Ah, preseason matches. Usually, the first several matches are a mishmash of players looking to gain fitness and shake off rust. With a shortened preseason this year due to the covid pandemic, the Liverpool players should still be relatively fit. And with only two preseason games — well, three if you count the Community Shield — there isn’t much time to get the intensity and rhythm back that was so important to Liverpool’s title success last season.
With that in mind, Jurgen Klopp rolled out a very strong Liverpool side to start the game against VfB Stuttgart, and he was rewarded with a strong, controlled effort in less than ideal conditions.
“I’m very happy, very happy,” said Klopp. “It was a super intense session for us today because the weather, wow, it rained like crazy, the pitch was really difficult – you could see the water was still on the pitch. That makes football games always tricky. Good organised opponent obviously but we scored nice goals and for me most important was that we felt 45 minutes of football is different to a 90-minute session, because in sessions you make breaks, drinks break. Here is no break, so you just have to go through. That was the most important thing to do today and the boys did it, they felt the intensity of the game – very good.“
Beyond getting the players into a game situation, Klopp was also quite pleased with some of the individual performances.
“How we made the goals, I would say that was absolutely exceptional. Obviously Taki is in pretty good shape, Kostas showed some nice glimpses of his talent. We know we have good boys here and that looked well. Curtis first half [was] obviously around the goals, Harvey hard-working until the end, Rhian could have shot here, but they look really promising. How I said, they had to work today and that’s what they did, so I’m fine with the performance.”
Liverpool will have just another two days of training before they take on Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday. Here’s to another 90 minutes of injury-free game time!