The 2019-20 Premier League kicked off with a bang on Friday night as Liverpool destroyed Norwich City 4-1. The Reds got an own goal and strikes from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi to take a 4-0 lead in the first half. It wasn’t all roses for Jurgen Klopp’s team, which now faces a potentially significant injury problem after just one game. Their star goalkeeper Alisson Becker hobbled off the field in the first half and was replaced by Adrian, who recently joined the club. Here’s everything to know about the match:
Alisson’s status could shift the scope of the season
Alisson had to be taken off after picking up a calf strain on a goal kick late in the first half of the match. He slipped as he kicked a goal kick and felt some sort of pain that looked like it would see him physically carried off the field. He shook off the stretcher from the trainers and made it off the pitch mostly under his own power. Still, it’s a scary sight for all Liverpool fans. As a team that won the Champions League last season, Alisson was a key difference-maker, providing security between the posts not witnessed since the days of Jerzy Dudek.
We’ll only know more about his status when tests results are released, but Jurgen Klopp said after the game that he’ll. Klopp said his status beyond Wednesday remains to be seen. But if he misses an extended amount of time, Liverpool’s title hopes in the Premier League could take a hit if fellow contender Manchester City gets off to a rocking start.
Overall, the backup Adrian was OK in goal but did concede a goal one he probably should have done better with. He’s tiers below Alisson’s quality but could help weather the storm if the Brazilian misses some time.
The attack looks even scarier than last season
Liverpool had 15 shots on the night and looked so good in the final third, taking it a little easier in the second half. There was a fantastic display of passing, especially down the sidelines, and the attackers were able to get going quickly time and time again thanks to the pressure applied by the midfield and defense.
Roberto Firmino’s fantastic assist to Salah got the team going after the opening own goal. Check out this quick, perfect touch before Salah made it 2-0 19 minutes in.
Then just under 10 minutes later, van Dijk headed home a Salah corner to make it 3-0 to put it away:
No contest, as the Reds start off the season on the right foot.
Divock Origi could be the X-factor
Sadio Mane started on the bench after just returning to the team from the Africa Cup of Nations, so Origi, who scored in the Champions League final, got the start.
What a valuable player he is proving to be. He headed home the team’s final goal off a lovely pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, and if you are wondering why Liverpool didn’t boost its attack in the transfer window, that’s why. The 24-year-old Belgian just seems to deliver. After grabbing six goals on loan at Wolfsburg two seasons ago, he had seven goals in 20 matches for the Reds last season. Good in the area and versatile, he has earned Klopp’s trust and continues to repay that faith.
He’s nowhere near pushing for starting spot, but his stock is rising and his numbers don’t lie. He scores one out of every four games for the Reds, which is a fine rate for a key substitute. Having a near guarantee off the bench is critical for this team with four competitions to play this season.
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