Sport Soccer

Friday 21 September 2018

Keita classy, Alisson under-worked – how Liverpool’s new boys fared

Manager Jurgen Klopp has spent big this summer.

Naby Keita (left) was among the new faces to feature at Anfield (David Davies/PA)
Naby Keita (left) was among the new faces to feature at Anfield (David Davies/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Liverpool began the new season against West Ham with two of their big-name summer signings in their starting line-up and another two on the bench.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the Anfield new boys fared in the 4-0 win.

Alisson Becker

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Alisson (right) had an uneventful Liverpool debut

The £65million goalkeeper was brought in from Roma to address a long-term weakness in Jurgen Klopp’s side, but, on this occasion, the Reds hardly needed their last line of defence. This was a quieter a debut than any keeper could expect. The Brazilian was hardly tested, being called into action just once in the first half when Fabian Balbuena directed a header straight at him. The second half was a similar story and he dealt comfortably with a long-range Michail Antonio shot.

Naby Keita

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Keita (right) had a hand in Liverpool’s opening goal for Mohamed Salah (left) (David Davies/PA)

The Guinea international made his long-awaited Liverpool debut, over a year after the deal to sign him was agreed, and he did not disappoint. The £52.75million midfielder was composed, tidy and energetic, looking to probe forward but willing to get back when needed. His range of passing was good and there was some neat one-touch football from him, as well as the driving run which led to the opening goal. An assured and impressive start – although he will not want to see a replay of his sliced shot in the second half.

Xherdan Shaqiri

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Shaqiri made his Liverpool debut as a late substitute (Nick Potts/PA)

The former Stoke playmaker was only introduced eight minutes from time and had little opportunity to make an impression. That did not prevent him from quickly getting into the action, however, with a couple of driving runs at the heart of the West Ham defence and some promising link-up play with Mohamed Salah.

Fabinho

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Fabinho, pictured here in a summer friendly, did not feature against the Hammers (Nigel French/PA)

The £43.7million Brazilian will have to wait another week for his debut having not been called off the bench by manager Klopp.

Press Association

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