Liverpool thrash Norwich 4-1 to open Premier League season
Liverpool kicked off the new Premier League season with a convincing 4-1 victory over Norwich City at Anfield on Friday.
Last season’s record-breaking runners-up Liverpool wasted no time in setting about getting maximum points, with Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk adding to Grant Hanley’s comical own goal within the opening 30 minutes.
Divock Origi made it four in the 42nd minute on his 100th Reds appearance but Jurgen Klopp’s side were unable to add to their tally and Teemu Pukki netted a consolation strike for the newly promoted side.
However, the real sour note for Liverpool was the loss of goalkeeper Alisson, who had to be replaced by debutant Adrian in the first half after appearing to sustain a hamstring injury taking a goal-kick.
Liverpool got off to a flying start when Origi’s cross from the left wing was diverted into the back of the net by Norwich captain Hanley in the seventh minute.
Marco Stiepermann wasted a second decent chance to get the Canaries on the board and they were punished when Roberto Firmino teed up Salah to slide a cool finish past Tim Krul.
Norwich continued to threaten but Van Dijk made light work of shaking off Jamal Lewis to power in a header from Salah’s corner.
Despite losing Alisson to injury, Liverpool remained in the ascendancy and took a four-goal lead into half-time when Origi nodded Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fine delivery home.
Krul tipped a shot from Jordan Henderson onto the crossbar early in the second half and, after Salah kept the ball alive and played in Alexander-Arnold with a delightful backheel, Firmino was unable to convert from the England defender’s cutback.
Moritz Leitner rattled the upright with a swerving effort as the Canaries regained some courage and they were rewarded when Pukki found the bottom-left corner from Emiliano Buendia’s incisive throughball.
Alexander-Arnold’s powerful free-kick was saved well by Krul in the 85th minute and Adrian kept out Onel Hernandez in stoppage time as Liverpool comfortably saw out a routine victory.
Key Opta Facts:
– Liverpool have scored 15 goals in their four opening-day Premier League matches under manager Jurgen Klopp (W3 D1 L0), netting four times in their first match of the league season in consecutive seasons for the first time in their entire history.
– The Reds are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games against Norwich (W11 D2 L0), scoring 43 goals across those games, including at least four goals in five of their last seven meetings.
– Mohamed Salah has scored in Liverpool’s first Premier League match in each of the last three seasons.
– The first goal of the Premier League season was an own-goal for only the second time – the other occasion was in 2015-16, when Kyle Walker’s own-goal was the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham.
– Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has scored with his first shot on target in each of the last eight