— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) August 17, 2014
Liverpool defeated an impressive Southampton side at Anfield on Saturday, as Brendan Rodgers’ men gained maximum points on the opening day of the season.
Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge got the goals for the Reds, but in truth it was probably a game they were lucky to win. The Saints enjoyed plenty of possession, and only a sensational late save from Simon Mignolet ensured all three points.
Here’s what the back pages and twitter made of Liverpool’s hard-fought victory at Anfield on Sunday.
The Daily Telegraph‘s Paul Hayward believes that, although the loss Luis Suarez was evident, Sturridge is more than ready to fill the void:
“Anfield, on a cold August Sunday, was a theatre missing its great thespian. The eye went looking for last year’s footballer of the year but the ear told the story. Liverpool’s home was subdued for long stretches. The pace was slower than on the best days last season.
“There was no sharp-fanged No 7 to pull Southampton‘s defence around and dart through the gaps to inflict havoc. There was not the same automatic menace that comes with having a forward of Suárez’s class hunting around the penalty box.”
The Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce emphasised how important grinding out the win could prove to be in Liverpool’s season:
“The hope is that this result will have the same kind of galvanising effect on Rodgers’ squad as the scruffy victory over Stoke 12 months earlier.
“That win gave Liverpool the platform to launch their most impressive top-fight campaign for more than two decades as they exceeded all expectations and came within a whisker of landing the title.
“While a suitable replacement up front still remains a target for Brendan Rodgers, arguably his most important summer signing was that of Dejan Lovren – who made his debut against the club he left acrimoniously, albeit for £20million.
“Liverpool are still looking for a leader in defence to fill the void left by Jamie Carragher’s retirement the year before last and the manager’s hope is the Croatian fits the bill as it was an area of weakness which cost them valuable points in their surprise title challenge last season.
“Javi Manquillo was given a fairly big vote of confidence when he was picked in the starting XI for the Premier League’s opening game.
“The young Spaniard appeared to have plenty of drive going forward and no problems embracing the crunching tackles of English football. Indeed, his leveller of Dusan Tadic for which he was booked in the first half was the sort of “welcome to the Premier League” challenge usually doled out by old-school defenders.”
Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen:
Liverpool not at their best but a big 3 points. Mignolet great save late on. The new SAS both on target.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) August 17, 2014
Reds legend Jamie Carragher:
Brendan Rodgers doing his Brian Kidd impression after the second goal!! He’ll be hoping he’s doing it on the last day as well.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 17, 2014
Former Liverpool star John Aldridge:
2-1 ugly win!but I’ll take it all day long.
— John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) August 17, 2014
Ex-Liverpool defender Jason McAteer:
Does anyone agree with me that having Adam Lallana back in a month will be like having a brand new signing for liverpool ?Can we say that ?
— Jason MCATEER (@MCATEER4) August 18, 2014
Phenomenal from Hendo in the midfield, sexy pass, sublime finish. #LFC
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) August 17, 2014
Tough win in the end, invaluable 3 points. Manquillo, Lovren, Gerrard & Sterling the outstanding #LFC players, Allen MUCH better than Lucas.
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyLatest) August 17, 2014
Last season’s opener was a close one too, we didn’t even come close of dreaming that we would finish 2nd after that one.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) August 17, 2014
My head has gone already with 37 to go. I’d take another 37 of them though. Dunno if my heart would like. pic.twitter.com/MGycRpSYga
— Kop 305 (@Kop305) August 17, 2014
Just seen Sturridge’s winner again. Great poacher finish with a deft touch. Get in there. Its boss getting 3pts on the first weekend. #LFC
— Jay Riley (@Jay_78_) August 17, 2014
Whilst at times a poor performance, remember for years, opening day wins were a rare thing indeed!
— Ritchie (@JohnRitchie84) August 17, 2014