12/09/2020 5:30 pm
Referee: Michael Oliver
|Salah (pen 4, 33, pen 88), van Dijk (20)||Harrison (12), Bamford (30), Klich (66)|
After a strange summer and pre-season campaign, the day has finally arrived for manager Marcelo Bielsa and his Championship title winning side – a return to Premier League action.
With a few new faces added over the summer there probably wasn’t much surprise with the team the Argentine led with to face PL Champions Liverpool, but whatever happened over the 90 minutes (there will be a learning curve and an adjustment needed) – we were back – albeit sadly, the fans were not.
It wasn’t a great start, a harsh penalty against newbie Robin Koch gave Mo Salah the opportunity to open the scoring four minutes in from the penalty spot and he duly obliged. It sparked a decent reaction and we had the ball in the back of the net, only to see it ruled out for offside.
It felt like it might turn into one of those days but we kept our heads up and some sublime control from Jack Harrison saw him add his name to the scoresheet just eight minutes after – game on!
It was certainly more open and end to end than I imagined and we even saw Liverpool have a goal ruled out for offside, but sadly they did regain their advantage as nobody tracked van Dijk in a 20th minute corner.
It only lasted for ten minutes though and often criticised Patrick Bamford made the difference as he slotted past their keeper 30 minutes in.
It was, however, definitely one of those days as Salah grabbed his brace three minutes later.
Halftime, 3-2 but there was plenty of hope, and Mats Klich rewarded that hope 66 minutes in as we again tied the scores up.
With the game looking like it was heading for a justified point, another penalty award went their way and Salah annoyingly buried it for his hattrick. 4-3 – could we come back again with so little time remaining?
Nope – but there were certainly plenty of positives to take from our top flight return, and definitely lessons to learn defensively, so onto the next one now as we’ve shown we can compete but definitely need a few games to show improvement as we adjust to the PL level.