Liverpool's substitutes bench during Jurgen Klopp's first match now looks remarkably bad

Liverpool's captain Daniel Sturridge applauds supporters following a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. Virgil van Dijk

Goals from Mohamed Salah, two strikes from Sadio Mane and an effort from Daniel Sturridge handed the Reds a comfortable victory as they moved top of the Premier League table.

"We made a good performance in general and day by day we will get better and better", he said.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, signed for £65 million from Roma, was rarely troubled, but looked assured in starting attacks from the back, while Virgil van Dijk was imperious in sniffing out any sense of danger.

Last season has made Klopp's mind up on the position.

Sturridge was sent on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the second half of last season after slipping down the Anfield pecking order, seeing his career stagnate due to a number of niggling injury issues. "It was a tough game before the game, during the game and after the game", said Manuel Pellegrini afterwards.

Whilst the four goals scored will stick out most for Liverpool fans, conceding zero at home is something they're hoping to become more accustomed to. "You look at some of the boys on the bench today and those who aren't quite fit yet, it's a great squad and exactly what we want".

An intelligently timed pass to Robertson aided Liverpool's opener in a game where Keita floated around the pitch that he owned, barely needing to get out of second gear.

It may only be August, but Liverpool has let the rest of the league know their sights are set on the title.

However, Salah must drag himself to the well once again if Liverpool are to keep track of a City team that will score goals from every area of the field. However, you'd expect them to be keeping hush behind the sofa after this one. N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard: it was only four weekends ago that all of these players participated in the final games in Russian Federation, but they're already back and doing what they do best. They deserved to win. It is worth remembering that City finished 25 points ahead of Liverpool last season and there is no way Klopp's team will make up that massive margin all on their own.

Klopp conceded it had been impossible to ignore the excitement and expectation among the club's fans that a near three-decade wait to win the league could come to an end in May. Pep Guardiola's side swept to the title last term with a record 100 points and they were quickly back in the groove at the Emirates Stadium.

City have ticked most of their boxes as we approach the 10-year anniversary of their takeover but they haven't ticked that one.



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