Liverpool came through an early-season credential test with flying colours as they comfortably claimed all three points against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Jurgen Klopp was rightfully delighted with the performance and the victory as his side controlled much of the match before two second-half Sadio Mane goals sealed an important win.
With much of the summer discussion surrounding Chelsea and their incoming stars, Klopp’s side made an early statement to prove that they remain the team to beat.
The Reds dictated much of the play throughout the first half as new arrival Thiago Alcantara watched on from the bench.
Moments before half-time the game’s biggest flashpoint arose following a wonderful pass from Jordan Henderso which found the run of Mane, who was getting to the ball ahead of Andreas Christensen and an onrushing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Christiensen, bereft of an alternative, hauled the Senegalese forward to the ground, resulting in a justified sending off after the VAR asked referee Paul Tierney to check the monitor after he originally booked the centre-back.
After the break and the introduction of Thiago, the Reds’ stepped up their domination and Mane broke the deadlock from a header.
Shortly after, frustrated with his own pass, the former Southampton man chased down Kepa and forced a horrendous error to make it 2-0.
Chelsea were given chance to get back into the contest from the penalty spot when the debutant Thiago inadvertently caught Timo Werner’s heels, however, Alisson Becker got down low to save Jorginho’s spot-kick.
Here’s how we rated the Reds as they put down an early marker…
Alisson Becker - 8
Saved the penalty to deny Chelsea any hope and looked confident once again when called upon.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7
Perhaps better defensively than offensively as the normally influential right-back had a quiet game in the opponent’s half, but his lovely disguised pass did start the move for the first goal.
Fabinho - 9
Having been earmarked as a potential weakness deputising at centre-back, the Brazilian was outstanding, pocketing Timo Werner a few times in the process.
Virgil van Dijk - 8
Dealt with everything on his side as easily as ever. Targetted less than his partner who was just as assured.
Andy Robertson - 8
Started the match very brightly and was always an option down the left. Never stopped running.
Jordan Henderson - 7
Came off at half-time as a precaution but still had time to influence the biggest moment of the half with that sublime pass for Mane.
Gini Wijnaldum - 7
Almost scored late on and seemed to find himself further up the field following Thiago’s introduction. May see another side to the Dutchman’s game.
Naby Keita - 7
Had his moments during his hour on the field, finds nice touches around the box more often than not.
Mohamed Salah - 7
The star of the opening day was overshadowed by his opposite winger but was no less dangerous without managing anything clear cut.
Roberto Firmino - 7
As usual, a high work-rate coupled with some smart touches and turns to start Reds attacks. Created the first goal with a lovely cross.
Sadio Mane - 9
A constant threat and got the goals he deserved after getting Christensen sent off. A brilliant performance from the forward.
(Sub) Thiago - 8
A joy to watch on his debut, even though he’d only been at the club for about 48 hours. Almost everything went through the Spaniard in the second half who showed his passing range. Gave away the penalty but was very unfortunate to do so.
(Sub) James Milner - 7
Replaced Keita and kept things ticking in midfield alongside Thiago as Wijnadlum moved ahead.
(Sub) Takumi Minamino - NA
A short cameo replacing Firmino but enough to see the worth as the Japanese international went about his business with urgency.