Tag Archives: Iago Aspas

Valerenga 1-4 Liverpool Match Report

8 Aug

Valerenga 1-4 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool continued their pre-season in good form with a comfortable win in Oslo against Valerenga. Much of the talk surrounding Liverpool at the moment is about want away striker Luis Suarez, but the speculation didn’t affect Liverpool’s performance as they won through goals from Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling. The match was watched by Liverpool’s Principal owner John W Henry for the first time in 13 months.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers started the match with some of his squad players against Valerenga with Brad Jones starting in goal with a team of Alberto, Aspas, Henderson, Coates, Downing, Spearing, Allen, Flanagan, Ibe and Wisdom in front of him.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool struggled the last time they travelled to this part of the world when they required two late goals from Daniel Agger to salvage a draw. Liverpool enjoyed a far more comfortable match this time around as they dictated play.

 

Liverpool went close in the opening stages with Joe Allen and Jordan Ibe having efforts. Meanwhile Aspas was becoming a constant menace to the Norwegian defence and was twice denied by good goalkeeping from Valerenga’s Kongshavn.

 

But it was Aspas who influenced the opening goal for Liverpool on the half hour mark when he struck the frame of the goal with an effort before Luis Alberto drilled into the Valerenga net from 20 yards.

 

Liverpool were in total control but were surprisingly pegged back when Gonzalez headed an in-swinging corner past Brad Jones to give the Norwegians parity.

 

Liverpool responded with Aspas scoring his fourth goal of pre-season as he showed good movement to finish from Downing’s cross.

 

Brendan Rodgers made 10 changes to his personnel for the start of the second half Assaidi and Sterling providing the pace down the flanks. Liverpool extended their lead in the 54th minute when Valerenga struggled to deal with a corner that landed in the centre of the penalty box which invited Martin Kelly to force the ball over the line to make the score 3-1.

 

Within 60 seconds Kolo Toure thumped a header against the bar from a set-piece as Liverpool continued to pressure the hosts. Borini went equally close to scoring when he pounced on a loose ball before rounding the keeper but his effort rolled all the way along the line but refused to hit the net.

 

Borini was again cursing his luck as he struck the crossbar from 20 yards with 15 minutes remaining but Liverpool did manage another goal in the closing moments with Sterling scoring and giving Liverpool a 4-1 win in their 6th straight success.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool performed well creating a lot of chances in their trip to Oslo as the team look in good shape for the new season. Rodgers managed to give most players a run out and that is very important in pre-season. Liverpool are playing with confidence and players like Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen are feeding of this with fine performances. Aspas played very well once again and he is finding the net in a regular basis. With one more friendly to play, the signs are looking good for the start of the season.

 

 

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Preston 0-4 Liverpool Match Report

14 Jul

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Preston 0-4 Liverpool

 

Liverpool started their pre-season with a trip to Preston to contest the Shankly Shield in commemoration of the great man who served both clubs and who was born 100 years ago this year.

 

Debutant Apas scored on his debut for Liverpool as the Reds eased to a comfortable 4-0 win at Deepdale. Philippe Coutinho started the scoring after converting a penalty before Jordan Ibe scored his first senior goal for the Reds, Raheem Sterling netted the other Liverpool goal.

The Match

 

Brendan Rodgers tried to give as many players some match practice in Liverpool’s first pre-season match for the new season. New signings Luis Alberto, Simon Mignolet , Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas all featured for the Reds. Daniel Agger was installed as captain for the day with Steven Gerrard not featuring and with Jamie Carragher’s retirement from football.

 

Daniel Agger was the first player to test the Preston keeper Rudd, with a stinging 30 yard effort Rudd could only parry, before the Preston defence quickly cleared to clear the danger.

 

Liverpool dominated possession in the early stages and their constant pressure paid dividends when Coutinho robbed Preston’s John Welsh of possession on the edge of his own area before pulling the Brazilian to the ground resulting in a penalty. Coutinho casually converted the spot-kick into the corner sending Rudd the wrong way in the process.

 

A period of possession football from Liverpool came after the goal with neither keeper having much to do until Liverpool stepped up the tempo with Flanagan bursting into the Preston half after intercepting a Preston pass before sending Borini clear, but the Italian lacked composure and slipped his effort wide of the post with only Rudd to beat.

 

A minute later young Jordan Ibe proved to be more ruthless when he skipped inside from the left flank before rifling an unstoppable low effort past Rudd at his near post. The goal capped a fine first half performance from the youngster as he tormented the Preston right-back.

 

The second half brought wholesale changes to both sides, with Aspas and Alberto pulling on the Red shirt for the first time.

 

Sterling replaced Ibe on the left flank to mark his comeback after a long-term injury. The winger looked keen to impress as he burst down the left flank before forcing his way into the Preston box before curling a stike towards the far corner, but replacement Preston keeper Stuckmann managed to divert the ball away to safety.

 

Sterling’s enthusiasm was rewarded with 25 minutes remaining when a rapid exchange of passes on the half-way line sliced open the Preston defence and sent Sterling one-on-one with the keeper. Sterling showed great composure to round Stuckmann before sliding the ball into the empty net.

 

A fine Liverpool performance was capped by debutant Aspas curling a 25 yard effort past Stuckmann in a pleasing day for Brendan Rodgers.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool impressed against Preston in their first pre-season match at Deepdale. I liked the way the players showed hunger to press the opposition and look for the ball. OK Preston are not the greatest of teams but it was a decent workout and was a good fixture for debutants Alberto, Mignolet, Toure and Aspas to settle into the Liverpool team. The players that impressed for me were Jordan Ibe who looked a threat down the left flank and scored a great goal which will do his confidence no harm. Coutinho just looks better with every game and pulled the strings against inferior opposition, took his penalty clinically. Stewart Downing looked lively when he came on for the second half and Raheem Sterling was very impressive as he looked to go past the Preston full-back at every opportunity, a great goal by Sterling too as he showed great confidence in his cool finish. Debutant Aspas showed some clever touches and looks a tricky player as he created Sterling’s goal before scoring a fine goal himself. I think the best moment of the day for me was the introduction of Martin Kelly with 10 minutes to go as he made his comeback from long-term injury, he has been so unlucky with injuries in recent years and his return is like a new signing for Liverpool. Overall it was a good workout for Brendan Rodgers’ side and I’m sure the manager will be happy with his team’s performance.

 

 

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