Liverpool kicked off their Premier League title charge in emphatic fashion on Sunday with a 4-0 win over West Ham at Anfield.
2017/2018 Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah picked up where he left off last season when he opened the scoring on 19 minutes.
Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool’s lead in first half stoppage time before netting his second and the hosts’ third eight minutes after the interval.
Second half substitute Daniel Sturridge later followed up his superb pre-season when he scored with his first touch of the game in the 88th minute.
A ruthless attacking display from the Reds inflicted a miserable return to England for Manuel Pellegrini in his first Premier League game in charge of the Hammers.
The season opener meanwhile staged full debuts for summer signings Alisson and Naby Keita, with Xherdan Shaqiri entering the game in the 81st minute and Fabinho remaining an unused substitute.
Keita was the first new face to make an impression when he initiated the move that would result in Liverpool’s opener.
The Guinean capped off an impressive burst from midfield by feeding the run of Andrew Robertson, whose driven cross was tapped in by Salah at the far post.
Trent Alexander-Arnold came close to adding his name to the scoresheet shortly after as his long-range free-kick was well-saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham, fielding five debutants of their own, failed to take the hint as they continued to invite pressure with their high defensive line.
Marko Arnautovic was afforded a rare opening when he latched onto a lofted pass Angelo Ogbonna. The Austrian created space in behind Joe Gomez with two delicate touches but dragged his eventual shot wide of Alisson’s far post.
Liverpool’s dominance was rewarded on the stroke of half-time when a stretching James Milner refused to give up on Robertson’s deep cross, diverting the ball back into the path of Mane for a simple finish into an open net.
The Senegalese forward had fellow frontman Roberto Firmino to thank for his second, with the no.9’s jinking run and flicked pass carving an opening for Mane to fire beyond Fabianski.
Replays did, however, appear to show that Mane had been in an offside position as he finished on the swivel.
Sturridge rounded off the win within seconds of coming on when he volleyed home a late Liverpool corner at the far post.
A visit to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park promises to be a far tougher test of the Reds’ Premier League title credentials.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita, Salah (Sturridge 87′), Mane (Shaqiri 81′), Firmino (Henderson 69′).
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku, Noble, Rice (Snodgrass 46′), Wilshere, Antonio, Anderson (Hernandez 62′), Arnautovic (Yarmolenko 67′).
Liverpool 4-0 West Ham