Liverpool overwhelms Norwich as Van Dijk returns to action.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool started their 2021/2022 season on a promising note with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah on target for the Reds.
The match signalled the return of Van Dijk’s who was out for a long time with a cruciate knee ligament injury and it ended up a befitting welcome for the Dutch defender who looked like his old self as he played the full 90 minutes on his return to action.
Norwich city returned to the premier league after romping to the championship title last season. They were reminded that there is still a lot to do if they want to remain in the English football top-flight.
The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Teemu Pukki who’s powerful shot at the near post was turned behind by Alisson Becker with the best chance of the opening quarter.
But there was little doubt over the outcome once Jota opened the scoring on 26 minutes. Salah turned Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross into the Portuguese forward’s path and his shot should have been stopped by Tim Krul rather than trundling through the Dutch international’s legs.
Klopp left the majority of his stars that had played in international tournaments over the summer out as Firmino and Fabinho started on the bench, while there was no place in the squad for Jordan Henderson or Thiago Alcantara. The Brazilian duo were introduced on the hour mark and it took Firmino just five minutes to make his mark thanks to Salah’s vision.
Salah squared to give his strike partner a simple finish. Salah then scored in Liverpool’s opening league game of the season for the fifth straight season. A corner fell his way on the edge of the box 16 minutes from time and the Egyptian fired powerfully past Krul into the top corner.
Liverpool needed some late heroics from Alisson to secure Van Dijk a clean sheet on his return as the Brazilian spread himself to block from Ben Gibson in a goalmouth scramble.