Media hail Liverpool’s “mauling” of Aston Villa as Szoboszlai is “magnificent”

Liverpool’s imperious display to beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield was enjoyed by many in the media.

Some predicted that Jurgen Klopp‘s side could find it tough to overcome Aston Villa on Sunday, but their win never felt in doubt.

Dominik Szoboszlai got Liverpool off to a perfect start, finishing in style, and Matty Cash’s unlucky own goal doubled the Reds’ advantage.

Mohamed Salah then netted his customary goal in the second half, completing what was an excellent outing on a sunny Merseyside afternoon.

Here’s how the media reacted to Liverpool’s latest win.


Anfield witnessed a vintage Liverpool performance…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Riath Al-Samarrai of the Daily Mail hailed the ease at which Liverpool secured the three points:

“Disturbances and irritations in the market, tranquillity and progress on the field. Whatever uncertainties Liverpool might be feeling about the future of their leading man, there is nothing quite like a stroll in the sunshine to lift the mood.

“There will be tougher days ahead, and they could occur this week if Saudi Arabia go to irresistibly silly lengths in their pursuit of Mo Salah, but this was a fun interlude. A quick, easy dance around the cones of Aston Villa.

“Truly, it was a mauling, a collision between class and frailty, with two goals inside 22 minutes before Villa were finally pickled and put away on the shelf with a third on 55 minutes.”

On Twitter, David Lynch gave a hugely positive assessment of the Reds’ victory, comparing it to last season:

“I remember Liverpool being bullied in the centre of the park as Aston Villa claimed a deserve point here in May. Hugely encouraging to see a new-look midfield flip things on their head today to make it an excellent start to the new season.”


It was hard not to focus on certain individuals…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado loved what he saw from Szoboszlai:

“And so, we must mention the other starter centrally – who has been imperious since signing.

“He’s had a magnificent start to his Liverpool career in performance terms, but Dominik Szoboszlai just needed that end product to make everyone else sit up and realise how good he is.

“That came fewer than three minutes into this game with one of the most sweetest-hit and perfectly controlled strikes you’ll see with a player’s ‘wrong’ foot all season.

“The early goal got the Reds off to a flyer and was a good example of what was to come once more from the No.8, spraying the ball about with real class, offering plenty of hard running defensively and linking play through the middle when he could.”

Matthew Cooper of the Mirror was another who admired Szoboszlai’s display:

“The Hungarian has made an impressive start to his Liverpool career and scored his first goal for the Reds against Villa with an excellent finish.

“Szoboszlai netted a brilliant half-volley on the edge of the box after Villa failed to clear a corner from Alexander-Arnold.

“Klopp has previously hailed Szoboszlai as a ‘beast’ and the 22-year-old has barely put a foot wrong since joining the club, something that has been incredibly important for Liverpool given the complete overhaul of their midfield this summer.”

Meanwhile, the Telegraph‘s Sam Green felt Darwin Nunez shone all afternoon:

“Salah and Szoboszlai will grab the headlines but Darwin Nunez also impressed on his first start of the season.

“The big Uruguayan did not get a goal to add to his late double that sunk Newcastle last week, but his shot that hit the post rebounded back in off Villa’s Matty Cash for Liverpool’s second, he hit the bar with a lovely dinked chip, set up Salah’s goal and generally put himself about well.

“Nunez, Salah, Diaz, Szoboszlai…Jota and Gakpo coming off the bench… Liverpool’s attack is looking pretty fearsome again.”

Gary Rose of BBC Sport had to focus on Salah, as his future continues to make the headlines:

“Klopp has said Salah is “100% committed” to Liverpool and there was nothing to suggest otherwise on Sunday as he again underlined his importance to the Reds against Villa.

“He created opportunities and had chances himself, before finally getting on the scoresheet 10 minutes into the second half.

“With Nunez also continuing to impress, the Reds possess the attacking strength to suggest they will be strong contenders to challenge at the top end of the table this season.

“Salah is a three-time Golden Boot winner in the Premier League and, despite his age, this performance shows he remains an integral part of Klopp’s side.”

The Independent‘s Richard Jolly echoed that sentiment:

“Salah scarcely performed like a man distracted by the prospect of a move that could make him the third most expensive player ever or the best-paid on the planet. Rather, it was a typical display: he now has seven goals in his last seven starts against Aston Villa and has either scored or assisted in each of Liverpool’s last 10 league games.

“Were Darwin Nunez’s finishing more accurate, he would have done both here. Instead, he added to what has been a terrific start to the season for Liverpool. A focus on the transfer market can generate a sense of crisis, with the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, the failed bids for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia and the prospect of Salah being poached.

“Yet Liverpool have 10 points from four games, three of them against sides widely expected to finish in the top eight. They were rampant and dominant as Villa were swatted aside.

“Salah’s excellence was predictable. And so, rather than the man who might have left for £150m, perhaps it became about a duo who, between them, could come to cost a similar sum.

“The Egyptian could have become their record sale this week, but the pair who, respectively, are their biggest summer signing and, if add-ons are triggered, the biggest in their history, became the headlines.”


10 points from four games represents an excellent start to the season…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Twitter, stats expert Andrew Beasley highlighted was a strong opening this has been by Liverpool:

“Only twice in the PL era (2018/19 and 2019/20) have Liverpool had more than 10 points after four games, with six other instances of getting exactly 10.

“With two tough aways, two red cards and a midfield largely rebuilt from scratch? Yeah, I’ll take that. Up the Reds.”

Delgado lauded the first four games and looked ahead to what comes next:

“Starting the season with three wins and a draw from four is an excellent start, no question, though there cannot also be any doubt that this 90 minutes was the best and most complete all-round performance of the campaign so far.

“Some of those other points claimed were perhaps not all by sustainable means, shall we say, whereas the Reds controlled this game start to finish and were better in every area.

“It’s also nice to finish with 11 on the pitch!

Wolves and West Ham lie ahead after the internationals, but so too does the start of the midweek action – LASK and Leicester should both provide the chance to rotate, see some squad players involved and make sure Jurgen Klopp‘s preferred XI are fit and firing for the league games.

“This was a much better showing, and there’s reason to hope we’ll see a lot more of it in the fixtures ahead if the squad is managed accordingly.”