The media were in awe of Liverpool’s performance in Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Wolves and felt the impact of the returning fans was plain for all to see.
A special night at Anfield saw the Reds gift returning fans an early Christmas present with a fantastic performance and victory.
Mohamed Salah, Gini Wijnaldum, Joel Matip and Wolves‘ Nelson Semedo scored the goals as Jurgen Klopp‘s side produced a complete display, the Reds in superb form from front to back.
It was a sensational night’s work from Liverpool, with a very dangerous Wolves side effortlessly swatted aside, and it really was a perfect night.
Here’s all the key analysis from the media on a night to remember at Anfield.
Reporters were in awe of Liverpool’s display and commented on the new normal being “a lot like the old”…
To write that nice line was Neil Jones for Goal:
“Three points, Mohamed Salah scoring and Liverpool looking like they mean business once more.
“The new normal at Anfield, it seems, is a lot like the old one.”
The Mirror‘s Alex Milne assessed it was Liverpool’s “best league performance” of the season and sees the Reds growing stronger as the campaign progresses:
“The Reds were relentless tonight, putting their opponents to the sword in arguably their best league performance so far this season.
“You get the sense they are continuing to grow into the season, and considering they are already joint top of the league that spells trouble for the other challengers for the title.”
BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders wrote that the 2,000 fans inside Anfield were treated to “a performance worthy of champions”:
“Those 2,000 supporters who were denied a victory parade when Liverpool lifted the long-awaited Premier League trophy in July were treated to a performance worthy of champions against a Wolves side who have proved an awkward opponent in recent encounters.”
ESPN’s James Capps dished out high praise as he labelled the display “excellent” and without “any blemishes”:
“Even the nit-pickiest player rater will struggle to find any blemishes in what was an excellent, professional display from the Premier League champions.”
The Mail‘s Dominic King was mesmerised by how the Reds just continue to deliver such high-quality performances and results despite all of the setbacks faced:
“If this is Liverpool experiencing difficulties, you wonder quite what they will be able to achieve when they are not exhausted and have a full squad from which to select.”
The return of fans dominated reports and the media felt those at Anfield inspired a top performance…
The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy wrote how the presence of fans gave a sense of purpose to the Reds and football again:
“There was feeling in the ground again, there was a sense of occasion and the purpose was more pronounced than just trying to get three points. What happened mattered more.”
The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe reflected on a combined effort between the players and the 2,000 in the stands which made for a night to remember:
“On those occasions when Liverpool attacked – and they were frequent in a high-class performance – you could have been mistaken for thinking The Kop was full. The steady revival of anthems followed each skilful contribution as the champions showcased their well-rehearsed repertoire.
“Andy Robertson needs only sprint down the left to have his name bellowed. One nutmeg from Roberto Firmino usually leads to an incessant, five-minute tribute from the crowd.”
The Guardian‘s Andy Hunter thought the fans made an “impressive” racket to provide an atmopshere which the players clearly thrived on:
“The stadium was less than 4% occupied but 2,000 people can make an impressive noise in an arena that has been uncomfortably silent for too long.”
Bascombe highlighted that the players had an “extra strut” as they relished the opportunity to put a show on for the fans:
“The joy for Klopp is the mutual benefits of his side feeling the emotion of The Kop’s delayed gratification.
“No one here could fail to notice the extra strut in the step of the Liverpool players as they outclassed a fine opponent, goals from Mohamed Salah, Gini Wijnaldum and Joel Matip confirming the gulf before Semedo’s misfortune.”
Members of the media analysed the most impressive aspects in an excellent team performance…
The Mirror‘s David Maddock was full of praise for Liverpool’s defensive efforts, noting that if the Reds can stay tight at the back, nobody will be able to stop them:
“Liverpool have fielded eight different central defensive partnerships in their opening 11 league games, but they have conceded just six goals in their last 11 matches without van Dijk – keeping five clean sheets.
“With such a deadly forward line, to have a defence that is beginning to look assured and water-tight will be huge going into the busy Christmas period, and suggests they will not give up their title easily.”
Sanders thought Liverpool did a good job in defending Adama Traore, noting how the Reds’ tactic to double up on him paid off:
“The Spain winger’s switch to the opposite wing in the second half failed to make a difference as Liverpool doubled up on him successfully.”
Karl Matchett, writing for the Independent, particularly enjoyed a vintage blitzing performance from the original front three:
“Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Salah were reunited after a few games of rotation and a rest for the Brazilian following indifferent form – and they quickly showed flashes of why they have been so feared for so long.
“Firmino looked sharp and clever with his touch and movement throughout, Mane was a constant menace down the left and Salah’s runs infield caused problems on every counter-attack, while the link-up play between all three was typically excellent.”
Reporters picked out their standout performers, with praise for several players and also Klopp…
One of those to praise the manager was King, who applauded the boss for getting a perfect performance from his players on a night one was required:
“There have been grander occasions but this was poignant and you knew with Klopp there was no chance his team would be underprepared: his record of getting wins when they are most needed is exemplary and he was in no mood for his players to let anyone down.”
Joining King in complimenting Klopp’s work was Capps, who highlighted the “excellent” job the boss is doing in guiding his depleted team through a hectic period:
“This threadbare Liverpool squad is being guided through a hectic period in excellent fashion by Klopp, who has now led his side to a seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.”
Jones paid tribute to the “indestructible” Wijnaldum for the way he has delivered in a relentless run, and believes Liverpool “must do everything” to keep the Dutchman:
“As team-mates have dropped through injury, fatigue and illness, the Netherlands international has stood tall, the rock on which the Reds’ plans are built. Consistent, indestructible, never short of energy, always willing to what is needed for the team. Some player, some character.
“Liverpool must do everything to make sure he stays at the club beyond this season. So few midfielders do what he does, so few fulfil so many roles, and do so to such a high standard. He is the ultimate chameleon, and utterly vital to everything Klopp has done on Merseyside.”
Bascombe was hugely impressed with Curtis Jones and, with a big claim, thinks the teenager should now be a first-choice pick in midfield:
“So, too, was another of their youngsters, Curtis Jones, who continues to excel almost under the radar as he steps up in the absence of others. He would deserve to keep his place if every midfielder was fit.
“Jones plays with a maturity and swagger assisted by the confidence in him, and trust he has in all around.”
Milne thought Caoimhin Kelleher was excellent again was particularly impressed with how the youngster dealt so “confidently” with Wolves‘ aerial threat:
“The Irishman barely put a foot wrong in what was another accomplished performance following his fine display against Ajax in the Champions League midweek.
“Sure, he didn’t have a huge amount to do, but he dealt confidently with crosses and punched away a number of dangerous corners.”
On a weekend all contenders won, certain journalists discussed a potentially tight title race developing…
The Liverpool Echo‘s Paul Gorst pointed out how the Reds’ tough fixture list in this start of the season makes their position even more impressive:
“The Premier League season may be just 11 games old but the fixtures they have taken on so far have given credence to just how strong Klopp’s team is.
“Already, they have been made to face up to stern challenges like Manchester City, Leicester, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. Wolves can now be added to that list with high-flying Tottenham to come in less than a fortnight.”
Finally, King sees four contenders for the trophy, but came to the conclusion that this performance showed Liverpool very much remain the team to beat:
“Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are having fine seasons and are both sides with great potential; Manchester City are rumbling into gear, too, and it would be nonsense to think they will not be heavily involved in the race for the crown come spring.”