Liverpool 4: Sturridge 10', Lovren 13', Coutinho 49', Henderson 61'
As expected, Brendan Rodgers went with a starting eleven that was pretty much at full-strength, and one that lined up with pre-match predictions based on open training from Anfield on Friday. Javier Manquillo and Dejan Lovren made their Liverpool debuts in a defensive unit that also included Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique, with Simon Mignolet in goal, and Emre Can started in the midfield along with Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard. Daniel Sturridge made his return up front, with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling providing direct support. Mamadou Sakho was the most notable name to start on the bench, having been displaced by Lovren.
So much for the preseason pace, huh? This one was shot out of a cannon to start and didn't take a breather for about twenty minutes, with Liverpool taking a 2-0 lead inside of 15 minutes. The first happened in a beautiful flash; Loveren fed Coutinho just inside the Dortmund half, and the Brazilian flicked perfectly into space for an onrushing Sturridge, who calmly rolled past Mitchell Langerak for the opener. Lovren turned goalscorer for the second, heading in unmarked just a few yards from goal on a Gerrard corner.
Dortmund were in and out of the match throughout the half, but the first 45 was all about Liverpool,and the impressive performances of nearly all involved. Coutinho, Sterling, Manquillo, and Lovren stood out, but few were found wanting. That continued after the break, with Coutinho sliding in the third after a neat assist from Sterling, and Jordan Henderson adding to the tally after Liverpool had put together a number of impressive attacking moves.
Today was, in short, exactly the type of preseason finale we could have hoped for. The confidence from the performance will hopefully provide a platform to start the season in full stride despite the fact that the result is ultimately meaningless, especially with new faces bedding in well. Dortmund were largely poor, but Liverpool looked very, very sharp, and if the eleven we saw today starts in a similar fashion next weekend, there's every reason to feel confident about the season ahead.
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