If Liverpool started the year as they mean to go on with the 4-2 win over Newcastle, 2024 is going to be some ride.
The Reds eventually ran out winners at a rain-drenched Anfield on New Year's Day, but the game was more of a rollercoaster than the score along would suggest.
The teams went into half-time goalless despite a litany of chances, including a missed penalty from Mohamed Salah, and disallowed strikes from both sides.
With the threat of another disappointing Manchester United-style draw looming, things went crazy in the second 45 as the Reds scored four, with Salah – who changed boots at the break – making amends with a brace (including one from the spot), as well strikes from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo.
Despite their dominance, Jurgen Klopp's side struggled to pull away from the visitors, however, who stayed in the game with goals from Alexander Isak and Sven Botman.
The thrill ride of a game was summed up at the end with Klopp losing – and then being reunited with – his wedding ring in the post-match celebrations.
While Liverpool were ultimately worthy winners, the score could and probably should have been even greater for the hosts.
After the game it was revealed that the Reds recorded an expected goals tally of 7.27 – the highest ever recorded in a Premier League game.
That figure was calculated from a whopping 34 shots – the same Klopp's men totalled in the goalless draw with United at Anfield last month.
⚠️ | QUICK STAT
Over the last seven Premier League campaigns, a team has attempted 34+ shots in a single match on only four occasions:
— Sofascore (@SofascoreINT) January 1, 2024
In fact, as noted by Sofascore, there have only been four occasions across the last seven Premier League campaigns where a team has registered 34 or more shots in a single game – all of which have involved Liverpool at Anfield.
The Reds recorded 35 shots in the 1-1 draw with Burnley back in 2017 and 36 in the 3-1 win over Manchester United in 2018, as well as 34 in both last month's draw with United and the win over Newcastle on Monday.
Perhaps most amazingly, only two of those games actually resulted in wins for Liverpool.
However, the stat demonstrates just how dominant Klopp's side can be in an attacking sense when playing at home.
The game also saw a personal high of xG for Salah – who registered 2.74 on the night.
Speaking after the game, the Egyptian, who will now depart for the Africa Cup of Nations with his country, revealed that he didn't want to sign off for Liverpool on a disappointing performance.
“The players said in the dressing room, ‘we have to stay calm, we just have to play our football’,” he told Sky Sports.
“We missed a lot of chances anyway, I missed the penalty, after I was like ‘OK, you’re going to leave for the national team with that performance? Not really!’
“So I had to just really focus and just step up and try to make a difference. I managed to do so.”
With his second-half brace, Salah leaves Liverpool top of the Premier League scoring charts on 14, while only Manchester City (45) have more goals than the table-topping Reds (43).