Liverpool’s start to the 2022-23 Premier League season hasn’t gone quite to plan, with pre-season expectations for a title challenge met with dropped points in each of their first three games and an injury crisis in midfield.
In their fourth game they finally got their first—and much needed—victory with a 9-0 thumping of relegation-favourites Bournemouth. Now, against Newcastle, they need to build on that victory as they look to get their season on track.
“Tonight a good outcome is needed once again,” manager Jürgen Klopp said in his pre-match notes. “We do not get extra points for scoring nine goals or a head-start in our next fixture. We begin again at nil-nil.
And if there’s one thing that’s certain after a big win it is that your next opponent will be looking for any signs that you might be enjoying your last game a bit too much. This is not a new challenge and I would rather have it than not, but we should be aware of it.”
Complacency can creep in after a big win, but given the circumstances around the start of the season it’s hard to see this group being all that complacent thanks to just one—not when they have only five points from four games.
While that’s a disappointing return, though, the reality is that just as they won’t sweep aside every opponent 9-0, this Liverpool side isn’t as bad as the results in those first three games that saw them end up with two draws and a loss.
“We should also recognise that just as everything was not broken before we played Bournemouth, everything is not perfect after we have played them,” Klopp added. “We have played four fixtures at the start of a season that everyone knows will be different.
“We would like to have more points on the board than we have and we are disappointed that we do not, but to be a work-in-progress at this stage is pretty normal so now it is about building on what we have done.”