ReutersLIVERPOOL (Reuters) — European champion Liverpool made an emphatic start to the new English Premier League season, scoring three times in the opening half an hour in teaching promoted Norwich City a harsh lesson with a 4-1 thrashing at Anfield on Friday.
Juergen Klopp’s side, runner-up to Manchester City last season, swept aside fellow German Daniel Farke’s team with its trademark attacking verve, taking a 3-0 lead inside 28 minutes.
The unfortunate Grant Hanley scored an own goal before Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi netted before halftime, with Norwich scoring through Teemu Pukki just after the hour.
The one setback for Klopp on an encouraging night came with an injury to Brazilian keeper Alisson Becker, who was taken off in the 39th after suffering a calf injury and will now miss Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Chelsea.
Becker’s misfortune handed an unexpectedly early debut to 32-year-old Spanish keeper Adrian, who had been, prudently, signed as cover on a free transfer just four days previously after being released by West Ham United.
“There’s actually nothing bad to say about the game apart from Ali’s injury,” said Klopp.
“For 60 minutes we looked very sharp, then we have to control the game a bit more. Norwich have all my respect. They stayed cheeky, they enjoyed their football,” he added.
The result was no surprise, but the way Liverpool so quickly hit its stride was impressive and sent a message to Pep Guardiola’s City that they face another battle this season.
It took just seven minutes for Liverpool to open its account as Norwich captain Hanley, attempting to clear a low cross from the left by Origi, sliced the ball into his own goal.
Salah, joint league top scorer last season on 22 goals along with Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, then doubled the lead in the 19th with a characteristic left-foot finish from a tight angle after a nice set-up from Roberto Firmino.
The game was virtually over in the 28th minute when Norwich made it far too easy for Van Dijk to nod home a Salah corner to make it 3-0 — and it could have been four just minutes later, but Norwich keeper Tim Krul did well to keep out a Firmino volley.
Dortmund moves on in Cup
BERLIN (Reuters) — Borussia Dortmund was made to work in the first half before overcoming the resistance of third-division club KFC Uerdingen to win 2-0 and move into the German Cup second round on Friday.
Captain Marco Reus broke the deadlock in the 49th minute a with a shot from five meters after the ball had also made contact with his arm, and Paco Alcacer doubled the lead with a fine 70th-minute free kick from 22 meters.
Dortmund, last season’s Bundesliga runner-up, had struggled against the confident hosts, who fielded ex-Dortmund player and 2014 world champion Kevin Grosskreutz.