Liverpool v West Ham: Mane can get Reds up and running

Tanya Simon
August 13, 2018

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool face an "unbelievably hard" Premier League season despite opening the campaign with a 4-0 rout of West Ham United, their biggest opening-day win at Anfield since 1932.

Sturridge, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, is enjoying a renewed sense of objective on his return to Anfield.

Liverpool haven't been crowned champions of England since 1989/90 and finished 25 points behind City last season.

The Egypt global scored 44 times in his maiden campaign, which ended in tears with his premature exit from the Champions League final because of a shoulder injury which contributed to the defeat to Real Madrid, but normal service was resumed within 19 minutes.

"[It was] nice. An absolutely good performance, of course", he told reporters.

Mane, who has now scored in each of his last three Premier League openers, and Salah, the league's Golden Boot victor last season with 32 goals, sealed Liverpool's victory in their first competitive game since they lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid in March. The Reds spent £65 million acquiring Brazilian keeper Alisson from Roma this summer. Should we go to a final again we should try to win it this time.

"The champions are Manchester City; they didn't lose any player and they brought in (Riyad) Mahrez, so that doesn't make them weaker", warned Klopp, insisting Liverpool are still the underdogs. They know that, we know that and we have to be ready week in, week out for all the different challenges. The competition for places is going to be fierce this season with the arrival of Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri or the possibility of incorporating another man in midfield and going with two up top - as they did for a spell against West Ham - rendering even the starting berths of their attacking triumvirate uncertain.

Man Utd
Man Utd missed out on Xherdan Shaqiri due to Jurgen Klopp

Having ignored several early warnings, West Ham found themselves behind after just 19 minutes when the prolific Mo Salah converted Andy Robertson's low cross totap the ball into an empty net.

Liverpool weren't done just yet.

It appeared the Hammers' defence did not expect James Milner to reach Robertson's deep cross and when he did and cut it back Roberto Firmino and Mane were stood on their own in the six-yard box with no marker within 10 yards of them and Mane expertly turned the ball home.

Mane produced a fine finish for his second eight minutes after the break after good work by Firmino, but had the linesman to thank just as much for the assist as he somehow wasn't flagged offside before firing past Fabianski.

The Reds come into the game after a solid pre-season and manager Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful that his charges are able to translate that form into the game against Manuel Pellegrini's side at home and lead Liverpool to their 500th Premier League win.

In fact, there weren't too many stats supporting a West Ham victory ahead of the match. "This is why we have a chance and why we look forward to giving all we have from now until the last kick of the last game". That's the only thing I want to say.

England vs India 2nd Test, Day 3: Hosts lose openers Jennings, Cook
Earlier, England's top order again failed with openers Keaton Jennings (11) and Alastair Cook (21) falling in successive overs. However, the other batsmen offered little to no resistance and James Anderson ended up with figures of 5/20.

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