Grant Hanley diverted Divock Origi’s cross into his own net in the seventh minute before Mohamed Salah doubled the hosts’ advantage inside the opening 20 minutes.
Origi then got on the score sheet as well, nodding in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross before Salah’s corner saw Virgil van Dijk power home a fourth goal.
Teemu Pukki pulled a goal back for Norwich in the second half, scoring in the 64th minute, giving the visitors something to show for their persistent efforts in attack.
SAME OLD SALAH
The league’s top scorer in the last two seasons began the new campaign in ominous form. Salah’s not had much of a pre-season but continued to look sharp following his Community Shield display against Manchester City when he was Liverpool’s biggest threat.
A the Reds began to get into the groove against Norwich, Salah was beginning to exploit space more frequently. Latching on to Firmino’s pass, he slotted the ball into the far corner for Liverpool’s second before whipping in the corner for Van Dijk to score the third.
NORWICH NEEDED INVESTMENT
As Liverpool helped themselves to four goals in the opening 45 minutes while barely breaking a sweat, it was evident that Norwich’s decision not to invest significantly in their squad over the summer was probably the wrong one.
The newly-promoted outfit have only spent £1 million on recruitment ahead of the new season. That’s in stark contrast to Aston Villa – also making the step to the Premier League – who splurged £120 million.
Most of the goals on Friday came from some pretty poor defending. Hanley’s awkward attempted clearance led to the first, no one tracked Origi’s run for the third and Van Dijk didn’t even have to jump to head in the fourth.
ORIGI REPAYING MANAGER’S FAITH
On his 100th appearance for Liverpool, Origi showed just why Jurgen Klopp refused to give into pressure and sign another attacker this summer. Only a bit-part player last season, the Belgian still made big contributions to the Reds’ Champions League success, even scoring in the final against Tottenham.
With Sadio Mane not match fit yet after arriving late for pre-season due to an extended run in the African Cup of Nations, Origi got his chance to feature in his stead. He took it with both hands, breaking the deadlock by forcing an own goal off Hanley.
He continued to look threatening down the left, running at the full-back at every opportunity and made a great diagonal run before heading home from Alexander-Arnold’s cross to make it 4-0 in the first half.
CANARIES CAN-DO ATTITUDE
Despite their poor defensive display, there was much about Norwich to admire even during such a jarring defeat.
Daniel Farke has insisted that the Championship winners will persist with their brand of attacking football and it looks as if he’s a man of his word. Even when conceding goals, the visitors never stopped looking to play forward at Anfield.
At times that was to their detriment but with better finishing, they could well have scored another couple of goals. Marco Stiepermann was guilty of squandering a few promising chances in the first half while Pukki was a constant threat with his runs in behind and substitute Moritz Leitner saw his effort crash off the bar.
Pukki of course even scored a consolation goal from one of his side’s 12 attempts at goal to Liverpool’s 15.
They may be severely lacking quality at the back but Norwich should cause teams a few problems this season.
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