Mohamed Salah enjoyed a brilliant game while Alisson Becker also shone brightly as Liverpool swept aside Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Liverpool began the 2021/22 Premier League campaign on a strong note, easing past newly-promoted Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road, riding on the brilliance of Mohamed Salah.
Norwich made a solid start to the game, with Teemu Pukki forcing Alisson Becker into a save. However, it was Liverpool who took the lead in the 26th minute when Salah touched the ball into the path of Diogo Jota, who applied the finishing touches. The Reds tried to push for the second goal and came close early after the break, but Sadio Mane’s effort was blocked.
But, 65 minutes in, Jurgen Klopp’s men were able to double their advantage as Roberto Firmino found the back of the net with comfort after being found by Salah. The Egyptian superstar then got into the goalscoring act himself in the 74th minute, firing home from the edge of the box to put the outcome of the game beyond any doubt.
It was a positive start to the season for the Merseysiders, with Salah looking in fine nick, Virgil van Dijk back on the pitch, players like Naby Keita and Kostas Tsimikas making an impression. Here are our player ratings for the Liverpool stars following their victory at Carrow Road.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
Celebrated his recent new contract signing with a clean sheet. Did well to stop Pukki in the first half and also made a couple of top stops to deny Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson late in the contest. Authoritative in the box throughout the contest.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5/10
Defended well in the face of some early pressure from the hosts and grew into the game with time, posing a threat in the opposition half. Had a hand in the lead-up to the opening goal, and it was a solid, all-round display from the England international.
Joel Matip: 7/10
There were a few signs of rust early on but was largely assured and steady at the back. Cut out dangerous passes, read the game well and used the ball with precision when in possession. A good return to competitive action.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Another player coming back after a lengthy layoff, Virgil van Dijk had a straightforward outing where he dealt with whatever came his way without much fuss. Solid on the ground, strong in the air, in both boxes. An assured display on his return.
Kostas Tsimikas: 7/10
Kostas Tsimikas appreciation tweet.
Played well in his 1st PL start especially going forward in the 1st half. Not perfect, but he’s still got a lot improve and not back for a backup. 👏🏻🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/6fwIVUcPnT
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) August 14, 2021
There were a few occasions when he got caught out defensively. But it was a largely positive display from the Greek international, who stepped into the side in place of the injured Andrew Robertson. Showed plenty of intent going forward on the left side, sent in a few teasing crosses as well. Showed that he can hold his own in the Scotsman’s absence.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10
Did not make the best of starts but seemed to settle down once Liverpool took the lead. Made a few energetic forward forays but eventually tapered out and was taken off at the hour mark. Not an ideal performance at a time when his future at Anfield remains a doubt.
James Milner: 7/10
Like Oxlade-Chamberlain, rusty at the beginning as Norwich put Liverpool under pressure. Grew into the contest, though, helping the Reds take control in the middle. Used the ball judiciously, although there were one or two stray passes, was strong in his challenges.
Naby Keita: 6.5/10
Pressed with intent and looked to drive the team forward when on the ball. However, the Guinean was unable to make the desired impact on the proceedings. Needs to step up in a big way this season if he is to compete with the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones.
Mohamed Salah: 9/10
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 14, 2021
Two assists, one goal and Mo Salah is off to a flyer in 2021/22. Cushioned the ball into Jota’s path for the opening goal, albeit inadvertently, then unselfishly squared the ball to Firmino for Liverpool’s second goal. Then the Liverpool superstar got off the mark with a fine effort to make it 3-0. Will have his sights set on the Golden Boot after missing out last season.
Diogo Jota: 7/10
Playing through the middle, the Portuguese international looked sharp with his movement and forced Tim Krul into a save with a header. Then got Liverpool up and running with an opportunistic strike that set the tone for the rest of the game. Valuable contribution even if he was not at his best.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
May not have been directly involved in a goal on the night, but the Senegalese international was a handful to deal with for the Norwich defence. Had a goal-bound effort blocked by Max Aarons in the second half, showed some neat interplay with those around him. Positive signs after a disappointing last season.
Roberto Firmino: 7/10
8,000 – Roberto Firmino has scored Liverpool's 8,000th goal in the Football League/Premier League, becoming only the second side to hit that total, after Man Utd (8,089). Milestone. #NORLIV pic.twitter.com/eQxeqxermR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 14, 2021
On for Jota in the 61st minute. Got into the goalscoring act just four minutes later, finding the back of the net after Salah teed him up. Immediate impact.
On for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 61st minute. Helped Liverpool tighten things up further in the centre of the park. Played some nice passes forward as well.
Harvey Elliott: N/A
Late substitute for Keita.