THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Liverpool lay down the gauntlet to Man City

FOOTBALL: Liverpool lived up to their billing as the biggest threat to Manchester City retaining the Premier League title as both sides shone on the opening weekend of the season.

Premier-LeagueFootball
By AFP

Saturday 18 August 2018, 05:00PM


Liverpool players celebrate after scoring their third goal against West Ham United last Sunday (Aug 12). Photo: AFP

Liverpool players celebrate after scoring their third goal against West Ham United last Sunday (Aug 12). Photo: AFP

So often outgunned by the oil wealth of Abu Dhabi backed City or commercial giants Manchester United in recent years, Liverpool were the biggest spenders from the world’s richest league this summer with a reported £170 million (B7.245 billion) splurge in the transfer market.

The first return on that investment came in last Sunday’s (Aug 12) 4-0 thrashing of a limited West Ham that even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted “are not the Uniteds or Citys”.

City showed just what a task overturning a 25-point deficit last season will be for Liverpool in outclassing Arsenal in a 2-0 win at the Emirates despite a far more disrupted preparation for the campaign due to the World Cup commitments of most of their squad.

On the contrary, Liverpool have benefited from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s early exits in Russia with Egypt and Senegal as they returned in time to join the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Salah started where he left off from an incredible 44-goal debut campaign at Anfield by opening the scoring before Mane struck twice and Daniel Sturridge added a late fourth.

Klopp conceded it had been impossible to ignore the excitement and expectation among the club’s fans that a near three-decade wait to win the league could come to an end in May.

That hype is because Liverpool have built from a position of strength. After reaching the Champions League final last season, key areas of the team have been bolstered.

Midfielder Naby Keita was a bundle of energy and the star performer of the new boys that showed why Liverpool were willing to shell out £52.75mn (B2.23bn) and wait a year for the Guinean after agreeing a deal with Leipzig last summer.

“You can only imagine how good he’s going to be with more time,” said Liverpool midfielder James Milner.

Finding the net is nothing new for Klopp on opening day. His side scored four at Arsenal in 2016 and three at Watford last season, but also conceded three on both occasions.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

As he was quick to point out, the clean sheet was just as pleasing as his side’s attacking play.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, signed for £65mn (B2.75bn) from Roma, was rarely troubled, but looked assured in starting attacks from the back, while Virgil van Dijk was imperious in sniffing out any sense of danger.

Liverpool beat City in three of their four meetings last season, but the key to a title challenge will be a consistency Klopp has so far failed to nail in nearly three years in charge.

The German, though, now has a wealth of options never previously afforded to him as evidenced by the sight of new signings Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri plus England internationals Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana on the bench last Sunday.

“I am not blind. I can see them and I can read the line-up and see then who is on the bench,” said Klopp when quizzed if he will have a difficult balancing act to keep all of his squad engaged over the campaign.

“The plan is they are all happy because they played an important part in our season, so from my point of view all good.”

Despite the positivity and investment, Klopp has insisted Liverpool remain just the challenger to champions City.

“We are still Rocky Balboa, not Ivan Drago,” he said on the eve of the season, invoking the underdog spirit of the fictional American boxer.

No knockout blows have yet been landed, but Liverpool have come out swinging.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Police traffic tickets set to go digital

Drunk cyclists? Come on, that can't actually be a thing. What is there, like one? Focus on moto...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

...right,also customs should check every Chinese tourist to make sure none of this sunscreens been s...(Read More)


US Govt shutdown prevents tsunami-warning buoy going live

I wounder who would be responsible right now if something would happen?...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

Well, there is only fool out of the 60 milllion population who thinks, government action against no...(Read More)


New B25mn tsunami-warning buoy ‘to be operational tomorrow’

Not matter of being worried/panic when you live high/dry. A 1.5 year not working Tsunami buoy is no...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Westerners were the #1 tourists. 4 years ago, Thailand made changes to make things less desirable fo...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Have written it before, finished and scammed+++ Europeans and then it was Chinese next is Indian and...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

Sun-protection creams, soaps, shampoos during boat trips or during fishing for all professional fish...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

I think my know everything thai, has a very short, or damaged, memory, a very quick search throws th...(Read More)


Bad day in Phuket: Australian found hanged, Frenchman dies of heart attack

Not a good day for the police officers? I bet the two dead guys were not that happy about it either....(Read More)