Mohamed Salah became the first player ever to score on the opening weekend in five straight Premier League seasons as Liverpool got their bid to wrestle back the title off to a winning start with a 3-0 success at new boys Norwich City.
The Egyptian striker had a hand in all three goals as it was his heavy touch from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross that allowed Diogo Jota to steal in and rifle home the opener on 26 minutes.
Liverpool stepped up a gear following the interval and substitute Roberto Firmino doubled their advantage within five minutes of taking to the field when he tucked home Salah’s low pass just past the hour.
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Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

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The visitors continued to threaten and Salah finally got in on the act when he curled a sumptuous finish into the far corner.
Norwich were hoping to mark their latest return to the top-flight with a strong performance in front of a packed Carrow Road crowd but rarely troubled the Merseysiders. Teemu Pukki saw a driven effort well blocked by Alisson in the first half before the Brazilian stopper produced a sensational late save to keep out Ben Gibson's close-range attempt.
Next up, Norwich visit champions Manchester City on Saturday while Liverpool host Burnley.

TALKING POINT

Liverpool look sharp in win that could be a good omen. Well, that was an excellent early statement of intent from Jurgen Klopp’s men. Three goals from a trio of his front four, a clean sheet and plenty of reasons to be cheerful overall. The big news was that Virgil van Dijk was back in the defence and it was clear his presence alongside another long-term absentee in the shape of Joel Matip, made a significant difference to the whole side. There was more stability and an evident confidence in the back four that filtered throughout the rest of the team, with Greek left back Kostas Tsimikas providing another real positive on his full PL debut in place of the injured Andy Robertson.
There will be tougher challenges ahead but the Merseysiders will be content with a win that also equals their club record of most successive away league victories against the same opponent (eight – versus West Brom and Norwich). Kopites will hope it’s a good omen too. Liverpool have met Norwich in the opening league fixture of a campaign on three previous occasions and on the two where they have won they have gone on to win the league title.

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on August 14, 2021.

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As for Norwich, this was just the start of a tough run of fixtures to mark their latest bid to remain in the top-flight. They’ve been something of a Yo-Yo team in recent years but they showed good character even when the game was clearly up midway through the second half. They also have personnel to come back in and Daniel Farke will be keen to ensure belief isn’t harmed by the heavy scoreline. The Canaries have now lost 11 PL games on the spin either side of a relegation to equal the second-longest run in the competition’s history after Aston Villa in 2011. They’d have to go some way to catch Sunderland’s 20-game run between 2003 and 2005 but it could get more painful before it improves with Man City and Leicester on their immediate horizon.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Mo Salah (Liverpool). The forward was a constant menace in an energetic performance that he capped with an obligatory opening day goal and two assists.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on August 14, 2021. -

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

NORWICH CITY: Krul 6, Aarons 7, Gibson 7, Hanley 7, Giannoulis 7, Rupp 6, Gilmour 6, Lees-Melou 7, Cantwell 6, Rashica 7, Pukki 7. Subs: Sargent 6, Idah 6, Dowell n/a.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson 8, Alexander-Arnold 8, Van Dijk 8, Matip 8, Tsimikas 8, Milner 7, Keita 8, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Salah 9, Mane 8, Jota 7. Subs: Fabinho 7, Firmino 7, Ellliott n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

20’ – NORWICH CHANCE! Pukki makes a clever run to latch on to Cantwell's ball in-behind and beat the high defensive line. He races into the right side of the Liverpool box but sees his fizzing strike parried away by Alisson at his near post.
23’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Salah meets Mane's deep cross from the left flush on the volley but his wonderful strike flies just wide of the far post.
26’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-1 Liverpool. Jota drills a low first-time shot beyond Krul from inside the area after Salah's loose first touch from Trent AA's cross turned into the perfect pass.
49’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Mane's goal-bound, low shot is well blocked by Aarons after Trent AA had picked him out at the far post. It didn’t look like Krul was going to get across to it.
62’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Krul gets down well to deny a rasping low strike from Tsimikas.
65’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-2 Liverpool. Firmino doubles the advantage as he tucks home Salah's low pass after Mane's initial shot was blocked.
74’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-3 Liverpool. Salah curves a superb strike into the far corner after Norwich could only clear a left-wing corner into his path.
88’ – NORWICH CHANCE! That's a real goalmouth melee. Gibson has a clear-cut chance inside the six-yard box but is thwarted by a remarkable save from Alisson. Norwich try to scramble in the rebound but somehow the Reds survive.

KEY STATS

Salah has been directly involved in 24 goals in 24 Premier League starts against newly promoted clubs for Liverpool (14 goals, 10 assists).
Salah has 10 goal involvements in games on the opening weekend of the Premier League (7 goals, 3 assists) - only Wayne Rooney (8 goals, 5 assists) has more in the competition.
Firmino scored Liverpool's 8,000th goal in the Football League/Premier League, becoming only the second side to hit that total, after Man Utd (8,089).
Norwich City have now lost their last 11 Premier League matches - only Sunderland have ever lost more consecutively in the competition (20 between 2003 and 2005).
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