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Liverpool 2, AC Milan 0: Casual Win in Charlotte

Another relatively relaxed performance from Liverpool, and one that sees them emerge as 2-0 winners on the strength of a first-half goal from Joe Allen and a late strike from Suso.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Liverpool 2: Allen 17', Suso 89'
AC Milan 0

As reported earlier in the day, there was no Daniel Sturridge or Lazar Markovic, meaning Rickie Lambert led the way up top with Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling wide, Joe Allen, Lucas, and Jordan Henderson in the midfield, and Martin Kelly and Jack Robinson as fullbacks with Kolo Toure--who also served as captain--and Sebastian Coates in central defense ahead of Simon Mignolet in goal.

Liverpool were dominant in the first half, with Milan to thank for much of it given how poor the Italian side were. Brendan Rodgers' side gradually pressed further and further up the pitch, with Allen's pressing providing the opener. The midfielder nicked away possession deep in the Milan half and slid a shot off the far post, and after Sterling's follow-up shot was deflected, Allen volleyed into the side netting to put Liverpool 1-0 up.

Rickie Lambert could have made it 2-0 minutes later after a questionable penalty call on Sterling; the young winger initially got tangled with a defender but collapsed under very little contact, and up stepped Lambert and his impressive penalty-taking record. Christian Abbiati guessed correctly, however, and denied Lambert a chance at his first Liverpool goal since joining. Milan offered little in response, and their first-half performance was notable mostly for wasted set-piece routines and surrounding Jordan Henderson as the whistle blew.

The Italian side were better in the second half but still couldn't find a way back into the match, and Liverpool were mostly comfortable other than a few moments during which the defense covered capably and a couple of nice saves from Simon Mignolet. Rodgers had introduced eight changes on the hour after bringing two on at the break, and Suso--who came on for Sterling at the half--added to Liverpool's lead just before injury time with a well-taken shot from outside the area.

Disappointing that Lambert wasn't able to convert his penalty, but otherwise it was another decent to good performance from most involved. Joe Allen and Lucas were excellent in the midfield, Sebastian Coates again proved comfortable in defense and distribution, and Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe were fun to watch in the first half. Mamadou Sakho and Emre Can continue to impress, and Suso's second goal of the preseason was another beauty.

Now ahead to Monday, when they'll meet Manchester United in Miami in the Champions Cup final. Silverware at stake, but the goal remains the same--get up to match speed, gain match fitness, and continue preparations for Southampton's visit to Anfield on August 17.

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