Liverpool must get better to mount Premier League title challenge, warns Klopp


While he only picked up two fantasy points against Manchester United over the weekend, Leicester's new signing looked bright in his Premier League debut with the Foxes. A once-great prospect whose last hurrah came in the late 1980s making a comeback against the latter-day heroes is a more accurate reflection of where Liverpool now sits. In contrast, midfielder Naby Keita, who cost Liverpool 50mn pounds from RB Leipzig, was excellent throughout.

The strength of Klopp's squad was underlined by the Liverpool bench against West Ham, with Daniel Sturridge, Xherdan Shaqiri and Jordan Henderson all introduced in the second half, while Fabinho and Adam Lallana unused. We know about our expectations and we know there is a really positive atmosphere around us in the pre-season.

Liverpool supporters are not usually slow to come up with a ditty for new signings and such will be Naby Keita's influence this season that it would be better for them to be prepared from now on. Sometimes we want to kill him and sometimes you think wow what a player we have.

"We are still Rocky Balboa, not Ivan Drago", he said on the eve of the season, invoking the underdog spirit of the fictional American boxer.

"When you play against a team with such quality and the confidence of being champions, it's always going to be hard", Cech said.

"We are just starting the season".

The champions, attempting to become the first team since Manchester United in 2009 to retain the title, were too good for an Arsenal side playing under new Spanish manager Unai Emery.

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West Ham were overrun in midfield, while the pace and one-touch football of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were overwhelming.

We've all seen how nonchalant Hazard can be when scoring from the spot, waiting for the goalkeeper to move and commit himself before casually rolling the ball in the opposite corner.

Key to Liverpool's elevated position as City's nearest challengers, despite finishing 25 points behind in fourth last season, is their £170million summer investment on four players. In the first half we had two or three clear chances to make it 1-1 and we conceded the second goal in the last second of the period.

The second goal, however, was asking for an offside decision but it was never called and the Senegalese attacker made it 3-0.

Liverpool's midfield was often said to be a problem area in the last campaign due to a lack of creativity following the departure of Philippe Coutinho, while they were also hampered at times by injuries.

West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble, Rice (Snodgrass, 46 mins), Antonio, Wilshere, Felipe Anderson (Hernandez, 62 mins), Arnautovic (Yarmolenko, 67 mins).