Mohamed Salah stole the show as Liverpool got their season up and running with a comfortable 3-0 win over newly-promoted Norwich City on Saturday evening.
The Reds had eased to a 4-1 victory when the two sides had last met on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign two years ago, with Daniel Farke’s men looking to get off to a better start this time around at Carrow Road.
Despite a positive start for the Canaries, the game’s opening goal almost inevitably fell to the visitors, Salah somewhat fortunate to see his touch fall kindly to the feet of Diogo Jota who duly fired home past a helpless Tim Krul.
Jota’s replacement Roberto Firmino then added a second just moments after coming on midway through the second-half, some lax defending allowing the Brazilian ample time to slot home after an excellent pull-back from teammate Salah.
The heavily involved Egyptian – who netted a hat-trick on the opening day last season – then got himself on the scoresheet to put the result beyond doubt, cutting in onto his left foot before unleashing a trademark lethal finish into the top corner.
With the away side continuing to dominate, Norwich then squandered a guilt-edged chance to give their returning support something to cheer, defender Ben Gibson seeing his close range effort superbly saved by Liverpool stopper Alisson.
That proved to be the game’s last real action as Klopp’s men eased to victory, with the German stating his delight at the return of supporters, while he also insisted his side produced a less than perfect but ‘professional’ performance on the night.
“The occasion was great. It was exactly what we expected and what we’d missed for so long. I applauded the Norwich fans as well because it’s so nice to have fans back, wherever they come from,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“I could see in the eyes of the players they had to get used to it again. Everybody has to get used to the atmosphere. We had to get used to the opponent and the game, but we found a way.
”It was a very professional performance and I’m happy about that. There were a few occasions where we should have done better, so it was not perfect, but it was about the result.
“Mohamed Salah has trained well, the forwards have looked really sharp, but as soon as it starts getting competitive again, he goes to the next gear, and he showed that again today.”
Liverpool are next in action against Burnley in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, while Norwich’s difficult start to the season continues with a trip to the Etihad to face the champions, Manchester City, on the same day.