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Liverpool 1, Lyon 3 - Match Recap: Reds Fall To Lyon In Dubai Friendly

After a solid first half from the first team, Liverpool’s youth were outmatched by a more experienced Lyon side in the second half.

Liverpool v Olympique Lyonnais: Dubai Super Cup Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool 1 - 3 Lyon

Liverpool: Carvalho 1’
Lyon: Lacazette 41’, 82’, Barcola 65’


Liverpool start with essentially the best lineup they can field of the players available here in Dubai. The most notable of the XI is probably Stefan Bajcetic starting in midfield rather than Naby Keïta or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Reds have a huge squad available with quite a bit of youth. Most notably, Ben Doak is on the bench, and we should see him come on in the second half. It should also be noted that Darwin Núñez is not present despite Uruguay exiting the World Cup nine days ago, so it’s probably safe to assume we won’t see any of the WC participants on this trip.

First Half

It's a great start for the Reds! Roberto Firmino wins the ball high up the pitch and Mohamed Salah breaks into the box to slide it across for Fábio Carvalho who slots into an open goal. Liverpool lead after just 40 seconds.

Penalty for Liverpool! Salah chips a ball into the box for Roberto Firmino who is brought down by a kick from Malo Gusto in the 14th minute. Unfortunately, Salah's spot kick isn't the best and Anthony Lopes easily stops the shot just to his left. Salah gets another chance a minute later but can't get his header on frame.

Interesting to see Lyon mostly trying to play out from the back with short passes on the ground despite Liverpool's struggles with balls over the top this season. It's definitely not working for them. The Reds are pressing very well and Lyon are having fits getting the ball out of their half. Liverpool are clearly in control after 20 minutes.

Harvey Elliott is being replaced by Melkamu Frauendorf in the 29th minute. There wasn't an obvious injury, and he didn't appear to have any trouble coming off, but it’s still a troubling development. Fortunately, it seems unlikely to be anything serious, and there's no reason to not be very cautious given it's a friendly.

Lyon get their first real chance of the half through Moussa Dembélé after some nice breakout play, but he can only shoot it straight at Caoimhín Kelleher who easily parries it away. Lyon are settling in a bit and evening out the play as we approach halftime.

Now Lyon equalize and it wasn't pretty for Andy Robertson or Kelleher. Kelleher charged as Robertson battled a streaking Alexandre Lacazette, but the striker touched it by both of them at the top of the box and easily tucked the ball away with the goal empty.

That's the halftime whistle and they'll go into the locker rooms 1-1. It was a strong opening half hour for Liverpool as they controlled the play, but they struggled to create much aside from the goal and the penalty. Lyon did well to work back into the match and probably deserve to go into the break level.

Second Half

Klopp makes 6 changes for the second half as Kostas Tsimikas, Calvin Ramsay, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nat Phillips, Bobby Clark, and Adrian replace Robertson, Bajcetic, Carvalho, Matip, Frauendorf, and Kelleher.

No changes for Lyon.

Ramsay tries to get on the board with a long-range effort to start the half, but his shots is just outside the left post.

It's been a quiet first 15 minutes. Liverpool look understandably flat after making so many changes and haven't created much, but neither have Lyon despite making no changes.

Here comes another round of subs with half an hour to go. Doak and Këita are among those coming on as the rest of the starting XI go off.

Lyon make 4 changes now, and a pair of subs create a go ahead goal almost immediately. Rayan Cherki draws several defenders as he dribbles into the box and then plays a ball across to Bradley Barcola for a tidy finish. Liverpool trail 2-1 after 64 minutes.

Doak does well to set up Këita near the penalty spot after some nifty passing from the youngsters to get into the attacking third, but Naby's shot is blocked. The Reds had been disjointed with all the changes, but the goal seems to have galvanized them a bit.

Lyon nearly make it 3. Barcola's shot beats Adrián but bangs off the left post, and Tetê can't get a follow-up shot on frame.

It's another chance for Lyon after a lovely give-and-go but Adrián keeps the deficit at 1 as he shuts down the nutmeg attempt.

Lyon are attacking in waves now. Saël Kumbedi shoots from the right side of the box and Adrián makes another save, but the rebound falls to Lacazette at the spot and he puts it upper 90. 3-1 to Lyon.

Doak runs at the Lyon defense and makes a lovely cutback in the box, but the defender bumps him and then catches him in the head with a forearm. The youngster stayed down for a minute but appears to be okay now. That probably should have been another PK for Liverpool.

That’s full time with Lyon ahead 3-1. Apparently, this is actually a tournament and all games go to a PK shootout to play for an extra point regardless of the result.

Liverpool lose the shootout 5-3. Tsimikas, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Këita converted for the Reds, but Ramsay’s attempt was saved and proved to be the difference.

Final Thoughts

A disappointing, but not exactly surprising result. Liverpool were the better side in the first half, but didn't convert their control into enough chances and goals. Once they brought on an entirely new XI, composed mostly of youth players, Lyon were always likely to take control.

There were some good moments from the youth, especially Doak, but they were clearly outclassed by a more experienced Lyon side. Up next is a meeting with AC Milan on Friday.

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