What a fantastic Saturday it’s been in the Premier League. It kicked off with one of the most thrilling Manchester derbies for years and continued with some outlandish 3pms – most notably Spurs beating Stoke 4-0 and Watford coming back against West Ham to win 4-2.
And the curtain-caller was also a thoroughly entertaining match as Liverpool faced reigning Premier League champions Leicester City at their new-look Anfield, fully equipped with the recently built Main Stand.
The Reds were firmly in control for much of the fixture, barring one monumental error from Lucas Leiva, and came away with a resounding 4-1 win.
But more important than entertainment, as my teacher would say, is what we actually learned. We at Football FanCast like to learn something from every game, whether big or small, a Champions League or Championship clash.
With that in mind, here’s three lessons we took from the first league fixture at Anfield.
It’s been a phenomenal week for Adam Lallana. Last Sunday, he bagged a last-minute winner for England; today, he netted arguably the best goal of the match – an absolute piledriver from just inside the box.
Overall, the jury’s still out on the attacking midfielder. But it’s impossible to dispute that he’s steadily improved under Jurgen Klopp and now appears to be an important player for both club and country.
Make no mistake about it, we’re just four fixtures into the new season and the reigning Premier League champions have lost their fear factor.
Although nobody expected the Foxes to reach the same heights as last term, we at Football FanCast assumed opposition would be somewhat intimidated by Claudio Ranieri’s boys, who are still one of the hardest working sides in the league.
But Liverpool were nothing short of relentless in the opening stages, showing Leicester no respect at all. This game should be a real worry for Ranieri; Leicester have already been reduced to a pale imitation of last season.
Much has been made of Daniel Sturridge’s attitude after pulling that expression on the touchline against Tottenham Hotspur two weekends ago. But there’s no doubt the England striker produced a more selfless performance this afternoon, making an incredibly intelligent off-the-ball run to help create Roberto Firmino’s first goal and supplying Saido Mane with a backheel for the Reds’ second.
Of course, the 27-year-old still lunged for goal wherever possible, getting four shots on target. But it wasn’t a case of Sturridge roaming around until the ball reached his feet; he worked in fantastic tandem with Mane and Firmino throughout the afternoon and was subbed off to an ovation.