5 talking points as Diogo Jota header earns Liverpool victory over Sheffield Utd

Liverpool were made to work hard for their first Premier League victory in three attempts as a dogged Sheffield United were beaten at Anfield.

The struggling Blades – who had yet to take the lead in any game this season – were given the perfect chance to do so when Fabinho was controversially judged to have fouled Oli McBurnie just inside the penalty area early in the match.

Sander Berge slotted past the returning Alisson from the spot, and the Brazilian had to be alert to keep out Simon Osborn from close range shortly afterwards.

The Reds levelled when Roberto Firmino converted from close range after Aaron Ramsdale had only pushed out a Sadio Mane header, and Mohamed Salah saw his effort ruled out by VAR just after the break.

However, no sooner had the Reds cursed that decision than they took the lead with what proved to be the winner, as Diogo Jota headed in Mane's cross.

Here's are the game's talking points.

1. Blurred lines

Another week, another intense scrutiny on a line during a Liverpool match.

This time it was a line on the pitch rather than one that had been drawn by the VAR etch-a-sketch though, as all of the focus fell on just where Fabinho challenged McBurnie on the very edge of the penalty area.

Penalty? Free-kick? Even with endless replays you couldn't really tell, which made the VAR's decision to turn Mike Dean's original award of a free-kick into a penalty all the more curious.

The real truth is that Brazilian really shouldn't have been making a challenge from behind like that in the first place though, something that will serve as a valuable lesson to him as he continues to learn his centre-back role.

2. Berge stands out for Blades

After the award of the penalty it was Berge who stepped forward and garnished his fine first half display by slotting home at the empty Kop end.

It might be harsh to say that the Norwegian club record signing has sometimes flattered to deceive since his arrival at Bramall Lane in January, but he certainly made his massive presence felt here as he barrelled forward on many an occasion in the first half.

He was a threat that Liverpool struggled to deal with, and time and again he showed just why he was so highly-rated before making the move to the Premier League.

He could also have won a penalty let alone scored one.

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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.

They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.

Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.

But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.

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3. Firmino breaks home duck early this time

Last season it took until Liverpool's 19th and final Premier League home game of the season for Firmino to score in the competition on his home ground, but he's got rid of that monkey off his back pretty early in 2020/21.

Indeed, the Brazilian just needed a goal in any competition such has been his less than stellar form in recent weeks, and he showed that he can still do the job of a conventional striker by being in the right place at the right to finish off after Mane had seen his header saved by Ramsdale.

4. Brewster has a quiet return

For Rhian Brewster, the sight of Diogo Jota in the Liverpool attack probably underlined just why the Reds were so willing to let him leave in the summer, if he was still in any doubt.

The Portuguese's versatility, as well as that of Liverpool's other forwards, showed that Klopp was after more than just a conventional No.9, something that Brewster is nonetheless very good at being.

He'll have his moments as a Blade, but this wasn't one of them.

5. Jota continuing to prove his worth

Jota's cameo appearance in Amsterdam in midweek was one of the major talking points among Reds fans after that win, and after being rewarded with a start here the Portuguese certainly took his opportunity.

As detailed above, versatility and a roaming quality are what is required in the Liverpool attack, the header from the former Wolves man showed that he's got that in abundance.

His signing continues to look a great piece of business.

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