The Reds made the trip to the capital to meet Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, a side many expect to bridge the gap in 2020/21, on Sunday in search of their second successive victory.
And it was one they clinched with authority, with the Blues hardly given the opportunity to lay a hand on Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
A red card at the end of the first half assisted Liverpool in asserting their dominance in possession in the second, one which debutant Thiago certainly took advantage of – as did Mane.
The No. 10 scored two in the space of four minutes early in the second half, first with a wonderfully directed header and then he was duly rewarded for a pressure act which turned up the heat on the already under fire Kepa Arrizabalaga.
It was a training ground formality from that point on, with Alisson denying Jorginho from the spot to preserve a clean sheet and safely take all three points back to Merseyside.
The match-winner and the man on debut caught most of the headlines, but the performance of Fabinho, who slotted in at centre-back in the absence of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, was widely praised by his teammates.
“It is perfect, three points and a clean sheet – it is something that we chase also, not only the three points and something that was a long time that we didn’t get it.
“It is good for the confidence of the team but it is always a massive win against Chelsea away, we know how hard it is and I don’t need to tell you, but we did a really good job here.
“I’m really happy because the Community Shield we lost and penalties and when the goalie doesn’t save any then you stay a little bit down, but the secret is to keep on going and we did it together [the goalkeeping department].
“[Fabinho] was a monster! Unbelievable, but it is what I expect of him. If it is a surprise for you, I would be surprised because he is a top player anywhere he plays.
“He always does his best and his quality permits him to play in different positions and he’s a really smart player. I congratulate him for, in my opinion, Man of the Match.”
And Fabinho‘s partner at the back in Virgil van Dijk was equally thrilled with the No. 3’s performance, as he was with the level of concentration and domination shown by the Reds throughout at Stamford Bridge:
“I just told him as well I think he was Man of the Match. To keep out a striker like [Timo] Werner and don’t let him score, overall he was outstanding.
“It was always going to be tough, no matter the circumstances, no matter how they play or who was playing.
“It was a good performance overall. It’s not nice to give a penalty away and it was bit unlucky from Thiago [Alcantara], I think. But overall we dominated.
“Obviously the red card helps a little bit, we can’t deny that, but even before that we created moments of danger and we were very concentrated and very ready to get the good result.”
And the players were quick to take to Instagram after the game to celebrate the win and laud the performance of their teammates.
Speaking of a new signing, Thiago was thrilled to have made his “red debut” and commended a “great team effort” as he sealed a victory on his first outing with the club just two days after signing:
The vast majority of Klopp’s senior contingent will now be handed a deserved seven-day break before they meet Arsenal at Anfield, with those on the fringe and the younger members of the squad to meet Lincoln on Thursday.
The third round tie against the Imps will present a chance for some to stake their claim and secure passage into the fourth round against either Leicester or Arsenal.