Yes, it was 4-1, but anyone watching knew it could’ve been much more. Liverpool baptized the newly-renovated Anfield by running visiting Leicester City ragged in that blazing style that few teams in the country at the moment can truly match.
After taking four points from nine in three road matches to start the season, a rocking Anfield was beyond ready to invite the reigning champions to it’s Merseyside parlor, rocking in full throat long before kickoff.
An initial steady build in the early minutes saw the Reds slowly work their way into the match before the doors began to unhinge in the lead up to Roberto Firmino’s account-opening goal on 14 minutes. By the time Sadio Mané converted a cheeky Daniel Sturridge flick on the breakaway, it was 2-0 in the first half hour and the whole stadium had their tails up sensing a mauling in the making.
However, a brief blip followed, as Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva—only just returning from injury to abruptly deputize at center half for last minute injury scratch, Dejan Lovren—made a defensive error while trying to play out from the back, essentially laying on perfectly for the assist to Leicester’s Jamie Vardy six minutes before half time.
Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp jokingly named the Brazilian man of the match in the post-match interview, wryly noting that "He made the game exciting!" right as it had begun to look like it could be a blowout.
Pleasingly, and unlike in recent matches this season against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, Klopp’s side made a point of keeping the foot on the gas even after conceding and not allowing the Londoners to creep back into the match, a sign of progress the German was particularly proud of.
After a brief spell following the visitors’ goal, despite both his side and the fans experiencing moment of anxiety, the Reds managed to regain their footing early in the second half, displaying the mental strength to push on to the tune of some stifling defense along with two more excellent goals from the resurgent Adam Lallana and another one late from Firmino.
It was this aspect of the team’s performance that seemed to please Klopp the most, admitting that the potential had been there for another collapse:
[W]e had to throw [Lucas] in the cold water today. He was not ready for 90 minutes...especially against Vardy,” however he went to state adamantly that: “[I]f you are real team then you fight...for your mate.”
While scoffing at the suggestion that dethroning last year’s champions represented any sign that his mercurial side were ready to challenge for the title this season, the boss, however, made sure to lay out the blueprint for how the Reds plan to kick on in another turbulent Premier League season.
"I know we can be really strong. We have to stay in the race, believe in our style of play. We [have to play] calm football.”