Liverpool midfielder James Milner has praised his teammates for their impressive 4-0 victory over West Ham United in their first game of the season, suggesting that certain factors meant the game could potentially have been more difficult for Jurgen Klopp's side.
The Reds breezed to a comfortable victory over Manuel Pellegrini's new-look Hammers side, with a brace from Sadio Mane and goals from Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge putting considerable distance between the two sides.
Speaking to the club's official website, Milner said: “It was a dangerous fixture.
“With the new signings they’ve made, they are a strong team, with a new manager who has got experience of winning the Premier League.
“So it wasn’t going to be easy but it says a lot about the boys and where we’re at. It was a tough pre-season and a good start. A few of the lads have not been back that long either.
“So it was pleasing; we can improve, we know that. But a few goals, a clean sheet at home and a win is pretty much the perfect start to the season.”
Milner earned a considerable amount of individual praise for his tireless running and creative passing throughout the match, setting up one goal and essentially forming Liverpool's engine room in midfield alongside new signing Naby Keita.
The midfielder was also asked if he and his teammates could have performed even better in the match and if they could have been more clinical during their victory.
“Of course we could, we know that,” the 32-year-old replied.
“But sometimes that comes with a bit of fatigue, the decision-making in the final third and the last bit of quality when it’s the first game of the season. You’re not quite at 100 per cent fitness.
“The pleasing signs are that’s the criticism – you’ll take that any day of the week after the first game of the season.”