In all frankness, there shouldn’t be a huge amount read into the opening game of pre-season. It’s the old ‘minutes in the legs’ situation and as we know to date, no one came away injured. However, it’s still great to see the Reds back in action, new boys taking the field, youngsters getting a chance, and goals aplenty. We look back at the lessons learned from Wednesday night where fortunately it was great to forget about the off-the-field dramas for a little while.
Forwards Back On The Goal / Assist Trail
Well, Mo Salah needs to up his game somewhat, eh? The Egyptian king produced some mesmerism moments of control and got himself an assist, yet it was the other forwards who found themselves on the scoresheet. Darwin Nunez made a meal of the opener, but eventually rolled it into the bottom left corner in the first five minutes. Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota were the stars of the second half with three goals and two assists between them. It’s only the first game, but it helps the forwards to get that confidence under their belt and the goals in the second half were all of some quality.
New Signings Build Excitement
It was natural there was a real excitement at the prospect of seeing Mac Allister and Szobozlai in a Liverpool shirt for the first time and they did nothing wrong. The Hungarian showed some nice touches in the first half, linked well from the left side, and showed his ability to twist and move in tight spaces. Mac Allister came on for the second half and interchanged well with his teammates, although it was in stoppage time when he drew a small gasp. Pressing the Karlsruher defender, he took the ball before playing a perfect slide-rule ball for Jota who didn’t have to break stride to score his second. The high-five afterward said a lot, but the smile as he talked about his new Argentinian team-mate said more.
Qansah and Doak Look The Part
We’d flagged both Ben Doak and Jarrell Qansah as one to watch on this tour and in their respective halves they didn’t disappoint. The young Scottish winger terrorised his opponents and if it hadn’t been pre-season, a few would have been booked for their manhandling of the 17-year-old. In the second half, Qansah lined up at centre-half looking more than accomplished and making a few Reds question just how much we needed that new signing. It may be a case of a boy in a man’s body for him, but along with Doak neither did their claims any harm whatsoever. Still, ones to keep an eye on.
Well Dodged Jurgen
Literally a minute into the game (almost like it was timed), the news broke of Liverpool and A-Ettifaq having agreed to a deal for £12 million plus add-ons for Jordan Henderson. After the match, Jurgen Klopp was rightly asked about his and Fabinho’s situation and made it clear it was not the time to speak about it and was ultimately his decision. The manager played this with the correct straight bat as there’ll be a lot to unpick before the start of next week. For Wednesday night, it was about the players who were on the pitch and seeing Liverpool through to a 4-2 victory.