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Liverpool’s Pre Season So Far

Liverpool’s pre-season schedule is well underway after the reds have played 3 out of their 6 pre season fixtures. Liverpool are still yet to play against RB Salzburg, Manchester City (Community Shield) & Strasbourg. But how have the reds got on so far?

Game 1 – Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool

Liverpool’s pre-season began as the reds faced their arch rival in Bangkok. The red devils returned to pre-season training far earlier than most Premier League sides, which was a statement from their new manager Eric Ten Hag.

Due to Liverpool returning just days before playing Manchester United, naturally United were in far better shape & sharper on the day. Ten Hag named his strongest line-up available, whilst Jurgen Klopp started the game with a mixture of senior players combined with youth. New signing Fabio Carvalho made his unofficial debut, whilst youngsters Luke Chambers & Isaac Mabaya featured at full back. Nathaniel Phillips started after a successful loan spell at Bournemouth, alongside Joe Gomez at centre back. Jordan Henderson & Tyler Morton made up the other two central midfield spots, with a front three of Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino & Harvey Elliott. Alisson Becker was the starting goalkeeper for Liverpool.

The starting line-up isn’t too important however, due to Jurgen Klopp naming three separate line-ups that all featured for 30 minutes each.

Liverpool started the game on the front foot with Luis Diaz drifting in from the left forcing David De Gea to make a fine save. Shortly after, it was United’s turn to attack & a dinked ball from Bruno Fernandes caused Isaac Mabaya’s interception to land at the feet of Jadon Sancho, who fired it into the bottom right corner from close range in the 12th minute.

United seemed to grow in confidence after scoring the opening goal. As they came forward once again, a moment of confusion between Jordan Henderson & Joe Gomez resulted with the ball falling to Fred, who chipped Alisson who was way off his line in the 30th minute.

Jurgen Klopp brought on his 2nd team after Fred’s goal. It was just a few moments later before United made it three. Rhys Williams lost the ball deep inside his own half & gave Anthony Martial a free run at goal. Martial & Rashford made a 2v1 situation, but the Frenchmen went on his own & lobbed Alisson Becker, who couldn’t have done much to stop it.

The last goal came from a United counter attack with every Liverpool player inside United’s half, other than Virgil van Dijk. United ended up having four of their attackers against Virgil, which obviously didn’t end well. Amad Diallo’s short pass finds youngster Facondo Pellistri, who slots it past Adrian.

On reflection, the scoreline did seem extremely harsh on Liverpool. United only had one more shot on target than Liverpool & possession was fairly even. I feel that the decisive factor between the two sides was that United looked fitter & sharper, especially in front of goal. But it was a good run out to begin the pre season campaign.

Game 2 – Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace

Next up for the travelling reds, was a trip to Singapore, to take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.

Adrian started in goal with Alisson Becker absent from the squad completely due to picking up a knock. The back four consisted of James Milner at right back, Joel Matip & Ibrahima Konate as the centre backs, with Kostas Tsimikas starting at left back. Harvey Elliott, Jordan Henderson & Curtis Jones made up the midfield three, with Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino & Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making up the attack.

Once again it was a bright start for Liverpool. The first goal coming from Milner playing a long ball to Harvey Elliott who plays a lovely pull back to captain Jordan Henderson, who shoots first time lofting the ball into the goal.

Liverpool continued to dominate the first half. Kostas Tsimikas runs down the left wing & plays a beautiful cross to Roberto Firmino who was free at the back post. Firmino’s header goes wide, but it was another big chance for the reds.

Another chance goes begging with James Milner picking out Oxlade-Chamberlain who tees up Harvey Elliott. Elliott’s first time strike on his weak foot goes narrowly wide of the near post.

After half time, Liverpool went strong with the likes of Salah, Thiago, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Nunez, Fabinho, Carvalho all being substituted on.

Just a minute into the 2nd half, Alexander-Arnold & Salah link up with a lovely one-two. Salah bends his shot attempting to put the ball in the top left corner. Goalkeeper Vincente Guita makes a mess of what should have been a routine save, and Liverpool find themselves 2-0 up.

It was wave after wave for Liverpool for the rest of the game, with the best chance falling to Darwin Nunez. Salah picks up the ball by the corner flag & runs down the byline, squares it to Darwin Nunez who strikes the ball straight at Guita.

Salah then picks out Fabio Carvalho who cuts in onto his right foot, attempts to put the ball in the bottom right corner, but it’s a fine save from Guita.

All in all, it was a much better & dominant performance from Liverpool. One that you would expect after Liverpool have more training sessions behind them. Fabio Carvalho looked very impressive when he came on, linking up very well with Mohammed Salah. Darwin Nunez faced a lot of criticism on social media for his performances so far, but that’s all about to change.

Game 3 – Liverpool 5-0 RB Leipzig

Liverpool’s next opponent would be RB Leipzig at the Redbull Arena.

Liverpool started the game with a very strong line-up, as they ramp up their pre-season intensity. Adrian started in goal, with a back four of Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate & Alexander-Arnold. Thiago, Fabinho & Keita make up the midfield three, with Diaz, Firmino & Salah in attack.

For the third game in a row, Liverpool were on the front foot almost instantly. The first goal came in the 8th minute as Roberto Firmino laid the ball off to Mohammed Salah who slotted it down Gulasci’s left. He was never going to miss from there!

Surprisingly, that was it for the goals until the 2nd half. Alexander-Arnold takes a long throwing to Jordan Henderson, who nods the ball back across the box. Luis Diaz goes head to head with the goal keeper, with Gulasci bringing the Colombian to the ground.

Mohammed Salah is the usual Liverpool penalty taker, but he decided to let Darwin Nunez take the penalty to score his first goal, and that’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t the best penalty from Nunez it has to be said, but there was enough power on the strike to prove too difficult for the keeper to save. The first goal for Darwin Nunez!

But not the last...especially in this game. Thiago steals possession back after a poor touch from Conrad Laimer. The ball ends up at Alexander-Arnold’s feet, who plays a through ball to Nunez. Nunez took two touches to take the ball into the box, then with his third touch, he fired it into the bottom left corner scoring his 2nd goal of the night.

In the 68th minute, youngster Stefan Bajcetic did really well to win back possession for Liverpool. He took a couple of nice touches before finding Harvey Elliott down the right hand side. Elliott played a precise ball across the box finding Darwin Nunez who tapped the ball home for his first ever Liverpool hat trick.

The final goal of the game came in the 90th minute. Curtis Jones finds Fabio Carvalho who controls the ball with his head taking the ball past Amadou Haidara. He carries the ball all the way to Leipzig’s box before finding Darwin Nunez to his left. Nunez strikes the ball at the Leipzig keeper, who palms the ball into his own net.

So a rampant performance in Leipzig from Liverpool & very promising signs indeed. Darwin Nunez certainly put an end to the nonsense surrounding him on social media with four goals. It was all about him settling in, getting chances & taking them. And that’s exactly what he did.

What’s next for Liverpool?

Liverpool have three games left before their Premier League campaign begins. There’s just one more game on the road against RB Salzburg before Liverpool return back to the UK. Liverpool will then face Manchester City in the community shield at the King Power Stadium (Due to the women's euros) before completing their pre-season schedule against Strasbourg at Anfield the day after. This will be Liverpool’s first game back at Anfield since the Wolves game on the final day of the Premier League campaign last season.

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