Jordon Ibe showed promise along with his speed, but also a few rough edges only starting in games that matter can smooth out. Jon Flanagan looked composed, picking up right where he'd left off last year and suggesting that just maybe his somewhat unexpected emergence as a Premier League fullback could be built upon in his second full senior season.
The real star of the show of Liverpool's pre-season opener, though, was Philippe Coutinho. Having just turned 22 this summer and having perhaps wrongly been left off of Brazil's World Cup squad, Coutinho played the game like he had something to prove and looked in mid-season form.
His touch was superb, his close control a joy to watch, and he put in a solid shift without the ball—something too many still refuse to credit him with being able to do on a regular basis. His shooting was also in mid-season form, which for Coutinho meant as close to the corner flag as the goal at times, but perhaps you can't have everything.
If his shooting was off, his passing wasn't, and paired with a more clinical striker—something Fabio Borini hoped he could prove he was this pre-season and that yesterday at least didn't happen—he would have created a handful of goals in the first half. So. Welcome back, Phil. Here's to more ridiculous footwork in the future.
Video by Mostar