Liverpool use sneaky loophole to get around new 'no players in the wall' rule vs Norwich

The Premier League returned on Friday night as Liverpool hosted newly-promoted Norwich City at Anfield. 

Things are expected to be a little different in England’s top-flight this year, given the introduction of VAR.

On top of that, there are also a number of new rules changes to take note of.

One of them introduces an alteration to free-kicks. 

Under the new rules, no players from the attacking team can be in the wall to distract the opposition or open a gap for their teammates to shoot through. 

That was a tactic we saw almost every week, but it will be no more in the Premier League. 

However – it took Liverpool just 83 minutes to showcase a very sneaky loophole that exploits the rule change. It’s something we’ve seen before, but never in the Premier League. 

While Trent Alexander-Arnold was stood over the ball, three of his teammates formed their own wall in front of the Norwich one. 

With Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino standing at least one metre away from their opponents, they were technically obstructing the Canaries wall without breaking any rules. 

Very sneaky indeed. It almost led to a goal too, with Alexander-Arnold drilling his effort on target, only for Tim Krul to push it away for a corner. 

We’ll likely be seeing Liverpool’s loophole used by many other teams over the course of the season. 

It wasn’t just a new free-kick routine from the Reds that impressed fans on Friday night. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side blew Norwich away, winning 4-1 to start their campaign with a bang. 

A nightmare own-goal from Grant Hanley gave the hosts a lead within five minutes, before Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi all scored before half-time. 

Teemu Pukki netted a consolation for Norwich after the break, but it was a very comfortable night for Liverpool. 

It’s now over to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City to make an early statement against West Ham as they look to defend their title. 

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