Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis, Premier League 2018/19
Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-0 in their opening Premier League game of the season, as they lay down a marker to the rest of the league about their credentials of winning the league this season.
Mo Salah got Liverpool up and running midway through the first half, as he turned in a cross from Andrew Robertson. Sadio Mane added a goal either side of half-time, the second one being a lucky break, as he was offside when he received Roberto Firmino's pass before swiveling and smashing it past Lukasz Fabianski.
Daniel Sturridge rounded off the rout late in the game, as he scored just 20 seconds after coming off the bench.
Here are five points of discussion from the game.
#5 West Ham were scared of Liverpool
It was obvious from the lineup that Manuel Pellegrini's plan was to set his side up to defend against Liverpool's immense attacking threat.
Declan Rice partnering Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere in midfield was an indication that the Hammers wanted to suffocate Liverpool's play through the middle of the park, but they could not match the nous on the ball, that Naby Keita and James Milner possessed.
It might have been better off for Pellegrini to add an attacking player like Roberto Snodgrass or Andriy Yarmolenko from the start, to attack what was still an uncertain Liverpool back-line, especially given the injuries to Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.
But the West Ham that turned up were timid, and almost conceded the game to the Reds even before it started. It was never going to make sense to pump the ball up from the back when the man leading the line was Marko Arnautovic.
The Austrian was never going to threaten Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez in the air, unless there was a Liverpool mistake that happened.
Liverpool was happy to play their game, given the respect afforded to them by West Ham, and they had too much energy and quality on the night for a West Ham side that looked second-best at everything that went on, on the pitch.