Tag Archives: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s Expectations

16 Aug

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Liverpool’s Expectations

 

As another new season gets under way, every supporter gets excited about their team’s hopes for the new season, Liverpool supporters are no different. Liverpool had a horrendous start to last season’s campaign with only 2 wins in their first 10 games, and it left them well off the pace in the race for a top 4 place. Liverpool had a good finish to the season with only 1 defeat in their last 13 games, but the damage was done at the start of the season.

 

In fairness to Liverpool last season was a transitional period with Brendan Rodgers taking over from Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers needed time to implement his footballing style of play to his players, but this season there is no excuse, the players are now familiar with Rodger’s ideas and need to move the club forward.

 

Brendan Rodgers has had time to shape his team by bringing in his own players now, with Mignolet, Alberto, Aspas and Toure arriving this summer along with Sturridge and Coutinho in January. Rodgers has moved a lot of players out that he didn’t think would take Liverpool forward, like Carroll, Downing and Reina to name a few. Rodgers has also been shrewd in reducing the wage bill with his transfer dealings.

 

It is difficult to judge how well Liverpool will do this season until the transfer window shuts at the end of the month. The conclusion of the Suarez saga will have a huge say on Liverpool’s chances this season, there is also the chance that Brendan Rodger’s might add to his squad.

 

At the moment Liverpool look very young in squad members with only Toure, Gerrard, Johnson, Agger, Enrique, Lucas and Suarez as what you can call experienced players. Liverpool are asking a lot of their youngsters to step up to the plate in a very tough league, and I fear this could hamper their bid for a top four finish.

 

Brendan Rodgers is certainly putting a lot of faith in his youngsters and it will be interesting to see if they can rise to the challenge.

 

I think Liverpool have a class keeper in Mignolet, although I was sad to see Reina leave. I am a bit worried about Liverpool’s defence because I feel that is a department where you need experience, yes Toure has experience, and Agger and Johnson and Enrique, but if we get injuries then we have a problem. But then again we have Kelly back from injury and Wisdom did a good job last season too, Skrtel is experienced but has been out of sorts recently and hopefully he can find his form again, but Coates looks too slow and Sama has no experience to step up when needed. Flanagan is another option who could do a job at full-back.

 

Midfield looks really strong with Lucas, Gerrard and Coutinho being my pick to start every week, but we also have Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Alberto and the young Jordan Ibe will be a name to watch this season.

 

I don’t think Liverpool have enough up front even with the likes of Borini, Sturridge, Aspas and hopefully Suarez, I would like to see Adam Morgan feature more too this season as he looks like the poacher Liverpool have been looking for.

 

So overall I think Liverpool look vulnerable at the back, very strong in midfield and ok up front if we keep Suarez, but if we lose him then I wouldn’t want to rely on Sturridge as our main striker because I fear he is a player who picks up injuries.

 

Looking towards where Liverpool will finish this season, then I will have to say 6th behind Chelsea as League winners, then Manchester City, United, Spurs and Arsenal. But if we keep Suarez then I think his goals could take us to 4th.

 

Let the season begin.

 

YNWA

 

 

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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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No Way To Treat Reina

31 Jul

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

No Way To Treat Reina

 

Reina came out the other day in an open letter to Liverpool supporters to explain his leaving of the club and express his displeasure at the way his move was handled by the club. Reina explained that he was happy to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place and would even have been happy to extend his stay at Liverpool.

 

But he claims that his loan move away from Anfield to Napoli was conducted without his knowledge. Many people believe Reina was trying to instigate a move to Barcelona earlier in the summer, but that fell through when Victor Valdes announced that he was staying at the Nou Camp.

 

Reina has been Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper for a very long time and has arguably been rated as the best Liverpool goalkeeper in the club’s history. Reina has been the perfect professional during his stay at Anfield during such turbulent times with a change of ownership and a revolving manager’s door. The Spaniard has showed superb consistency during his spell at Liverpool although his standards had slipped slightly in the last couple of seasons.

 

Reina has been Liverpool’s Player of the Year, he has captained the team, and has broken records for the Reds.

 

But after eight years service, Reina claims Liverpool shipped him out behind his back and he feels, in his words, he “deserved better than that.”

 

The alarm bells were ringing when Liverpool paid big money for Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet. Brendan Rodgers claimed his signing was for competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey. But Liverpool don’t have the money to pay big money for a back-up goalkeeper and it was obvious Reina was going to leave.

 

In fairness to Rodgers he didn’t want to be stung again like last summer when he was left without many strikers after loaning Carroll out to West Ham at the end of the transfer window. Reina was rumoured to be looking for a move back to Spain and Barcelona in particular, and Rodgers was making sure that he was going to bring in a goalkeeper before losing one. I don’t agree with Rodgers’ reason for buying Mignolet as competition for the goalkeeper’s position, Rodgers and the club should have been honest and explained that they wanted to cut the wage bill and they should have showed more respect to a tremendous servant to the club.

 

But with Reina’s move to Spain falling through Rodgers was left with two top class goalkeepers and one had to go, no way could it be Mignolet after his recent big money arrival, and Reina was reportedly Liverpool’s second highest earner at Liverpool and Liverpool’s recent managerial strategy is to cut the wage bill, so Reina had to go.

 

 

It is strange how Liverpool have treated a man like Reina who has never let the club down so badly, while they are basically pleading on their hands and knees to keep Suarez who has never been out of trouble since his arrival to Anfield.

 

Both players have great values, but only one seems worthy of fighting for, disappointingly Reina was surplus to requirements for all his ability and sevice to the club. But Reina’s exit from Liverpool deserved to be more dignified.

 

Liverpool are looking for loyalty from Suarez, where Reina looked for loyalty from Liverpool.

 

One thing is for sure Reina will always have a place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters.

 

 

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Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

28 Jul

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool ended their pre-season tour with a trip to Thailand. The Reds won comfortably in front of another stadium full of Liverpool supporters. Liverpool won the match 3-0 through goals from Coutinho, Aspas and Steven Gerrard to the delight of the Thailand public. Luis Suarez featured once again as speculation over his future remains unclear.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers used as many players as possible in this match against Thailand as he prioritise match fitness with his players. New goalkeeper Mignolet started the match with other new signing Toure in defence in front of him alongside Enrique, Agger and Johnson. Rodgers selected a midfield of Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho and Allen with other new signing Aspas and Borini providing an attacking threat.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool made light of the searing heat and humidity as they grabbed the initiative from the start. Coutinho caught the eye in the early stages with stunning close control and tricks that impressed the audience.

 

Aspas almost scored after one of Coutinho’s trademark runs, but the striker’s effort was deflected over. Then Coutinho sent an acrobatic volley just wide after being picked out by Johnson as the chances kept coming.

 

Then Borini saw an effort saved before the magical Coutinho finally beat the overworked Hathairattanakool. The Brazilian bamboozled 3 defenders before shooting past the helpless keeper with a goal of stunning individual brilliance.

 

Thailand rallied late in the first half and Liverpool had Mignolet to thank for staying in front. Thailand’s Anun’s powerful strike from the edge of the box appeared destined for the net but Mignolet pulled off a stunning reflex save to keep the Reds in front.

 

Liverpool had little trouble in the second half as they dominated proceedings. Coutinho’s vision allowed him to find Aspas with a wonderful pass which the Spaniard controlled instantly before netting his third goal in four friendlies since his move from Celta Vigo.

 

Aspas then turned provider as he unselfishly laid the ball off to Gerrard who sent a stunning lob over the keeper to make it 3-0.

 

Suarez came off the bench with half an hour to play and was left frustrated when his header hit the underside of the bar from a Gerrard cross. Henderson went close before Gerrard saw his effort hit the woodwork late on.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool played well and created a lot of chances against Thailand. Plenty of players managed some game time as the players look sharper with every match. Gerrard bossed the midfield and scored another brilliant goal. Aspas scored again and his form in his young Liverpool career is impressive. Coutinho is just a magician and was awesome again for Liverpool, his goal was pure class and he is going to be a very important player for the Reds this season. Mignolet is looking like a great buy and the big Belgian has not put a foot wrong in goal. Overall it was another good workout for Liverpool as they have made plenty of new friends and left many great memories for their distant supporters.

 

 

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Liverpool’s Rich Goalkeeping Tradition

25 Jul

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Liverpool’s Rich Goalkeeping Tradition

 

Liverpool have been blessed with great goalkeepers throughout their long and successful history, and their goalkeepers have been vital in helping the club to the success that they have achieved over the years.

 

Liverpool added a new name to their list of goalkeepers with the signing of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. The 24 year old Belgian international comes to Anfield with a glowing reputation and it will be interesting to see how he will adapt to the pressures of a club like Liverpool. Pepe Reina has been a great goalkeeper for Liverpool but with his recent departure to Napoli the stage is set for Mignolet to continue a rich tradition of great goalkeepers.

 

The goalkeeper position is such an important position to any team and good goalkeepers are difficult to find, especially in this modern era when goalkeepers have to be as good with their feet as they are with their hands. A good goalkeeper can save a team so many points during a season and over the years Liverpool have understood the importance of this by having a history of top class keepers.

 

Ned Doig is a name from Liverpool’s early years as he became Liverpool’s oldest debutant at the age of 37 and 307 days on the 1st September 1904. Doig played his last match for Liverpool at the age of 41. Doig played a staggering 1,055 games in his illustrious career that included 14 years with the successful Sunderland side of the 1890’s.

 

Sam Hardy played 240 games for Liverpool and made his debut way back in 1905 and was a tremendous keeper for Liverpool and was appreciated by receiving a benefit match in 1911 which 20,000 supporters paid their respects. Hardy was a regular keeper for England for 14 years and was regarded as a better keeper than Ray Clemence by 76 year old supporter Bob Evans in 1983.

 

Elisha Scott was possibly the greatest keeper in the history of Liverpool Football Club, the great man played between the years of 1913 and 1934 and made 468 appearances for the Anfield side. Scott received rave reviews on his debut performance away to Newcastle in a goalless draw, but the outbreak of the First World War deprived him of 4 years football. Scott won back to back league titles in the early twenties and had a great rivalry with the great Everton striker Dixie Dean, who rated him as the best keeper of them all. A survey was conducted among Liverpool supporters in 1939 to name Liverpool’s greatest ever player and Elisha Scott was named number one.

 

 

 

Arthur Riley played in goal for 14 years during 1925 and 1939 for Liverpool and played 338 games for the Reds. Riley was from South Africa and played during a tough time for Liverpool as their highest league position during his time was 5th but his performances were outstanding during this difficult period.

 

Cyril Sydlow played 165 times for Liverpool and was heralded by the great Bob Paisley who played alongside him. Paisley recollected that Cyril lived in Wolverhampton and trained during the week with Wolves and played with Liverpool on the Saturday, and as fate would have it during his spell with Liverpool the league title went down to the last game of the season with Man Utd, Stoke, Wolves and Liverpool all with a chance of winning the league and Liverpool beat Wolves at Molineaux 2-1 to win the league with Sydlow making some great saves to win the title for Liverpool. Sydlow kept goal for most of the next 3 years and helped Liverpool to the FA Cup final in 1950 but it ended in disappointment with a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.

 

Tommy Younger played for Liverpool in the late 1950’s and was a Scottish international having come to Liverpool from the successful Hibernian side that won the Scottish League two years running in 1951 and 1952. Younger played a total of 127 games for Liverpool.

 

Tommy Lawrence was an important part of Shankly’s resurgent team of the 60’s. The “flying pig” played 11 years for Liverpool and was a key part in Liverpool’s return to the top of English football. Lawrence played 390 games in his spell with the Reds. Lawrence was the first keeper to be used as a sweeper as Shankly deplyed Lawrence in this unique role which he excelled at and enjoyed flattening onrushing strikers as they looked to penetrate Liverpool’s defence.

 

Ray Clemence played a huge part in Liverpool’s success of the 70’s after being signed by Shankly to replace Tommy Lawrence. Clemence is regarded as one of the best English goalkeepers ever and represented his country 61 times. No Liverpool goalkeeper has played more games for the club with his 665 appearances in 13 years. Clemence helped Liverpool to 3 European Cup wins in his time amongst many other honours and his last game for the club was the 1981 European Cup Final win over Real Madrid.

 

Bruce Grobbelaar had the difficult task of replacing the great Ray Clemence but he did so in his own style, which was rather more eccentric than Clemence. Grobbelaar was a terrific goalkeeper in his own right with great agility and capable of pulling off acrobatic saves, he regularly came for cross balls to aid his defence and his distribution at throwing created many attacks for his team. Grobbelaar did make a few mistakes especially in his early days as he frequented from his penalty area from time to time, but these mistakes became less with experience and kept goal for Liverpool for 13 years and played a staggering 628 games, with only Clemence playing more times in goal for Liverpool.

 

Pepe Reina is the latest in a long list of great goalkeepers to serve Liverpool. Reina arrived from Spain in 2005 months after Liverpool had won their 5th European Cup and he helped Liverpool win the FA Cup in his first season as he became the hero in the penalty shoot-out win over West Ham in Cardiff. The following year Reina played a big part in helping Liverpool return to the Champions League Final only to lose 2-1 to AC Milan in Athens. Reina has been a terrific servant to Liverpool and his agility and consistency has seen him rated as possibly the best keeper in Liverpool’s history. Reina has made 394 appearances for Liverpool and he will be sadly missed by all connected to Liverpool after leaving this summer.

 

Simon Mignolet is only 24 years old and with the signing of a long term contract it will be interesting to see if we will be adding Liverpool’s new signing to the club’s list of great goalkeepers in the years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

21 Jul

Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Coutinho and Raheem Sterling were the scorers in a good testing workout against an Indonesian eleven. Coutinho scored early in the match before Sterling finished off the resilient Indonesian side late on before an excited Indonesian support in Jakarta who enjoyed the visit from their heroes.

The Match

 

Liverpool must have felt like that they were back home at Anfield with the unbelievable support behind them in Jakarta. Steven Gerrard made his comeback from injury and was warmly welcomed by the tremendous support.  Liverpool inspired by the vocal and passionate support rewarded them with an early goal when Brazilian Coutinho found the net after a lucky ricocheted allowed him into the box before sliding the ball under Meiga.

 

The match provided Liverpool with a more difficult test than the previous week against Preston as they had to work harder to maintain their lead in the extreme heat against an industrious Indonesian side.

 

Liverpool came close to extending their lead when Downing met an Enrique cross with a side-foot volley, but Meiga did well to smother. Moments later Luis Alberto beat Meiga but not the woodwork.

 

Liverpool continued to threaten the Indonesian goal as Aspas created space for himself before smashing a shot off the top of the crossbar.

 

The hosts nearly equalised when Sergio Van Dijk’s audacious strike called Mignolet into action. The striker drilled a 30 yard effort which Mignolet did well to glance wide of his post.

 

10 minutes into the second half almost brought a second Liverpool goal but as Aspas rounded Meiga the ball bobbled up and the striker fired high and wide. Coutinho was having another impressive display and he almost scored his and Lverpool’s second goal of the match when Aspas created a chance for the Brazilian, but for once Coutinho lacked composure as he scooped his effort over the crossbar.

 

Rodgers made wholesale changes with 25 minutes to go as match fitness is so important at this stage of the season. Raheem Sterling was one of those introduced amd made an immediate impact when he skipped past an opponent before firing a 30 yard effort that soared just wide.

 

Sterling became the second player to hit the crossbar when he powerfully hit the top of the crossbar after Borini had failed to make contact from Assaidi’s cross. Sterling was causing all sorts of problems for the Indonesian defence with his movement and next he smashed an effort into the side-netting after running behind the Indonesian defence.

 

But the youngster wasn’t to be denied his goal after good work by Ibe found Assaidi with only Meiga to beat but the Morrocan unselfishly slipped the ball to Sterling who tucked the ball into the gaping net.

 

The match proved a good test for Liverpool as they step up their pre-season and now move onto Australia where they will face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

 

Summary

 

A good test for Liverpool against an industrious Indonesian side in difficult conditions with the heat. Steven Gerrard making his comeback was very pleasing for Liverpool supporters, but he did look a little rusty as he began his pre-season which can only be expected. Mignolet was more tested and looked impressive in what he had to deal with a few good saves and commanding his penalty area at cross balls. Toure was solid at the back and made some good interceptions. Coutinho was once again very impressive and can pick out those defence splitting passes at will. Aspas is a good addition to the side and a tricky player that can conjure up chances on his own. Alberto showed some good work that showed his value to the team and was unlucky not to score. But like last weekend Raheem Sterling impressed when coming off the bench with his energy and attitude and directness to attack defenders with his pace, his goal capped a fine performance as he must be impressing Brendan Rodgers with his sharpness. Liverpool’s pre-season is gradually building momentum and the trip to Australia will be another good test in this busy pre-season for the Reds.

 

 

 

 

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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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