Liverpool kicked off their 2021-22 Premier League campaign in fine style with an emphatic 3-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday evening.
A first-half goal from Diogo Jota was added to by efforts from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in the second half as the Reds started the new season with all three points from their opening fixture
The first half was largely dominated by Liverpool, who created a few promising chances, and took a deserved lead in the 26th minute through Jota’s fortuitous opener. The hosts looked dangerous at times on the counter, but failed to really threaten the opposition goal.
The second half played out much like the first, with the visitors comfortably in the ascendancy before they doubled their lead in the 65th minute through Firmino. Salah then put the game well beyond doubt by adding an excellent third to help Liverpool wrap up a comfortable win.
On that note, here are the Liverpool player ratings from the game.
Largely untested throughout the game, Alisson was more than equal to whatever little the hosts could muster by way of attempts on his goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
He picked up from where he left off at the end of last season, and looked extremely threatening on the right flank, delivering a series of trademark probing crosses from various positions.
Virgil van Dijk: 5/10
While Van Dijk will face sterner tests during the course of the season, he looked quite like his assured, dominant self on his first competitive start since last October.
Joel Matip: 5/10
Perhaps a surprise choice of defensive partner for Van Dijk, Joel Matip was calm and composed in his central defensive role, and rarely looked troubled at any point.
Kostas Tsimikas: 5/10
Replacing the injured Andy Robertson, Tsimikas was able to replicate much of the Scotsman’s attacking enterprise, but did not offer anywhere near the same level of defensive stability.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
Despite being tidy in possession, the Englishman could not make the most of a rare start. He must have left the pitch on the hour mark feeling like he could have done more to impact the proceedings.
James Milner: 5/10
Liverpool’s evergreen jack of all trades slotted into the heart of the Reds’ midfield for this fixture, and delivered a characteristically efficient, no-nonsense performance.
For this match, Liverpool’s evergreen jack of all trades was pushed into the middle of the Reds’ midfield, and he put in a typically effective, no-nonsense performance.
5/10 for Naby Keita.
He exhibited a strong desire to attack from midfield at all times, but he didn’t have much of an impact on the game.
Mohamed Salah gets an 8 out of 10 for his performance.
Salah, arguably Liverpool’s most dangerous offensive threat on the night, was involved in all three of the Reds’ goals.
His brilliant goal and two assists put the final touches on a convincing Liverpool victory.
7/10 Diogo Jota
Jota took advantage of the opportunity by scoring while playing in the center-forward position normally occupied by Firmino. During his time on the field, he also demonstrated his exceptional positional play and dribbling ability.
Sadio Mane gets a 5/10.
Mane looked dangerous on the wing anytime he received the ball, but he could have done a lot more with his final product, which was frequently of poor quality.
Liverpool substitutes’ ratings: Roberto Firmino: 6/10
Firmino was impressive from the minute he entered the game for the final half-hour. He scored his first goal less than five minutes after being introduced, kicking off his campaign. It was Liverpool’s 8000th Premier League goal, with only Manchester United having scored more in the competition.
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
Fabinho gets a five out of ten.
After going on with 30 minutes left to play, he went right into his usual center defense role. In front of his back four, Fabinho made a solid defensive shield, suffocating any attacks Norwich attempted.
N.A., Harvey Elliott.
He came on to replace Keita for the final few minutes of the game and showed flashes of his prodigious talent.