Liverpool thrash Norwich City 4-1 to kick off the 2019/20 Premier League season

  • Rob Swan

Liverpool welcomed Norwich City back to the Premier League by thrashing them 4-1 at Anfield on Friday night.

The reigning European champions outclassed their newly-promoted opponents in the opening fixture of the new campaign.

Grant Hanley’s own goal put the hosts 1-0 up and Norwich never recovered from that seventh-minute blow.

Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi all scored to leave their opponents shell-shocked at the half-time break.

The only thing that soured an otherwise excellent first half for Liverpool was an injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who was subbed off after suffering a freak injury while taking a goal-kick.

Adrian failed to keep a clean sheet on his first appearance for the Reds. Teemu Pukki pulled a consolation goal back for Daniel Farke’s side with just under 30 minutes left to play.

But that was the highlight of an otherwise concerning evening for the Canaries.

Six-time European champions Liverpool were treated to a spine-tingling rendition of You’ll Never Walk Along prior to kick-off.

The Kop End, meanwhile, now displays an image of Klopp alongside the club’s previous managers who have also won the European Cup for the Merseyside outfit.

And it didn’t take long for the first cheers of the night from the home crowd as Hanley’s sliced clearance from Origi’s cross ended up in the back of his own net.

It was the worst possible start for Norwich, who actually managed to threaten Liverpool on a couple of occasions.

Marco Stiepermann had several attempts at goal, while Pukki saw a shot blocked, as Liverpool looked a little slack at the back.

However, they were ruthless at the opposite end of the pitch and went 2-0 up when Salah confidently finished past Tim Krul in the 19th minute.

Salah then turned provider 10 minutes later, whipping in the corner for Van Dijk to head home his first goal of the new season.

Roberto Firmino almost made it 4-0 with a brilliant shot on the volley, but the busy Krul pulled off a fine stop.

The Dutchman’s opposite number, Alisson, then went off the pitch with a worrying looking injury. Adrian subsequently came on for his debut.

However, that blow didn’t affect Liverpool, who extended their lead shortly afterwards through Origi.

The Belgian striker, who played such a pivotal role in last season’s Champions League triumph, headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

There was a 10-minute delay at the beginning of the second half due to VAR teething problems – and Norwich’s players could have been forgiven if they wanted the night to end there and then.

Their evening was almost made even worse shortly after the re-start when Henderson and Firmino both went close to making it 5-0.

Salah then bent a shot narrowly wide before Fabinho tested Krul from range as Liverpool’s relentless attack continued.

However, Norwich fans were given something to smile about thanks to Pukki, who finished confidently shortly after Moritz Leitner had smashed the crossbar.

Farke will be encouraged with his team’s second-half performance and relieved that his players didn’t concede more goals.

Alexander-Arnold almost made it five with a late free-kick but was denied by a top save from Krul.

All in all, this was a hugely encouraging evening for Jurgen Klopp and his players.

This might be the most impressive performance from any Premier League side we see this weekend.

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