Brisbane Roar 1 Petratos 16'
Liverpool 2 Lallana 28', Milner 75'
Liverpool arrived in Brisbane on the back of a comfortable win in their first pre-season friendly against Thai All Stars looking to continue their positive momentum. They left with a 2-1 win that allowed more valuable playing time for both nailed on starters and youngsters.
The first half was a bit uneven for Liverpool, but there were plenty of encouraging individual performances. Simon Mignolet started at goalkeeper behind a back four of Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, and Joe Gomez. Gomez, who was Liverpool's least experienced starter, was probably the team's best player in the first half. He seemed to win every challenge and looked assured going forward as well. It's the second straight top caliber performance for Gomez, and he's making a strong case to stay with the team through the season rather than going out on loan. The rest of Liverpool's starting defense was decent aside from a few bad giveaways from Sakho early on and a collective lapse on Brisbane's opening goal.
James Milner and Jordan Henderson went the full 90 in the midfield, and I fully expect to write out that statement many times in the upcoming season. Milner was especially brilliant, scoring his first goal for Liverpool after nutmegging a defender at the top of the box and then looping a shot over Brisbane's goalkeeper. He was also tenacious in his challenges and generally looked exactly like the type of player Liverpool need him to be.
Adam Lallana was also superb, and did all sorts of graceful magic in the attacking midfield. He equalized for Liverpool in the 28th minute after cutting inside a Brisbane defender (and making him look silly in the process) before curling a right-footed shot around the goalkeeper.
Danny Ings was asked to float out wide for much of his time on the pitch, but he still impressed with some nice touches and another near goal. Meanwhile, Divock Origi looked extremely raw and tried to go one-on-one a little too often. Still, he whipped in some quality crosses and showed flashes of his potential.
Jordon Ibe was the second half star for Liverpool, as he combined his pace and skill to routinely cut through Brisbane's defense. Ibe could have easily had a couple of goals, but even without hitting the back of the net he managed to impress once again.
While the 2-1 scoreline isn't as wide as the 4-0 tally notched earlier in the week, this was another comfortable pre-season victory for the Reds (who debuted their fantastic new white away kits). Evidence of chemistry in the team amongst newcomers is already becoming apparent, as Milner and Ings linked up quite well with their teammates, and that's one of the most important parts of a pre-season tour aside from regaining squad fitness. Liverpool will aim to build on that chemistry on Monday against Adelaide United, as the club continues its extensive pre-season tour.
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