Another day, another solid run out for Liverpool as they defeated Serie A club Bologna in back-to-back, 60-minute preseason friendlies.
Set against the backdrop of an idyllic Lake Geneva along the French-Swiss border, the Reds fielded two completely different squads across both mini-matches, giving the coaching staff a good look at a number of players looking to make a mark.
Goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané in the first game and a strike from Takumi Minamino in the second were the result of what appeared to be a clear training emphasis of the high press Klopp’s Liverpool have become renown for. And the boss, for the most part, seemed to approve of what he saw:
“I like the way we scored the goals,” Klopp told the club website after the game.
“The opponents hated it because they lost the ball, but it was really good football [from us] against a very defensive-orientated team.
“I liked a lot of things. Whenever we kept the ball, we had the right speed for passing and we got them running, it was really good, especially in the second game.
“I liked the rhythm we played, and we counted the chances we had, and we had to use them
“I can imagine that we have worked a lot on [pressing] and like we spoke after the last game, it doesn’t always work out.
“It’s not like we always win the ball in that area, but it is still the right thing to do.
“We forced them to make mistakes and tried to keep pushing them into different areas, the sidelines and then you win the ball there as well.”
Meanwhile some of the fringe players in the squad looking to do one or more of making good impressions after lackluster 2020-21 campaigns or earn moves to new clubs such as Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Kostas Tsimikas also stood out on the day.
“We had more chances than we scored but obviously Taki scored from Shaq’s pass, and it was a nice one,” the 54-year-old continued.
“Kostas was really good today, that is true,” he added. “Owen Beck played 15 minutes and Taki has had a really good pre-season, it is true.
“Seeing the quality of Shaq here and all these things is good. So is having center backs, playing football and Joe is [playing] new long balls from right to left, a nice little asset and we can switch the game quicker, so it is all good.
“Today it was absolutely fine. I cannot say anything bad about it to be honest.”
The Reds next host La Liga clubs Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna at Anfield this upcoming Sunday and Monday respectively as final tune ups before the Premier League season kicks off against Norwich City on August 14th.