“Not the best start not the worst” – Liverpool squad react to “intense” draw

Liverpool started their Premier League campaign with a 1-1 draw away at Chelsea in a “tough” opening encounter and the players’ focus has already shifted to what is next.

A brilliantly worked Luis Diaz goal was cancelled out by Axel Disasi, with Mohamed Salah denied a seventh consecutive opening-day goal by a VAR call.

There were debuts for both Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, with the pair acknowledging the difficult nature of their first tests in a red shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Ben Doak replaced a dejected Salah towards the end of the contest and was bright during his cameo as he looked to stretch the Chelsea defence late on.

The teenager took to social media after the game to mark the occasion after what he hopes will be the first of many first-team appearances this season.

Despite taking an early lead, the Reds were forced to hold on towards the end at Stamford Bridge, with Diogo Jota recognising that a point was perhaps a fair result given the way in which the second half played out.

Jota was joined by Cody Gakpo on the team sheet, with the Dutchman starting in the deeper role that had become common practice throughout the summer.

Gakpo’s attention has immediately turned to Bournemouth this weekend, when the Reds will play their first home game of 2023/24 in front of a reduced capacity crowd due to the ongoing Anfield Road End development.

Virgil van Dijk is also looking forward to the visit of the Cherries, when he will lead the side out at Anfield as club captain for the first time.

The skipper’s sentiments were echoed by his centre-back partner Ibrahima Konate, who shared an image of him jostling for the ball with former Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling.

The general consensus from the players appears to match that of the supporters, with an overall appreciation that things could have been worse despite surrendering a first-half lead.

All eyes are now on Anfield as Bournemouth provide the first home test of 2023/24, where nothing but a win will suffice if Liverpool are to match their lofty ambitions for the campaign.