EPL

Diaz: Liverpool start not 'problematic', playing with Salah 'stupendous'

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Luis Diaz does not believe Liverpool's start to the Premier League season has been "problematic", but accepted the stumbling Reds must improve quickly. 

Liverpool have failed to win any of their opening three league games for the first time since Brendan Rodgers' first season at the helm in 2012-13, having fallen to a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Monday.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford dealt the Reds their first Premier League loss of 2022, which followed back-to-back draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Liverpool have now conceded the opening goal in seven successive Premier League games for the first time in their history, while a number of injuries to key players have led to calls for Jurgen Klopp to dip into the transfer market.

While Diaz recognises the need for rapid improvements, he was keen to avoid overstating Liverpool's troubles when speaking to Sky Sports.

"It's been a bit of a difficult start," he said. "It's not quite the outset we wanted for the season. We're a club that goes out to win three points from every game we play.

"I wouldn't say it's problematic for the players or for the manager, but certainly we all know we need to do better."

Reflecting on Monday's defeat at Old Trafford, the Colombia winger added: "We were fully aware of what kind of rivalry exists between the clubs and we knew we had a big task ahead of us. It didn't go our way on the day.

"We know now we have to just do our job and train hard, rest hard and look forward to the next game, when we can hopefully accumulate some points and get a proper start to the season."

Liverpool have now lost four games against United in all competitions under Klopp, with each coming against a different Red Devils boss; Louis van Gaal in 2017, Jose Mourinho in 2018, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021 and Erik ten Hag last time out.

Although there were few positives for Liverpool to take from the loss, Mohamed Salah's late consolation made him Liverpool's all-time top scorer against United with 10 goals, and Diaz described the Egypt star in glowing terms. 

"It's stupendous for me, being able to share my position in the team with Mo," he added. 

"I've seen him over many years on television at so many tournaments and I'd like to say I'm proud of myself, having reached this position where I can share with him these experiences, to wear the same shirt and be a team-mate of his. 

"It's really something special. Every day, playing alongside players like him, it helps you to improve, not just in a footballing sense as a player but also as a person.

"He's a great guy and there's a very special connection between him and me, and between all of us, in fact."

Liverpool welcome Bournemouth to Anfield looking for their first win of the Premier League season on Saturday.

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