The opening salvos of the 2023-24 Premier League season have officially been exchanged. Four matches in and we already have a ton of spectacular moments. Controversy and shocking results also have presented themselves. From a Liverpool perspective, we’ve definitely had our fair share. Promising signs, several sendings-off, and an improbable comeback highlight what has been chiefly a positive early start.
Any worries about early woes from our newest number 8 have been since put to bed. A solid performance in the opener against Chelsea set the precedent for Dominik Szoboszlai. This was followed by a slick showing in the 3-1 win against Bournemouth, a gutsy display versus Newcastle down to 10 men, and most recently a man-of-the-match outing with Aston Villa at home. The Hungarian got his first of many goals in a red shirt against the Villans and what a first goal it was.
It’s early days, but the £60m fee looks like an outright bargain. We may finally have the Steven Gerrard successor in the #8 shirt Liverpool fans have been crying out for.
Digging In Early
Despite the decent start, Liverpool haven’t made it easy for themselves. The dismissal of Alexis Mac Allister, while certainly harsh, forced Liverpool to manage a game where they were thankfully 3-1 up. However, at St. James’ Park, it was an entirely different story.
Virgil van Dijk’s sending-off certainly seemed like it was going to turn the Newcastle fixture into one where everything went against our Reds. However, Klopp’s men persevered and gave themselves a fighting chance. The resiliency displayed gave Darwin Nunez the platform to steal one at the death with two pinpoint finishes. Liverpool may have been lucky on the day. But even the most jaded cynic can commend them for the spirit shown in that unlikely triumph.
The Nunez Conundrum
Speaking of our talented Uruguayan, if there was a start to the season that epitomizes a player, then this is it. Surprisingly, a fantastic preseason for Darwin didn’t translate to a start at Chelsea. Many wondered how Nunez would break into an already-loaded Liverpool attack. His late heroics against Newcastle certainly staked his claim. That glorious substitute appearance put him firmly in Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
His first start against Aston Villa wasn’t as memorable as the Newcastle cameo. Nevertheless, the fear and disruption he struck into the Villa backline was evident early on. This culminated with an assist to Mo Salah following a well-worked set piece. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of Liverpool fans expect bigger things from Darwin. This start is a more than adequate springboard to reach those expectations.
Onwards and Upwards
Liverpool have had easier games to start the season in years past. It is nice though to have two difficult fixtures, Chelsea and Newcastle away, checked off the list so early in the season. Taking four points from those two isn’t that bad either. With the Europa League and cup competitions soon to be rearing their heads, the squad as a whole will be tested.
Supporters have a great deal to look forward to. Our new signings are starting off well and the attack is looking as deadly as ever. Our Deadline Day addition, Ryan Gravenberch, has still yet to kick a ball in a red shirt. It’s a very exciting time to root for Klopp’s mighty Reds!