After months of deprivation, a small cohort of Liverpool fans were finally given a chance to watch their champions in the flesh on Sunday evening.
It was the first time that supporters inside Anfield had witness a Reds title winning team since 1991 but boy, was it worth the wait.
Conscious to make up for lost time, the Premier League champions put on a show for the 2,000 in attendance, strolling to a 4-0 victory over Wolves. It wasn’t just the result that was impressive, the all-round performance was irresistible as well.
Mohamed Salah got the party started inside 24 minutes, as he has done so many times before. Latching onto a mistake by boyhood Reds support Conor Coady, Salah made no mistake with the finish. It was this sort of merciless attitude that would characterise the Reds’ display.
Andy Robertson and Salah teamed up to tear Nelson Semedo to shreds throughout proceedings, while the Liverpool midfield also stamped their authority on proceedings. Curtis Jones impressed once again, showing great intelligence to plug holes defensively and choosing his moments to attack. Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum operated with authority.
Soon after Salah’s opener, the Reds survived a penalty scare, thanks to the intervention of VAR and went into the break 1-0 up. They came out for the second half with renewed purpose with Georginio Wijnaldum scoring his first goal of the season.
What a strike it was as well.
With a few clever passes, Liverpool turned defence into attack and this free flowing counter attack was eventually finished by Wijnaldum, who bent a precise shot into the top corner. A third goal came soon after. This time, Joel Matip was the hero, nodding in Salah’s whipped cross and celebrating exactly like a man who hasn’t scored in over a year should.
These three strikes should have been enough to get the Reds’ title rivals worried and if they weren’t, goal number four certainly was. This one involved Trent Alexander-Arnold. Remember him? The best right-back on the planet made a very welcome return to the team, whipping a cross into the corridor of uncertainty which Nelson Semedo turned into his own net.
Alexander-Arnold was not the only absentee to return either. Naby Keita also continued his rehab with a brief cameo, providing a much needed boost to Jurgen Klopp’s injury depleted squad.
Liverpool’s dominant victory comes at a time where predictions of a tight Premier League title race are starting to be spoken a little more loudly. Tottenham’s easy north London derby win over Arsenal and Chelsea’s triumph over old rivals Leeds this weekend seriously strengthened both sides title credentials. Meanwhile, Leicester City, Manchester United and Manchester City remain peculiarly brilliant at times and woeful at others, but none of them can be entirely ruled out – yet.
However, make no mistake, Klopp’s champions remain the very best team in the land and their win over Wolves – which stretched their unbeaten home run in the league to 65 games – proved that.
As a new banner at Anfield aptly put it, the Reds are ‘back on their perch’ and it will take some side to knock them off it this season.