Preston & LFC Tour
|Perhaps the most iconic image from the tour...|
Liverpool kicked off their 2013/2014 pre-season with a match in memory of the great Bill Shankly at Deepdale. With some new signings under his belt Brendan Rodgers was able to put on show some of his purchases and it was Coutinho that got the scoring underway from the penalty spot for the Reds in a sunny Preston.
The next goal came from youngster Jordan Ibe (have you sussed the pronunciation yet?). Jordan showed real confidence in his first goal for the Reds and looked elated afterwards. Just after the hour mark Raheem Sterling added his name to the growing list of scorers with a quick break and a lovely finish. Finally Iago Aspas found the back of the net for Liverpool. Aspas's shot from just outside the area was superb and completed a confident 4-0 win for Liverpool.
Next Liverpool travelled to Asia for the first leg of their much awaited tour. First up were the Indonesia XI, some simply phenomenal support was on show in Indonesia, as seen throughout the tour but the poignant image at the top of this post really left a mark from the first game of the tour.
The first goal in this game for Liverpool came via Philippe Coutinho, a hint of luck allowed Coutinho through on goal and with a calm finish the Brazillian put Liverpool into the lead. There was no more action in the goals before half time and Liverpool would have to wait until 87 minutes for their second. Raheem Sterling again showing his form from last season and although it was quite an easy finish, the goal secured the Reds' win.
YNWA at Melbourne Cricket Ground: Sends shivers down your spine, it really does. SEE HERE
After another successful win in their pre-season Liverpool made to trip to Australia for the next leg of the tour. The rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone at the start of this game was simply immense. A win had to be knocked up after that show of report. After the rumours about Suarez this was his return to Liverpool Football Club and he did feature in the game, rumours are still rife today but importantly as this is being typed, Luis Suarez is still a Liverpool player.
The first goal of this game came from Steven Gerrard. A rolled pass from Joe Allen saw a typical drift into the box from Gerrard who finished powerfully. The 90,000+ crowd went mental, many of them probably have never had chance to see the iconic Gerrard in the flesh and so to see him score much have been a memorable experience for many an Aussie LFC fan.
Suarez entered the fray with about 15 minutes left of the match, most sports psychologists were trying to figure out what his actions meant or his facial expressions, was he staying? Was he going? I personally don't feel anybody can ever guess what Suarez is thinking so we may as well give up.
In extra time Iago Aspas managed to grab himself a second pre-season goal. Luis Suarez was heavily involved in the build up to the Aspas goal, fooling the Melbourne Victory defence with ease he managed to play the ball to Aspas for an easy tap in.
Friendlies don't tend to indicate the form for a season but it's always nice to see things going successfully and next up was a trip to Thailand for the Reds in their final leg of the tour.
Luis Suarez made another appearance from the bench in the Thailand game playing for half an hour or so and hitting the cross bar. Coutinho was the man to find the back of the net first for Liverpool though in this game, another calm finish from the ever impressive Philippe was encouraging for Liverpool fans to watch. And another goal for Iago Aspas in the second half increased Liverpool's lead in what looked like a game they were taking in their stride. A gorgeous chipped finish from Steven Gerrard sealed the win for the Reds who could hold their heads high after the first half of pre-season friendlies.
Next up for Liverpool is Steven Gerrard's testimonial, very excited to be attending myself! As you will know as readers it's rare I get chance to get up to Anfield. After this game is Valerenga then Celtic and then the season starts! It seems to have come around so quickly.
I haven't decided yet but I will either group all three matches mentioned above together in a round up or I may isolate the Gerrard testimonial one and then group the other two. I will also add an update on transfers in the final pre-season post.
I hope you're all having a great summer!