Following their fourth place finish in the Premier league 2017/18 season, and defeat in the final of UEFA Champions League 2017/18, Jurgen Klopp promised his fans of a better performance for the upcoming seasons. The Liverpool manager also promised of major signings coming to Anfield.
He delivered on that front, with the arrivals of Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson. A total of close to 163 million pounds were spent to strengthen the squad. So it was very obvious that there were expectations from the new looking Liverpool team.
And Klopp's men delivered on the promise, at least in their first fixture of Premier League 2018/19. Liverpool thrashed West Ham United 4-0 at Anfield, and the victory was down to two of their star players from last season, Mohammed Salah and Saido Mane.
Salah, reigning Player of the Season in Premier League, opened the scoring in the 19th minute, tapping in an open net after a brilliant low cross in the box from the left by Andy Robertson. The goal was created by new signing Keita, who drifted free in the middle of the park, and timed his pass to perfection for Robertson.
Liverpool dominated the first half, and seemed destined to head into the break with just a one-goal lead. But on the stroke of half-time, Mane made it 2-0. After a cross from the left by Robertson, James Milner acrobatically kept the ball in play and put in a sideways pass in the box. Mane, in complete space, put the ball in the net to open his account for 2018/19 season.
In the 53rd minute, luck favored the Merseysiders as Mane got his second, which should have been ruled out for offside. Roberto Firmino, the third member of the attacking trio, attacked the West Ham penalty area, before squeaking a pass through for Mane. The Senegalese was a foot ahead of others, but the assistant referee didn't raise his flag when he dispatched the ball past Łukasz Fabiański.
The hosts added gloss to the scoreline in the 88th minute. Milner took a corner from left, which was deflected by a West Ham player towards Daniel Sturridge, who put the ball in an empty net to make it 4-0.