Liverpool 3 Lyon 1 | Reds back to winning ways before City test

Liverpool 3 Lyon 1 | Reds back to winning ways before City test

Liverpool concluded their pre-season programme with a 3-1 victory over Lyon in Geneva.

Goals from Roberto Firmino, a Joachim Andersen own goal and Harry Wilson gave the Reds their first victory in four pre-season games after they had fallen behind to an early Memphis Depay penalty.

Jurgen Klopp surprised many with the experimental nature of line up, with Adam Lallana deepest of a midfield three with Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Firmino also started, just days after starting their pre-seasons after an extended break after playing for their nations during the summer at the African Cup of Nations and Copa America.

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The lack of sharpness from Liverpool was evident from the get-go, and they conceded the opening goal of the game after only three minutes.

Keeper Alisson uncharacteristically spilt Depay’s weak cross into the path of Bertrand Traore, before fouling the Burkina Faso international and conceding the penalty.

Depay, who was linked to the Reds earlier in the summer, calmly slotted the spot-kick into the top left-hand corner to give the French side the lead.

There was a palpable sloppiness to the European Champions play in the opening 15 minutes, with several heavy touches and misplaced passes characterising their showing.

Lallana,  who had a positive performance in his new deepest midfield role otherwise, personified the lax passing and touches, as he almost gift-wrapped Lyon a second goal after he was dispossessed close to his own goal.

The nature of Liverpool’s midfield three, with no natural sitting midfielder, meant they were susceptible to quick Lyon transitions.  Both Depay and Moussa Dembele had efforts that were borne from the Reds losing the ball in midfield and the Sylvinho coached Ligue 1 side breaking with pace.

Liverpool equalised against the run of play in the 17th minute, thanks to an instinctive Firmino finish. The Brazilian struck a low, left-footed shot past Anthony Lopes after  Shaqiri’s ricocheted cross fell to him in the box.

The goal had a settling effect on the Reds and they took the lead in extremely fortuitous circumstances four minutes later. Joachim Andersen horribly deflected the impressive Ki Jana Hoever’s cross into their own net.

Shaqiri and Firmino were replaced by James Milner and Rhian Brewster respectively on 29 minutes, the duo accumulating an assist and a goal and valuable minutes in their legs on their return from injury and time off after the Copa America.

The changes did not stifle the rhythm Liverpool had slowly built throughout the first half, with Harry Wilson drawing a save from Lopes and Salah firing wide as the Reds went into the half time interval as the better team.

The changes continued to ring, with Bobby Duncan, Adam Lewis and Sep Van den Berg on for Salah, Keita and Hoever at half time.

Despite the raft of changes, Liverpool’s attacking verve wasn’t stunted and Harry Wilson added the European Champions third goal in spectacular fashion after 52 minutes.

After collecting Milner’s pass, the 22-year-old Welshman rocketed a 25 yard shot in the top left-hand corner, leaving replacement keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu with no chance.

Liverpool completely changed their starting eleven at 61 minutes and the game became very fractious as a consequence.

16-year-old Harvey Elliot produced a very promising cameo, however, with several intricate passes and neat touches, as well as a braveness on the ball.

Overall, the Reds’ performance was superior in every aspect to their poor showings on their American tour and there are many positives to take going into next weekend’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City at Wembley.

Liverpool team: Alisson; Hoever, Gomez, Lovren, Larouci; Lallana, Keita, Shaqiri, Salah, Firmino, Wilson.

Subs used: Mignolet, Alexander Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Brewster, Elliot, Origi, Duncan, Milner, Van Den Berg, Lewis.