Jurgen Klopp’s men swept aside West Ham 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday thanks to a brace from Sadio Mane alongside strikes from Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge, thus getting the Reds’ campaign off to an excellent start. The Merseysiders have been tipped as the likely closest rivals to champions Manchester City this season, and on an opening weekend in which other possible challengers far from convinced, one would suggest that Liverpool are indeed the only team that will rival Pep Guardiola’s men.
The Citizens looked irresistible at times in their 2-0 success over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to suggest that, remarkably, they have improved again from last season, a campaign in which they lost just twice and accumulated 100 points from their 38 matches.
And having beaten the Gunners without the likes of Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne in the starting eleven, there is even more to come from the North West outfit in the coming weeks and months, and it looks like it’ll be up to someone else to really send out a statement of intent – only Liverpool did that over the opening weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United produced a solid enough display to get past Leicester City on Friday night, but they were by no means brilliant, while Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham got past Newcastle United 2-1 on Saturday, but weren’t without their problems on Tyneside.
Thus, Klopp’s Liverpool were the only team to produce a serious statement on the opening weekend by dismantling big-spending West Ham, with messrs Mane and Salah already amongst the goals ahead of the new season – and having a fully fit Sturridge back can only give the manager another excellent option up top.
The ease at which the Reds created opportunities and took the game to Manuel Pellegrini’s side can only serve them well ahead of the remainder of the campaign – remember, this was a West Ham team that spent a lot of money over the summer in a bid to get closer to these sorts of teams, but they were comfortably second-best on Sunday.
Yes, there may have only been one game and as such it’s difficult to read into things, but the optimism generated by the summer and pre-season around Anfield was justified on Sunday, with the performance indicative of the only team that can seriously challenge City for the Premier League crown this season.