While most fans were caught up in the opening of a new main stand at Anfield and the improved atmosphere that it produced on Saturday as Liverpool belatedly got their home opener for the 2016-17 Premier League season, a few were quick to notice that the main stand wasn’t the only thing that had changed.
Back in 2012, one of Brendan Rodgers’ first acts as manager of the club was to install red nets, a throwback to Liverpool’s glory years. Liverpool kept using red nets through the 2013-14 title challenge and last season’s managerial change, with Jürgen Klopp taking over in October, when he inherited those red goal nets.
On Saturday, they were back to white, and according to the club’s official website it was a change made only days ahead of the match when the players took to training at the new expanded Anfield. It was an attempt to acclimatise to their renovated home ahead of Saturday’s match against the defending champions.
Klopp, though, felt that in the sea of red seats—and knowing that on matchday the majority of fans would quite obviously be wearing red—made the goal harder to see in the players’ peripheral vision than if they were white. On Thursday evening, the goal nets were red. On Friday, they were white. On Saturday, Leicester.
Liverpool proceeded to put four past their opponents, recording their highest home shot accuracy rate since Klopp took over at the club. Whether there will measurable long-term gains, of course, nobody knows. But on the strength of Saturday at least, it’s hard to argue with the move back to white nets at Anfield.