Quick. Incisive. Fluid. Explosive. Many more words come to mind describing that emphatic performance to mark the Reds return to the new-look Anfield!
Liverpool ended the tie as 4-1 winners against the Premier League champions, Leicester City.
A goal from Roberto Firmino to get us off the mark from a good assist from James Milner. Touch, turn and finish to get us ahead within 10 minutes.
Afterwards, we got our tails up. A long ball to Daniel Sturridge who produces a simply brilliant back heel to Sadio Mané who just manages to get it past Kasper Schmeichel.
Anfield is rocking and the fans are buzzing; then Lucas Leiva puts the fear back into our hearts before half-time with a really stupid pass back to Simon Mignolet in a game which he was otherwise solid.
2-1 now and Liverpool started hesitantly, then Adam Lallana produces a strike that no goalkeeper was ever gonna stop. Jürgen Klopp’s team were in cruise control and added salt to the Leicester wounds with Firmino finishing off the quick counter-attack to put an end to a glorious performance.
In a night where there were so many impressive performances, here are the three stars who I thought shone at Anfield:
I thought Firmino was by far our MOTM. Almost every good move we produced on the evening went through him. His link up play, his clever movement on and off the ball, his calmness in front of goal; this performance showcased all of that and much more. His first and second goal are prime examples of that.
He is a certain starter for us this season I feel. Out of all our forward options, he’s the one who gets the system the most and flourishes. So far this season he’s created 14 chances in the Premier League, more than any other player. How he isn’t selected for the Brazil national team is beyond me. Hopefully, now he is getting the praise he well and truly deserves.
An absolute live-wire in midfield!
I thought Lallana and Jordan Henderson worked magnificently together in the centre of the park and I could have chosen either one of them. But that goal to put us 3-1 up was simply too good to go unnoticed. After his last-minute winner during the international break he was always going to come into this match on a high and now he’s added another goal to his tally.
Not just offensively but defensively he helped out as well. I can remember a number of times when he got back into our box to make last ditch tackles and to ease the pressure on our backline. Solid start to the season.
Any of the two players above could have been included, but for me, I had to choose Mané, only just. Fans have waited to see his pace and power in the flesh, they were given just that and then some. He was so willing to run in behind at every opportunity and give us that extra option whether it’s on the counter-attack or during patient build-up play.
His goal for the second goal and his assist for the fourth goal shows that he is exactly what we’ve needed. Having more goals to your team can’t hurt anyone! I don’t think anyone is mentioning his price tag anymore.