Liverpool got their first taste of something resembling competitive action today following three months of football being put on hold by coronavirus when Jürgen Klopp’s side took on Blackburn in a warm up match ahead of next week’s restart.
The result, a 6-0 drubbing of the 10th place side in the Championship—only three points back of the promotion playoff places and targeting a chance at promotion when the second tier of English football resumes—was, at the least, encouraging.
“It was a really important test,” Klopp said of the match, that as with many pre-season games for the Reds saw a split lineup with all but three players limited to 45 minutes. “It looked really good, obviously, pretty much from the beginning.
“You have to get used again to playing against a deep-defending side and Blackburn had a build-up from time to time, so we could work on the high press as well. So the football was really good, the goals were nice, and it was a really good afternoon.”
The game saw Sadio Mané, Naby Keïta, and Takumi Minamino score in the first half as part of the stronger Liverpool side while Joël Matip Ki-Jana Hoever, and Leighton Clarkson came on to score against Blackburn in the second half of the warm-up.
Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson were both held out of the match as a precautionary measure, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a minor knock during it, but all three are expected to be in contention to face Everton a week from Sunday.
“Shape is important, form and things like this are important of course, but it is attitude. It is work-rate,” Klopp added. “In the first game, we don’t have to be football-wise on our highest level, but we need to show that we are ready for competition.
“That’s what we have to be, and I saw that today. The boys really did well and that’s how they’ve looked since we’ve been back—and how they looked before we were away. So: so far, so good.”