As Liverpool stepped up to face ex-Liverpool player, Luis Suarez’s, favourite opposition, the atmosphere created by the returning fans made everything a million times intense. Played out at Carrow Road, the contest was a soothing sight to the sore eyes of Liverpool fans who were heartbroken by their last season’s failed attempt for the title. The match was everything everyone expected. Van Dijk’s clearing headers, Jota scoring on his return, Salah running riot on opening day (for five seasons now), this faceoff had it all.
The home team fielded a strong playing 11 with Pukki, Cantwell, and club debutant Billy Gilmour playing his first match for the boys in green in the Premier League. A good team on paper that had caused quite a few upsets against Premier League giants two seasons back. Liverpool on the other hand came into this game with a renewed confidence after the return of their first-choice center-backs, Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk. Along with the return of the two boulders of the Liverpool defence was the return of Naby Keita and Diogo Jota, the scorer of Liverpool’s first goal. With a much better squad available, Jurgen Klopp’s men entered the match with only one objective insight.
The match started slowly with Norwich playing possession football and trying to prevent Liverpool counterattacks. Both sides had an even match within the first twenty-five minutes, creating half chances and having a few goal attempts. The match picked up pace when Jota managed to score after the Canaries failed to clear their lines and defended feebly. Norwich had finally broken down under the relentless Gegenpress of a well-drilled Liverpool team.
What followed was Liverpool clicking through their gears and giving everyone the hard metal football they are known for. 19 shots with 8 on target tell the story of Liverpool’s relentless approach. Although not at their clinical best, Liverpool gave Norwich enough to worry about as they drilled through their defence through their pace and constantly attacking fullbacks. Tsimikas filled in for the injured Scottish international, Andrew Robertson, and ended up doing a pretty decent job along with the evergreen Trent Alexander Arnold on the other side.
Norwich tried to put up a decent fight against the visitors but their loose defending was their undoing. With two of the three goals they conceded coming from defensive errors, Daniel Farke will have to amend his tactics if he wants his team to stay up in the Premier League. Pukki didn’t seem to get any service due to the towering defenders he was trying to beat. There is still the rest of the season left so they still have time to get it right.
The floodgates opened in the 26th minute when Jota scored after Salah managed to exploit a defensive error by the Canaries backline. The home team has looked shaky since then. Firmino doubled the lead for the visitors in the 65th minute through a Salah assist again. Within the next 10 minutes, Salah put the game to bed with a goal and topped his impressive performance with a goal to his name.
Liverpool started their campaign with a morale-boosting win and will be looking forward to playing the same way for the rest of the season to lead the title charge. Norwich on the other hand will be looking to learn from their errors and hope to win the upcoming matches.