Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool: Ratings as Reds ease to opening day victory

DON KOPLEONE rates the Reds as they began the new season with a comfortable victory over Norwich City without ever really having to get out of second gear.

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After both Manchester United and Chelsea lay down early-season markers on the first Saturday of the Premier League season, Liverpool travelled to Norwich looking to make their own statement.

The Reds’ record on the opening day is very good under Jürgen Klopp, just as they tend to do well at Carrow Road – but it was the hosts who started the brightest.

Liverpool’s midfield did not seem fully settled, with none of last season’s more regular starters available, and Norwich had more of the ball early on.

That said, there had been few chances of note before Diogo Jota came alive to turn home an important opener for Klopp’s side.


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And, after going behind, Daniel Farke’s Canaries continued to see plenty of possession without ever creating too much.

The travelling Reds started the second half with more intensity though, and the introduction of Fabinho from the substitute’s bench resolved many of their issues.

Mohamed Salah did brilliantly to find another sub, Roberto Firmino, at the back post, before the Egyptian ended proceedings from the edge of the box.

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Norwich appeared set to find themselves a late consolation before Alisson Becker spread wide to deny Ben Gibson.

A very good second-half performance, and some great noise made in the away end.

Your ratings, as Liverpool opened up with a 3-0 win:

Starting XI

Ali 8 – Constant assuring presence and threw his body on the line late on to maintain the Reds’ clean sheet.

Trent 7.5 – I’ve tipped Trent to be the Premier League Player of the Season this year, and nothing he did here dissuaded me. The 22-year-old looks like he’s gained muscle, while his usual technical quality was key to the opener.

Matip 7.5 – Impressive aerially and on the ball. Had a goalward shot blocked, to boot.

Virg 7 – Possibly not quite back to his imperious best just yet – he even underhit a few long passes! But the Dutchman looked as at ease as he was just before injury ended his 2020/21 season.

Shimmy Cash 5.5 – A couple of nice deliveries were mixed in among some moments of defensive madness.

Ox 5.5 – Not involved enough before the break, didn’t show enough quality after it. Frustrating day all in all, and deserved to be subbed.

Milly 6 – Looked lost as the ‘6’ early on, but started to get to grips with his somewhat unfamiliar role as the game progressed. Better when moved ahead of Fabinho.

Baby Keith 6.5 – Without doubt Liverpool’s best midfielder in the first half, winning a number of tackles. Tired a little later on.

Mo 9 – Starts the season with this score for the second campaign in a row. Last year’s hat-trick against Leeds followed up by another three goal contributions today. Second assist was smart, and arguably the crucial moment in the game, before a great, curling strike found the top corner. Comfortably the man of the match.

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DioGOAL 7 – The least active of the front three, but found the telling touch when the ball fell to him inside the Norwich penalty box. Dazzling second-half run was only stopped when Todd Cantwell decided to hack him down from behind.

Sadio 7 – Lively first half, and the Senegalese looked as though he could beat Max Aarons whenever he wanted. Unlucky to see a shot blocked on the line, but his end product left a little to be desired after the interval.

Subs

Fabs 8 – Liverpool’s midfield improved tenfold the moment the Brazilian entered proceedings.

Bobby 7.5 – At the start and the end of the move for the key second goal.

Harv 6.5 – Fizzed one tempting ball into the box that might have found a teammate on another day.


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