Liverpool were made to work for their first three points of the season, but a win is a win and when all the points are tallied up in May, this one will be just as good as any other.
Despite losing a number of players — and a manager — over the summer, Southampton put up a serious fight and will feel a bit aggrieved to be leaving Merseyside with nothing. “We had to grind out a result and today was a brilliant win for us,” said Reds boss Brendan Rodgers in his post-match interview. “It was a tough game, the first game back into the new season. I’m really happy with that determination and character to win a football match. As the season rolls on, we’ll get better and more fluent. It was very hard-fought.”
Fifty years ago today the great Bob Paisley started his Liverpool reign with a 2-1 win over Luton Town before going on to win all manners of things with the Reds.
While it’s not quite the same at all, Brendan Rodgers got his third season in the Anfield hot-seat under way earlier in the day with an scrappy, if not unconvincing, win over visiting Southampton by the exact same scoreline. It’s far too early to draw any parallels there, but there’ little doubt that the three time European Cup winning manager would have shown too much concern with the outcome. Three points is three points, now isn’t it?
It took almost the entire summer to wrap it up, but along with the confirmation that Liverpool have finally completed the signing of Sevilla fullback Alberto Moreno comes a massive sigh of relief.
With first choice left-back Jose Enrique ruled out for much of last season, securing both cover and more importantly competition for the Spaniard was a key transfer target this summer as the Anfield outfit looked plug the holes at the back. “Alberto is a player with huge potential, but importantly he is also ready to come in and contribute straight away” explained Reds manager Brendan Rodgers. “He is quick, strong and serves the ball really well.”
Despite the heroics of last season still living quite vividly in the memory, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was quick to brush aside any talk of title aspirations in his first pre-match press conference of the Premier League season.
“Our aim is to be competitive. Like the top teams, we want to win a trophy. That would be an aim. In the league, it’s about sustaining Champions League football” he said ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Southampton at Anfield. “For that you want to arrive in fourth. Once you have consolidated that, you can look beyond that. That’s certainly our aim this season.” There’s a long way to go, but the route always seems a bit shorter if you get off to a flier and tomorrow that’s exactly what Rodgers — and his host of ex-Southampton players — will be looking to do as they try to avoid making things awkward at Anfield.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman isn’t exactly in the most enviable position. Sure, taking over at the South Coast club after they enjoyed yet another successful Premier League campaign doesn’t sound all that bad on the surface, but once you start to compare squad sheets, the problem he has on his hands becomes apparent.
A mass exodus from St. Mary’s following the departure of former boss Mauricio Pochettino will be punctuated only further when they line up against Liverpool on Sunday. Although there’s been a high profile departure or two to other clubs — with more possibly on the horizon — ex-Saints trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren are all sporting the famous red shirt these days and things could get a bit awkward in the Anfield tunnel before kick-off.