Liverpool saw the shine taken off their rousing victory by the sight of their first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker forced off in the first half of their Premier League curtain raiser against Norwich.
The Brazilian sustained the problem to his kicking leg as he cleared the ball upfield towards the end of the first half of Friday night’s match. Alisson immediately signalled to the Liverpool bench that the issue was serious and appeared to clutch either the back of his right knee or his calf as he laid on the floor in severe pain was helped from the field by Andy Massey, the club doctor.
By that point, the game had long since been won. Liverpool did what Liverpool can do and in the blink of eye they took the contest away from Norwich with rat-a-tat-tat finishing; it was a lesson in taking chances and the flurry of goals whipped up an already excitable crowd.
Then, however, came a potentially decisive moment. Alisson positioned the ball on his six-yard area and prepared to take the kind of short, sharp goal kick that he has done thousands of times before yet on this occasion, the drill ended with him lying on his back, grabbing his calf.
Alisson did not need a stretcher to leave the pitch, as he attempted to wave to those on The Kop who were chanting his name to offer reassurance.
He will undergo a scan on Saturday, once the injury has settled down, but it is clearly an issue that will take time to heal. Alisson, only returned to training last Monday, and had a rushed preparation following his involvement in the Copa America and it would be folly for Liverpool to rush him back.
Whatever length of absence he faces, this is going to ask an unexpected question of Adrian, the former West Ham keeper who was only recruited on a free transfer on Monday after Simon Mignolet had been sold to Club Brugge.