The 2019-20 Premier League season got underway at Anfield on Friday night as Liverpool, runners-up last campaign and Champions League winners, beat newly promoted Norwich City 4–1, putting down an early marker to their Premier League rivals in the process.
Liverpool were on top right from the start, with Norwich unable to cope with the pace of full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, and the marauding runs of Divock Origi on the left. And they fell behind in the seventh minute, although in a somewhat unfortunate way, as Grant Hanley diverted a cross from Origi past his own keeper.
Marco Stiepermann produced a decent save from Liverpool keeper Alisson, but the home side had too much pace and movement for the visitors, aided by Norwich’s habit of giving the ball away near their own area.
This led to Liverpool’s second goal after 18 minutes. Norwich had numerous chances to clear the ball and paid the price when Roberto Firmino played in Mo Salah to slot the ball home. Salah then turned provider, supplying the corner which Virgin van Dyck headed home, although the Dutchman was unmarked and did not even have to jump to score.
Soon afterwards Tim Krul in the Norwich goal produced a fine stop to keep out a Firmino volley, before Liverpool suffered a blow when goalkeeper Alisson slipped taking a goal kick, and appeared to roll his ankle. Substitute keeper Adrian, only signed on Monday, came on in his place. Soon afterwards it was 4 – 0 to the home side, Origi, completely unmarked again, turning in a fine cross from Alexander-Arnold.
That was the score at half-time and already Norwich knew that the Premier League was a step up in class over what they had previously known.
The second half seemed to promise more of the same as Krul tipped a shot from Jordan Henderson, the Liverpool captain, on to the bar. But Norwich were better organised after half-time, and after substitute Moritz Leitner had earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first player to receive a yellow card in the new season, he struck the bar with a fierce shot. Norwich then pulled a goal back when Teemu Pukki beat the offside trap to beat Adrian, and there the goal scoring ended, with Norwich ending the match by looking for a second.