Video: Liverpool 4 – 0 West Ham United [Premier League] Highlights 2018/19

The evidence of the first game of the new season is that Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will be serious challengers to Manchester City. Video: Liverpool 4 – 0 West Ham United [Premier League] Highlights 2018/19

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mané (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 12, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

The shirts are new, some of the faces too. The press room has had a lick of paint and there’s a fresh motto plastered around the stadium.

“We are Liverpool,” it reads. “This Means More.”

Welcome to the new-look Liverpool. Much the same as the old one actually, only better.

Top of the league, in fact.

West Ham are the first victims of Jurgen Klopp’s refurbished Reds side, but they won’t be the last. The Premier League campaign at Anfield began as many suspected it would, with a home win and a performance which suggests this side will be something to savour as the season progresses.

Contenders? You bet. Take the opposition into account, of course – and West Ham themselves have had a major overhaul in the summer – but don’t ignore the evidence. Liverpool were a very good side last season, and they’ve improved significantly since then. Finish above them this season and you’ll have silverware in your hands, surely?

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane picked up where they left off last season; 64 goals between them last term, three already for the new campaign. Their touch, energy, sharpness, speed and clinical finishing, supplemented by the phenomenal work of Roberto Firmino, makes them a terrifying prospect. Defences far better than West Ham’s will be undone by the Reds’ deadly trio.

Salah needed just 19 minutes to open his account, finishing off the most flowing of moves. Liverpool’s composure, the crispness of their passing and the fluidity of their movement was simply too much for the Hammers. Dynamism was the order of the day last season, but the addition of Naby Keita looks like it will take the Reds’ midfield to a new level. The Guinean, making his debut, had the crowd purring from the word go.

Mane finished last season in excellent form, and he looked as if he’d barely missed a beat here. Elusive and strong, he doubled Liverpool’s advantage before half-time and finished West Ham off after the break (albeit from an offside position). He and Salah provide the kind of cutting edge managers dream about. Firmino didn’t score himself, but if there’s a more complete, tactically-astute centre-forward in the league then he’s yet to make himself known. The Brazilian, the focal point of the side, deserved his ovation when replaced 20 minutes from time.

 

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