal for the Reds came from a familiar face, Mr Mo Salah! In the right place, at the right time, the Egyptian king was never going to miss this opportunity as he converted Andy Robertson’s cross. I was never in any doubt that Mo would hit the ground running this season but I think it’s very important that he did find the net in the first game.

The more time went on without Mo having scored, the more nervy things would have got. Pressure builds on a striker in any season but even more so after you pulled off such a phenomenal 2017/2018.

Next on the scoresheet for the Reds was Sadio Mane. Sometimes overlooked slightly due to battling for attention with his teammates Salah and Firmino, Mane always does a cracking job in my book and was the standout player in my opinion in last year’s Champions League final. His first goal of the afternoon came just before the half-time whistle. It was a good time to score for the Reds who were clearly on top of the game but could have perhaps done with an extended lead. Mane was left unmarked by the West Ham defence who were perhaps caught slacking, an easy conversion for Sadio put Liverpool 2-0 up.

West Ham will be an interesting team in the league this season I feel, Pellegrini has enough experience to navigate his side to safety I believe but I am unsure as to whether they will be able to pull off anything special. Some of the signings they have made will, of course, make an impact but judging by yesterday’s performance they may struggle against some of the bigger teams.

Mane’s second goal appeared to be offside but he cannot be faulted for playing to the whistle and again West Ham were caught. Sadio, assisted by Roberto Firmino, scored Liverpool’s third goal. It was Daniel Sturridge though who perhaps had the headlines. The forward has not scored for Liverpool in 10 months and after a loan spell at West Brom was marred by injury, there were several people wondering whether the striker would ever appear in a Liverpool shirt again.

For me, though it’s clear that Sturridge has always been happy at Anfield. Obviously, he would prefer to be starting every game but he’s also there to do a job and help his team and if that means coming off the bench for 20 minutes then so be it. Sturridge was introduced at 87 minutes on Sunday and within 24 seconds he’d found the back of the net, you just couldn’t write it! It was fantastic to see him complete his signature dance in front of the Anfield faithful and his impact again highlights the level of strength the Reds now have at their disposal.

In seasons gone by, if a game wasn’t exactly going to plan by 70 minutes you’d look to our options on the bench and struggle to see who could make a difference but yesterday we had Shaqiri, Fabinho, Henderson, Sturridge etc. That kind of flexibility is going to massively help us as the season goes on and I for one can’t wait for the next match!