By Mizgan Masani
There were plenty of positives for Jürgen Klopp in the 3-0 win at Norwich City in the opening Premier League game of the new season. Virgil van Dijk playing the full 90 minutes and looking good, Joel Matip seamlessly slotting back in alongside him, Kostas Tsimikas playing well for 75-80 minutes before “someone pulled the plug”, as Klopp suggested, which earned the Greek Lad a slap around the face from James Milner.
Klopp was able to keep key players Fabinho and Roberto Firmino on the bench till the hour mark, before introducing them and managing their game time after their late arrivals in the pre-season. There was also the customary opening day goal for Mo Salah, in a performance that was not perfect but professional, with a flurry of late saves as well as one early one for our goalscoring goalkeeper, to preserve a clean sheet. Most of all, it produced 3 points.
Amongst all this, there was one under-the-radar type of show from a player who we generally associate with flamboyance in midfield – Naby Keita. Instead, the Guinea international played a steady game in the centre, predominantly occupying the spaces to protect rather than to attack. His passes were simple, movements restricted going forward, kept his shape to cover full-back runs, recovered a lot of balls in midfield.
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