Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to the “cheeky” Norwich City after thrashing the new boys 4-1 in their Premier League opener.
Norwich captain Grant Hanley gave Klopp and Liverpool a dream start on Friday night when he accidentally put the ball into his own net after seven minutes.
Mohamed Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead just 12 minutes later before his corner enabled Virgil van Dijk to head home a third goal.
Unfortunately, though, the European champions suffered a huge blow in the 36th-minute when Alisson Becker sustained a calf injury. It came following an attempted goal-kick, which saw the keeper slip on his left leg.
Klopp promptly replaced the Brazilian with new keeper Adrian, who joined from West Ham United earlier this week on a free transfer.
But Divock Origi helped clam nerves at Anfield by scoring a fourth goal before half-time by heading in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross from the right-wing.
In all fairness, though, Norwich did provide a stronger second-half display and caused Liverpool’s defence a few problems as well. Eventually, their efforts were rewarded when Teemu Pukki scored a 64th-minute goal after being picked out by Emiliano Buendia.
Canaries supporters even chanted “One-nil in the second half” in an otherwise low-key first game for the newly-promoted team.
“It tells pretty much the story of the first 60 minutes,” said Klopp, according to the Independent.
“I would say we were really good, really sharp from the first whistle. We did what we wanted to do, we scored goals.
“They (Norwich) are good. I said before the game, maybe not everybody knew it, now more people know it.
“They showed up. It was difficult for them in the first 60 minutes but after that, staying that cheeky, staying that lively and stuff like that – that’s impressive to be honest.
“It was really, really, good, young players in that squad – wow.”
Klopp added: “I liked it a lot what they did but we could have controlled the game more.
“If someone said before the game we would win 4-1, we would take it but we needed to control it more.
“We had to work a lot. They were very good (but) we won, we deserved the three points.”
Liverpool will next take on Europa League winners Chelsea in the European Super Cup final on Wednesday.