Oh good, the 2022/23 season has finally started! Liverpool put a genuinely rubbish week behind them to smack nine past Bournemouth and claim a first win of the campaign and joint-biggest ever Premier League win.
Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth
Premier League, Anfield
Saturday 28 August, 2022
Goals: Diaz 2′ 84′, Elliott 5′, Alexander-Arnold 28′, Firmino 31′ 61′, Van Dijk 45′, Mepham og 46′, Carvalho 80′
Alisson Becker – 8 (out of 10)
Two easy-peasy saves in the first 20 minutes was about all he was asked to do, but was smart off his line and out of the box near the half-hour mark to win a footrace to an otherwise dangerous-looking through ball. Must have had a great view of a load of running red shirts today.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9
He was quiet and routinely nice in link-up play for half an hour, without doing anything outrageously good or bad. Then he gifted away possession in the centre circle, helped win it back, strode on and unleashed the cleanest strike of the season so far – straight into the top bins for 3-0. Magic cross for the sixth too and generally looked much more effective and confident.
Joe Gomez – 8
On the front foot right from kick-off to win a couple of challenges and that quickly set the tone for the team’s performance. Really good recovery pace the couple of times it was required, played out from deep nicely and on the one occasion he lost out in a tackle, he simply sprinted back and beat the same man second time around.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
We’re not going to outright complain at anybody today, of course, but we can still note this isn’t Virgil back to his best level. A couple of moments where his technique and judgement were not quite there in the first half, which he ended by planting a header in for five. Passing was great, long-range switches aplenty included, and was able to push far higher upfield this time compared to last week.
Andy Robertson – 8
Nice to have you back Robbo. Lots of runs down the flank, overlapping and delivering a few crosses, including an assist from a corner.
Fabinho – 9
We all appreciate having Fabinho back in ball-winning, match-dominating, midfield-emcompassing form. Nothing more to say – he was absolutely excellent.
Harvey Elliott – 9
Involved in the buildup for the first and the second – which he rattled in himself for a well-deserved goal after being one of the team’s few impressive performers early on this term. Absolutely brilliant finish, first time into the far corner. Brilliant run and would-be assist for Salah soon after. Had an excellent first half before being subbed at the break, the most in-form midfielder at the club so far this term.
Jordan Henderson – 8
A surprise starter maybe, considering his showing at Old Trafford. Matters didn’t start off any better as he lost the ball repeatedly in the middle and got in multiple players’ way. Did play a great channel ball for Diaz to chase after 20′ and things improved on the ball from that point. Lots of build-up involvement and recovery runs. Among the group who need to make sure today isn’t a one-off.
Mohamed Salah – 8
Nine goals and none for Mo?! True, but still very important to the cause. Really stretched the defence early on by staying wide and it twice paid dividends.
Should have scored from one yard out, it’s probably fair to say, (and from six yards in the second half) but was frequently the out-ball for Van Dijk’s switches and kept the visitors busy all game.
Roberto Firmino – 10 – Man of the Match
A busy boy in the opening stages and claimed himself two assists, one rather more intentional than the other it must be said!
Didn’t stop thereafter either and the No9 who doesn’t have enough goal contributions ended the match with three assists and two goals to his name – including his 100th goal for the club.
Some lovely lofted passes to create openings for others and a neat flick to combine with Elliott too. Both goals came from being in predatory, poaching positions, making the most of a deflection and a parry into dangerous areas.
Luis Diaz – 9
He might be the least fun person in the league to play against when he’s on form.
Strong, ridiculous work rate, quick, outrageous skills and very good in the air, as evidenced once more by an early goal here.
Constantly a pain in the backside for Bournemouth to focus on and relentless in his ball-carrying and link play in the final third. Centre-forward for the latter stages of the game and headed in the ninth.
Fabio Carvalho (on for Elliott, 45′) – 8 – He has looked so dangerous every time he’s come on this term and he fully deserved his first goal – brilliant volley!
James Milner (on for Henderson, 68′) – 7 – Lovely sunny day out down the park for the old man.
Kostas Tsimikas (on for Robertson, 68′) – 7 – Neat little assist for No8.
Stefan Bajcetic (on for Firmino, 68′) – 7 – A debut, and what a day to remember.
Bobby Clark (on for Alexander-Arnold, 82′) – 7 – Another debutant, dream moment.
Subs not used: Adrian, Davies, Van den Berg, Phillips
Jurgen Klopp – 10
Look, injuries mean he still only really had one decision to make: Milner or Henderson in midfield, because Fabinho had to come back in.
The far, far greater work for this game from Jurgen Klopp came between Monday and Friday – restoring the team’s confidence, ensuring the discipline and aggression was there off the ball and the energy was back in the team right from kick-off.
It had been sorely missing all season until today and the boss and his coaches had to know there was no room for error this time at Anfield.
Now it’s going to be about ensuring the consistency returns, because beating a newly promoted side by many goals should be almost standard at this point.
It’s all and entirely about making sure we do it again (the performance level, not the scoreline!) next time out, then again, and again – that’s how we get the season back on track and ensure we’re in the running for as much success as is possible.
The season is up and running, let’s keep it that way!