Liverpool ease past Norwich City at Anfield as Reds claim 4-1 win in opening Premier League game


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The last time Liverpool started a league season by beating Norwich City at home, the Reds won the title.

A 1-0 win at the start of the 1976-77 season proved to the catalyst for success as Liverpool beat Manchester City of all sides to lift the old First Division trophy.

Liverpool were at their rampant best and put four past the Championship winners in the first 45 minutes

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Liverpool were at their rampant best and put four past the Championship winners in the first 45 minutes

But after watching the Reds dismantle Norwich City on Friday night, it is highly unlikely Jurgen Klopp will need any statistics or superstitions to assure himself he has assembled a title-winning side.

Strikes from Divock Origi, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and an own goal from Grant Hanley gave the Reds a comfortable victory against last season’s Championship winners, who performed better than the scoreline suggested and grabbed a deserved consolation through Teemu Pukki.

In the four years Klopp has been in charge at Anfield, facing sides in the bottom half of the table at home was once the source of much frustration. But silencing the Canaries 4-1 sent out the clearest indicator to Pep Guardiola’s champions that the Reds mean business once again.

Daniel Farke’s side gave a good account of themselves, and their first half an hour of Premier League football since 2016 suggests they will be not cannon fodder as some critics have suggested.

Virgil van Dijk powered a header past Tim Krul in the Norwich goal

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Virgil van Dijk powered a header past Tim Krul in the Norwich goal

Norwich got off to the worst possible start as they gifted Liverpool the opener just seven minutes in, when Hanley deflected the ball into his own goal.

Divock Origi crossed from the left and when the Scotland international tried to clear the ball he inadvertently.

Liverpool doubled their lead with 19 minutes on the clock and it was last season’s top scorer Mohamed Salah who applied the assured finish.

Mohamed Salah showed he has lost none of his predatory instincts in front of goal

Getty Images – Getty

Mohamed Salah showed he has lost none of his predatory instincts in front of goal

Roberto Firmino slid the ball behind the Norwich defence and Salah took one touch before coolly steering it past Krul.

Norwich were not sitting back and had a couple of chances before Marco Stiepermann hit a shot from the edge of the area which Alisson Becker palmed away with 25 minutes gone.

But the game was less than half an hour old when Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk scored the third. Salah swung in a corner from the left and Van Dijk powered his header home.

The only negative from the first 45 minutes of the new season as far as Klopp is concerned will be the worrying sight of Alisson limping off with what appeared to be a knee injury just before the 40 minute mark.

Alisson limps off down the tunnel in clear discomfort

Getty Images – Getty

Alisson limps off down the tunnel in clear discomfort

The injury did not distract Liverpool, however, as they made if four just before the interval.

Trent Alexander-Arnold fizzed a delightful pass into the path of Origi, who glanced his header into the Canaries’ net.

A problem with the officials’ headsets delayed the start of the second half.

When play eventually resumed, Liverpool started in the same fashion and hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.

First Jordan Henderson saw Krul push his rising shot on to the bar and when the ball was recycled Firmino struggled to get it from under his feet and clipped it against the outside of the post.

Liverpool fan Dan reckons the Premier League is rigged against the Reds

Norwich refused to cave in though and grabbed a deserved goal midway through the second half.

Emi Buendia slid the ball through the Liverpool defence and Pukki controlled before shooting past Adrian.

There was to be no late rally, however, as Liverpool closed out a comfortable win.

The title hopefuls next take on Chelsea next Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup, before resuming their Premier League campaign with a trip to Southampton.

As for Norwich, Farke must rally his troops as they return to Carrow Road to take on Newcastle United next Saturday.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.


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