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.
Naby Keita: 5/10
He showed great willingness to join the attack from midfield at every opportunity, but failed to make much of an impact on the game.
Mohamed Salah: 8/10
Arguably the Reds’ most potent attacking threat on the night, Salah was involved in all three of Liverpool’s goals.
His superbly-taken goal and two assists added the finishing touches to a comprehensive Liverpool victory.
Diogo Jota: 7/10
Playing in the centre-forward role usually occupied by Firmino, Jota made the most of the opportunity by getting on the scoresheet. He also showcased his excellent positional play and dribbling ability during his time on the pitch.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
Mane looked threatening whenever he got on the ball on the wing, but could have done much better with his end product, which was often lacking in quality.
Ratings of Liverpool substitutes:
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
Firmino looked sharp from the moment he came on for the final half-hour. He bagged a goal less than five minutes after his introduction to get his campaign off and running. That was Liverpool’s 8000th goal in the Premier League, with only Manchester United scoring more in the competition.
He slotted straight into his customary central defensive role after coming on with 30 minutes to play. Fabinho formed an effective defensive shield in front of his back four, snuffing out any attacks Norwich looked to put together.
Harvey Elliott: N.A.
Replacing Keita for the final few minutes of the game, he showed glimpses of his prodigious talent during his time on the pitch.