Liverpool open the season by brushing West Ham aside

Joann Johnston
August 12, 2018

The Hammers were out-worked and overpowered by Keita, Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield, who were stronger, faster and sharper, while a relatively new-look backline was chaotic and disorganised when Liverpool applied pressure. "He played very, very, very good and everybody was happy with the job he did for us", he told LFCTV.

He said: "It's a very good start, for sure". We need to be ready and have that quality. How can we be something different? "Dejan had a few problems previous year", he said, "but he could play, and he played really good". He has already shown in pre-season that he could be a key player for Liverpool, and he'll be looking to translate that form into the Premier League. You saw we were not as compact anymore in that period when Arnautovic had a chance and they had a few set-pieces.

"It's only an English thing, where you can win the league in the transfer window". It's not possible. It's not interesting. It was only a check-up and the scan was clear, but he felt ill when he came back so we sent him home again. "We enjoy our role, and all the rest is not important to us". You can not test before you have the test. It was a fresh start from the first minute, everything looked like it should have been. It's a good day.

Pressure cranks higher at Anfield than any other Premier League club, with each year which elapses without an end to their title drought only serving to intensify expectations.

"We knew before we played that it was going to hard", Pellegrini admitted post-match.

"Naby's in because he's a really good footballer, and he obviously settled really quickly".

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Reflecting after the game, Pelleigrini defended his team's poor performance. That's what we expect from ourselves and then we will see where it leads to.

"He can play different positions of course, but I think No. 8 is his best in the moment, so that's all cool".

"Only the public and media could cause problems by questioning constantly why some aren't playing".

The Reds had a busy schedule over pre-season, with friendly matches against Chester, Tranmere, Bury, Blackburn, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Manchester United, Napoli and Torino all contested.

Another of Liverpool's summer signings, Xherdan Shaqiri, is likely to start on the bench, with the Liverpool boss unlikely to tinker with the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, who slayed defences for fun last season. 12 seconds?! Ha ha!

"Every season except the first one when I arrived at Barcelona, when I had people who didn't know I was a manager, since then we have always been the favourites".

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