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Celtic 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

11 Aug

Celtic 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool finished their pre-season with a game against Scottish Champion Celtic in Dublin. Liverpool have enjoyed a good pre-season with 6 wins, but that run was to end as they lost 1-0 to a first half goal from Balde. Liverpool dominated possession for long periods of the game, but failed to break down a stubborn Celtic defence.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers fielded a team to start Liverpool’s last pre-season game with one eye on next week’s opening game of the season. Rodgers selected a strong side to start against Celtic, although Agger didn’t travel to Dublin after receiving a knock last week against Olympiacos. Liverpool’s team read, Mignolet, Enrique, Wisdom, Toure, Johnson, Lucas, Gerrard, Allen, Downing, Aspas and Coutinho.

 

The Match

 

Both sets of supporters provided an amazing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone prior to kick-off in an amazing atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium. Liverpool started with a strong team intent on continuing their good pre-season form prior to next weekend’s opening game of the season.

 

Liverpool dominated possession in the early stages but fell behind to a goal from Celtic striker Balde after the big striker managed to knick the ball past Wisdom before side-footing his effort off the trailing leg of the onrushing Mignolet which altered the direction of the shot resulting ball bouncing into the back of the net.

 

Liverpool showed a good reaction from the set-back as they produced a flurry of attempts at the Celtic goal. But Zaluska kept the Reds at bay with a string of impressive saves.

 

Zaluska raced of his line to thwart an effort by Coutinho, before producing an even better save a minute later when he acrobatically palmed away a shot from Downing that was destined for the top corner after the winger had cut in from the right.

 

Then Glen Johnson broke free behind the Celtic defence but his low shot was saved by Zaluska as the Pole continued to thwart Liverpool’s attacks.

 

Celtic almost doubled their lead just before half-time against the run of play when Izaguirre’s curling cross was headed towards goal by Stokes, but his effort was easily saved by Mignolet.

 

The second half brought a pleasing sight for Liverpool supporters with the introduction of Daniel Sturridge, who made his first appearance of the pre-season after recovering from injury he received on international duty.

 

Sturridge made an immediate impact with a powerful shot that just missed the far post. Sturridge looked in determined mood and his enthusiasm had an adverse effect when he rushed to meet Downing’s cross only to block Coutinho’s path to the ball as both players failed to make contact with the winger’s cross.

 

As Liverpool continued to threaten, Kolo Toure thought he had levelled 10 minutes into the second half when he headed in a Gerrard free-kick only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

 

Then Sturridge released Coutinho with a clever free-kick but the Brazilian sliced his effort well wide. The two players combined again with minutes left, this time Coutinho’s clever pass sent Sturridge clear, but his lobbed effort bounced just wide of the far post with Forster stranded.

 

Celtic held out for a morale boosting win as Liverpool ran out of time in their quest to break the stubborn Celtic defence and lose their first pre-season game of the summer.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool lost against a resilient Celtic team who worked hard defensively to frustrate Liverpool after taking an early lead, and Liverpool will have to get used to this as team’s will park the bus at Anfield in particular. Liverpool worked hard, but far too often their final ball was not good enough. Liverpool failed to get enough players into the Celtic penalty box too when on attack, but at times they were thwarted with great defending and good goalkeeping. But Liverpool’s defence looked unconvincing at times with Celtic’s rare attacks, especially from cross balls, and Andre Wisdom looked very nervous and had an uncomfortable afternoon against the robust Balde. It was encouraging to see Sturridge back and he looked pretty sharp considering his lengthy lay-off, and he will be needed in the coming weeks. The result is meaningless and Liverpool have enjoyed a good pre-season overall, but the serious business starts next week.

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