The season is almost upon us as we prepare to face Leeds United at Anfield on Saturday. Over the years, there have been some memorable opening day clashes.
Last season was a memorable one for us, securing our first league title in 30 years and the first Premier League trophy in our cabinet after rival fans reminded us about its absence for so long.
It all started with a 4-1 victory over Norwich City, which ended up being overshadowed by the injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker in the first half. But in the end, it didn’t turn out to be a huge worry, after all, thanks to the efforts of Adrian.
Over the years, there have been some enthralling clashes that we’ve been involved in that saw us pick up our first three points of the respective campaigns.
Here are the five games that I believe stand out in the memory as the top five Premier League victories on game week one.
5) Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City (2013)
The 2013/14 campaign was an emotional one for all of us, which ended in immense sadness after what was an uplifting and eye-opening nine months of football.
But some will have forgotten what took place on the opening day of that season, in what was a memorable debut for the newly-signed Simon Mignolet at the time. Following Daniel Sturridge’s first-half opener, the visitors were given a penalty which was handed to the responsibility of Jonathan Walters to dispatch and level the game at 1-1.
But the Belgian shot-stopper had other ideas, brilliantly saving low to his right to help us pick up the victory.
4) Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United (2018)
Due to my memories of other games, this was only at number four but this meant so much to us.
After the disappointing defeat in Kyiv three months earlier, we had to do everything in our power to eradicate that dismal night in Eastern Europe.
This game was the start of that journey. An emphatic win over West Ham United at Anfield was one of 97 points that we picked up on the way to finishing second in the Premier League, but lifting our sixth Champions League crown in Madrid.
Goals from Mohamed Salah, a brace from Sadio Mane and a late finish from Daniel Sturridge condemned Manuel Pellegrini’s men, which left Jurgen Klopp in a cheerful mood after the final whistle.
3) Liverpool 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (1995)
One of my first memories in football and was one of the key reasons as to why I started supporting this football club in the first place. This is more of a sentimental choice than a logical one.
Stan Collymore was brought in for a club-record £8m fee at the time, peanuts in today’s market. He could not have started better. Before half-time he picked up the ball from John Barnes, turned away from his man and curled a peach of a shot into the bottom right-hand corner, sparking pandemonium from the Anfield faithful and some famous words from commentator Clive Tyldesley.
“You only get what you pay for in this world, and Liverpool have paid top price for a top finisher”, he said exuberantly.
2) Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (2016)
If goals were what you wanted at the start of the 2016/17 season, then your prayers were answered emphatically.
It was more of a case of which defence was worse, as both teams tried to outscore each other. For me, this game was a crucial one in terms of Jurgen Klopp building his dynasty. We may not have achieved what we have if it wasn’t for this game.
Another debutant got off to a dream start, this time it was Sadio Mane. Having made the move to Anfield for £34m, he stunned the Emirates Stadium by starting his run wide on the right, checking inside and unleashing a thunderbolt into the top corner. Simply amazing.
Even though we didn’t win anything this season, it was a big step for us to take at a time of great uncertainty.
1) Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool (2007)
This easily tops the list for me. Not only for the goals but the jubilation in the away end that followed.
I can tell this meant a lot to Steven Gerrard, having just come off the way of that defeat in Athens, which I still refuse to discuss to this day.
We took a first-half lead through Fernando Torres but we were pegged back by a Gareth Barry penalty. I doubt one Liverpool fan saw us winning the game from this position.
But we did, Steven Gerrard won himself a free-kick from 30 yards out and struck perfectly into the top right-hand corner. So satisfying to watch back to this day and one in which I needed a day or two for my voice to return.
The celebrations from the travelling fans replicate what we saw last season when Mane scored late on. Simply amazing.