5 talking points as Liverpool ease to victory with classy Osasuna win

Liverpool produced a dazzling first-half display with Takumi Minamino and Roberto Firmino both getting on the scoresheet as they saw off Osasuna ahead of their Premier League opener

Roberto Firmino grabbed a brace

Liverpool warmed up perfectly for their Premier League opener with a classy win over Osasuna at Anfield.

The Reds were held by Spanish opposition 24 hours earlier but stuck three past the La Liga outfit.

Norwich will have been watching on ominously as Jurgen Klopp’s weakened side ran riot in the opening 45 on Merseyside.

Takumi Minamino fired an early warning sign before he opened his and Liverpool’s account in the 15th minute.

A sublime Roberto Firmino goal doubled their lead before the Brazilian made it 3-0 at half-time.

The hosts eased up in the second-half and allowed their opponents to grab a consolation, despite dominant for large periods.

Several players looked to stake their case and Kostas Tsimikas in particular was a standout as he prepares to come in for Andy Robertson this weekend.

Here are five talking points from Anfield.

The Reds were at their free-flowing best at times on Monday night

1. Ominous Reds

You can question the opposition but, in the first-half particularly, Liverpool looked incredibly good.

The way they dominated possession, upped the tempo when needed, won the ball back. It was the performance Klopp will have been looking for this close to the new season.

A host of their regular first teamers were missing, not that you’d have known.

Their second goal especially saw perfectly crafted and finished.

It was a display that was hard to fault, although Klopp, being the way he is, will have been annoyed by the second-half drop off.

2. Konate makes Anfield bow

The centre-half played at his new home for the first time and, for the most part, will have been more than satisfied.

He started alongside Joe Gomez, although there have been few clues as to who will start this weekend with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip also fit.

Osasuna offered little in attack meaning he was rarely tested, nevertheless he was a calming influence.

Konate also showed some nice touches, proving that when put under pressure he’s more than happy to have the ball at his feet.

However the lack of a clean sheet will have soured his evening.

Ibrahima Konate played at Anfield for the first time

3. Tsimikas aims to grasp opportunity

Andy Robertson was forced off 24 hours ago and was seen today with a protective boot around his ankle.

He is a major doubt for this weekend, but with his Greek understudy playing like this his absence needn’t be a concern.

Tsimikas has been a strong performer in pre-season and the confidence was clearly flowing.

Robertson’s energy is one of his greatest assets and Tsimikas has clearly been taking note.

His role in Liverpool’s second – the give and go with Minamino followed by the cross into the perfect area would’ve made Robertson proud.

We barely saw him last year, but that could be about to change if he keeps playing like this.

4. Fabinho showing where he belongs

The injury crisis last season meant Fabinho played more as a centre-half than he did at the base of midfield.

He’s almost that good at playing in defence that you don’t think its a loss, but when you see how brilliant he is in midfield you really what Liverpool were missing at times last term.

So comfortable on the ball, and when afforded time to pick a pass he can be deadly.

It was his through ball that set Minamino away for the opening goal.

We have rightly lauded Van Dijk over the past few years, but often the role of a defensive midfielder goes unnoticed.

Make no mistake, the Reds are a far better team with the Brazilian sitting at the base of their midfield.

Curtis Jones was forced off in the first-half

5. Jones concerns

The only downer for Klopp tonight will have been an injury to Curtis Jones.

His young midfielder has continued to grow in stature over the past 18 months or so and has deservedly establish himself as a regular.

So to see him hobble off in the first-half will not have been a welcome sight.

Jones went down early on after a collision but was able to run it off. A second incident though saw him forced off with Ben Woodburn coming in to replace him.

After Robertson’s injury on Sunday this is the last thing Klopp wants as he must be fearing a sense of deja vu.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button