Liverpool hand West Ham a hiding

Liverpool eased past a disjointed West Ham side 4-0 in their opening Premier League fixture of the new season at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool 4 West Ham United 0
Salah taps home on 19′
Mane nets on 45’+2
Mane bags a second on 53′
Sturridge scores with his first touch on 88′

Match summary

It took just 19 minutes for Mohamed Salah to open his account for the Reds, while Sadio Mane may just have outshone his teammate, with a goal either side of the half-time break, before Daniel Sturridge netted with his only touch of the game.

Full report

Liverpool were lively from the off with Roberto Firmino fizzing an early cross across the face of the West Ham goal, only for Ryan Fredericks to clear.

Trent Alexander-Arnold marginally overhit his delivery to Mane moments later before forcing Lukasz Fabianski to punch a second delivery clear as the Reds piled on the early pressure.

Salah and new man Naby Keita were involved in the early activity, while another slick move saw Mane fed by James Milner, but Fabianski was first to the retrieve a bouncing ball.

But a goal had been coming, and it was a simple tap-in for Salah after Keita played in Andrew Robertson, and he sent in a low cross from the left for the Egyptian.

Fabianski was being kept busy, and next clawed an Alexander-Arnold effort from around 25 yards away from the top right corner of his goal, before a rare chance at the other end. Arthur Masuaku picked out Marko Arnautovic but he saw his shot deflect just wide of Alisson in the Liverpool goal.

Georginio Wijnaldum was then dispossessed by referee Anthony Taylor, to present the ball to Arnautovic on the volley, that he smashed just wide.

Salah was then off target with a 37th minute header before forcing Fabianski into a good block from close range, but the home side went into the break two goals to the good as Mane swept in on the stroke of half-time.

Robertson did well to pick out Milner at the back post from the left, and the England midfielder cut the ball back just behind an unmarked Sane, who found the back of the net.

Robert Snodgrass replaced Declan Rice for West Ham at the start of the second period and the change so nearly had an immediate effect as Felipe Anderson flicked on a Snodgrass delivery for Michail Antonio who was inches away from slotting home.

Normal service was resumed though and Mane added a third goal with 53 minutes played, as he turned well inside the box having picked up a pass from Firmino, although replays indicate the player was in an offside position.

The Reds were very much in control of this tie, and came close to a hat-trick, but Mane glanced a header on 69 minutes just over the bar.

Keita, who showed some excellent form in the middle of the park for his new team, was just over with a shot on 73 minutes, while Salah so nearly poked in a fourth, from another good Robertson delivery, but somehow West Ham survived that attack.

Xherdan Shaqiri replaced Mane for the final 10 minutes and his ball to Keita could have resulted in a penalty as Fabian Balbuena made a heavy challenge, although play was waved on.

Salah was then replaced by Daniel Sturridge and he scored with his first touch – at the back post from a Milner corner – stealing in front of his man to add a well deserved fourth for a rampant Liverpool side.