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Brondby 2, Liverpool 1: Preseason Gets Underway with Loss

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Liverpool's preparations for the 2014-2015 season kick off with a loss at Brondby, conceding a late winner to Ferhan Hasani.

Laurence Griffiths

Brondby 2: Norgaard 23', Hasani 90+1'
Liverpool 1: Peterson 48'

As expected, Brendan Rodgers went with a mixture of youth and experience in the first half eleven; Brad Jones started in goal, with Martin Kelly, Tiago Ilori, Daniel Agger, and Brad Smith across the back, Lucas and Jordan Rossiter pairing in central midfield, and a line of Suso, Philippe Coutinho, and Joao Teixeira behind Fabio Borini up front. All things considered, an exciting eleven and one that was poised to be more than competitive.

But as is so often the case in preseason--especially the first run-out--things were shaky, with only a few standouts on the positive end and more than a few failing to hit their stride with any sort of consistency. Ilori was forced off with an injury after a promising start, and a few moments of magic from Coutinho aside, there wasn't much on for most trying to impress. The hosts took the lead through a Liverpool error; Kevin Phillips Stewart, who'd come on to replace Ilori, could only head as far as Suso on the edge of the area, and the midfielder's clearance went straight to Christian Norgaard. The former Hamburg man curled a wonderful shot past Brad Jones for the opener. Aside from a double save at the other end and a late chance for Lucas(!!!), Liverpool had little in the way of a response.

That changed at the start of the second half, with ten changes made and an equalizer within five minutes. Jones stayed on, but Rodgers went with Andre Wisdom, Martin Skrtel, Lloyd Jones, and Jon Flanagan in defense, Joe Allen and Conor Coady in midfield,and Kevin Adam Phillips, Krisztian Adorjan, and Jordon Ibe in support of Kristoffer Peterson.

It was Ibe that created the equalizer for Peterson with a blistering run down the left before cutting back for Peterson to tap in. Ibe's early run would become a trend for an eleven that otherwise had little ideas; Brondby hit the bar twice and generally looked more threatening, with Liverpool mostly looking to Ibe on the break or Flanagan bursting forward. The remaining change came with just over ten minutes left to play, as Danny Ward replaced Brad Jones in goal. Brondby would get a late winner from substitute Ferhan Hasani, who slalomed through the Liverpool defense before beating Ward with a well-placed shot.

Injury to Ilori aside, things went about as expected, with rust starting to shake off and those who've impressed before mostly impressing again. Onward to Saturday, with a chance to see the squad take shape as they get ready for the season proper.