Opening night at Anfield was always a free hit, and one that Grant Hanley shanked. Nevermind, here's Ffion Thomas to tell you about her trip to Liverpool.
Some of our attacking play in both halves was just superb, with Liverpool’s defence cut open and stretched numerous times – replicate that against most other teams in the division and we’ll score goals.
Obviously some of that first half defending was Not Very Good, but it improved considerably within the space of this game, and we can be pretty certain it will continue to do so as our fixtures unfold in the coming weeks. (And then we play Man City at the end of the month, but we’ll worry about that when the time comes.)
Moment of the match
There are consolations, and then there are consolations, and the celebrations for this one were absolutely genuine. Not only a brilliant goal in itself, but a reassuring one, in that Teemu Pukki is off and running. Only seconds before, a chant of “We’re going to score in a minute” had rung out from the away end as we knocked it around positively – good to see the summer break hasn’t disrupted our fans’ highly acute and renowned sense of prescience.
Random star performer
Just a boy from Dereham making our midfield tick in the Premier League – well played Todd Cantwell. Maybe it’s a summer of hard work paying off, or maybe just the confidence of youth, but he was buzzing around, always available, and linking together some brilliant moves. Before pre-season not many people would have expected his name to be in the starting XI at Anfield, but he more than justified his place.
“Spoon the ball into our own net within seven minutes” probably wasn’t in the team talk but the tactical changes clearly made a difference in the second half, as did the introduction of Mo Leitner, who should be well in contention to start on Saturday.
A first trip to Anfield since the construction of the three-tiered monolith that now looms intimidatingly over the other three stands. I thought for the most part it was a decent atmosphere around the ground, certainly better than previous visits, fuelled by opening night anticipation and the home side having the game wrapped up early. Given those first half circumstances the singing kept up in the away end throughout too, with the team getting a great reception at the final whistle. Disappointing to hear a “Sign on” chant catch on towards the end. There was a prominent food bank collection taking place outside Anfield on Friday night – just like the one held at Carrow Road last season. Mocking poverty and hunger is really not a great look.
We weren’t going to win. We didn’t win. But we’ve got one of the hardest fixtures of the season out of the way, and are still better off than Watford after a home game with Brighton, or Southampton after a trip to Burnley. I saw enough at Anfield to be confident that in the games that we can be realistic about getting points from, we’re more than capable.