Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool can not be anything but the challenger

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool can not be anything but the challenger

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool can not be anything but the challenger

A convincing dismantling of West Ham in their opening fixture was most crucial in its role of carrying forward that pre-season hype into the start of the campaign.

"We knew before the game that our start was very hard".

Daniel Sturridge completed the scoring in the 88th minute, 24 seconds after coming on for Salah.

Mane, who has now scored in each of his last three Premier League openers, and Salah, the league's Golden Boot victor last season with 32 goals, sealed Liverpool's victory in their first competitive game since they lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid in March.

But it was the performance against West Ham rather than the scoreline that would've encouraged manager Jurgen Klopp. But as part of the entrenched 4-2-3-1, the Brazilian's task on Sunday involved tracking the pacy full-backs far more than supporting Marko Arnautovic in attack.

He said: "It's a very good start, for sure".

Mohamed Salah tapped the Reds into an early lead before Sadio Mane extended the advantage in first-half stoppage-time.

West Ham signed Perez from Premier League rivals Arsenal on summer transfer deadline day for a fee reported by The Sun to be worth £4 million.

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"And I think he'll do better and better for us because he's got great quality".

"I'm not complaining just about one offside goal because I repeat that Liverpool played well and deserved to win, but I don't think that the difference was four goals".

"Nobody knows excatly how valuable or worthy a pre-season is. We can achieve good things together".

Familiar complaints still exist, not least a lack of decisions given in their favour by referee Anthony Taylor, yet there is little to argue about the speed with which Klopp recruited in the wake of May's Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid, with Fabinho signed just three days later. "Let's go for it until we have no more air or oxygen, really go for it".

What was immediately evident, even on the basis of these opening 90 minutes, was that Liverpool are a different - and better - proposition with new midfielder Naby Keita catching the eye.

With clashes against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leicester City to follow, this optimism could quickly turn into unwavering belief - the kind which translates into their players going into every game expecting to win and often snatching victory when they're up against it. The Premier League is arguably the toughest league in the world though but there will be few excuses for not challenging for the title. "It's hard to play when you concede four goals".

Naby Keita (Liverpool): The forwards did the damage in front of goal, but the Guinean produced an energetic, all-action display in the midfield that really caught the eye.

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