Liverpool impress at the Allianz - Liverpool 3-0 Bayern Munich
Liverpool produced an excellent performance against Bayern Munich to pick up a 3-0 victory in the semi-final of the Audi Cup.
Jurgen Klopp named a strong starting XI as Roberto Firmino, Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane all started together in attack for the first game of pre-season.
Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho were also named in midfield, alongside Jordan Henderson who captained the side once again.
Bayern Munich named an equally strong side, with Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez all starting.
Liverpool started the match with a bang and Firmino set-up Mane in the seventh minute after intercepting the ball in Bayern’s half.
It was a clinical finish from the Reds’ winger and a sign of the pace which Liverpool hope to unleash on the Premier League this season.
The Reds almost doubled their lead when Alberto Moreno’s pinpoint cross found Mo Salah at the back post but the new signing couldn’t convert.
It was certainly an explosive start from Liverpool but Bayern Munich still had plenty of possession in the middle of the park.
Thomas Muller and Lewandowski were continually looking to make runs in behind Liverpool’s back four but centre-backs Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren weren’t troubled.
Alberto Moreno forced Sven Ulreich into another save when his low free-kick almost crept into the top corner and Liverpool started to look very threatening.
Coutinho and Henderson controlled the ball well in midfield – spraying passes and linking play as Bayern struggled to make their mark on the contest.
The pace of Mane and Salah were causing all kinds of problems and it was no surprise in the 34th minute when Moreno combined with the wingers to create Liverpool’s second goal.
Salah was waiting patiently on the back post as a cheeky flick from Mane put Moreno in space and the left-back delivered a powerful drive across the face of the goal.
The ball fell kindly for Salah following a save and he nodded in Liverpool’s second of the match and his fourth of the pre-season campaign.
Bayern were struggling to keep up with Liverpool’s tempo of play and the half-time whistle couldn’t come any sooner as they went into the break 2-0 down.
Liverpool hoped to produce much of the same but the intensity wasn’t as high in the opening stages of the second-half.
Bayern had an opportunity to put a ball in from a corner but Liverpool defended it well and looked to counter on the break.
Renato Sanches saw no other way but to drag Firmino to the ground, which resulted in the first yellow card of the game being shown.
The German giants did start to see some more possession as the second-half went on but only an off-target shot from James Rodriguez was of any real note up to the 60th minute.
Kingsley Coman found space on the right in the 65th minute and produced a dangerous ball across the box but none of his teammates were there to put the ball in the back of the net for Bayern.
Liverpool made some changes immediately afterwards and Daniel Sturridge almost made an instant impact but his shot went wide from a tight angle.
Youngster Ryan Kent was equally effective coming off the bench and his quick feet and trickery almost led to Liverpool’s third goal.
He drove along the back line before pulling the ball back perfectly for Marko Grujic and the Serbian’s controlled side-foot ricocheted off the post and into the back of the net via the keeper.
It was ruled out by the linesman however but Liverpool were fully in control of the contest and Sturridge was keen to get his name on the score-sheet.
His beautifully timed lob secured Liverpool’s third goal but it was a bitter sweet moment as he pulled up immediately afterwards with an injury.
The striker was forced to leave the field just minutes after coming on as a substitute to end what was otherwise a perfect evening for Liverpool.
The Reds will meet Atletico Madrid in Wednesday evening’s Audi Cup final.