Match Day

Liverpool 4-0 Borussia Dortmund-Player Ratings: Reds send warning to rivals with 4-0 rout


Simon Mignolet  6.8

Mignolet did not have one save to make all game in what was a comfortable day for the Reds defence. The Belgium looked composed with his feet, making some good long balls forward.


Javier Manquillo   7.7

Manquillo was making his debut at Anfield, but it did not show. The young Spanish star looked comfortable on the ball going forward, making some surging runs forward, but also made some decisive challenges at the back for Liverpool. Manquillo would have impressed Rodgers with this showing and has put in a challenge to start in the league opener against Southampton.

Manquillo impresses on Liverpool debut

Manquillo impresses on Liverpool debut

Martin Skrtel     7.3

Skrtel had a very comfortable day in the heart of defence, but showed that his partnership with new signing Lovren could be key for Liverpool this season. Skrtel won everything in the air and has earned a start next week after his pre-season form and for being Liverpool’s best defender last season.

Dejan Lovren     8.6

The new 20million signing proved what he can give Liverpool this season after an impressive debut. Scored the Reds second goal with a powerful header and also played a part in the first goal with a great pass for Coutinho to flick it on to Sturridge. The Croatian showed real composure on the ball and leadership at the back, making a number of great tackles at the same time. Got a great cross field pass, very similar range to Steven Gerrard surprisingly, and could prove a threat in an attacking sense as well.

Lovren celebrates scoring on debut

Lovren celebrates scoring on debut

Glen Johnson     7.5

Johnson has drawn a lot of criticism for his performances lately, but today was much more of a composed performance at left-back for Johnson. Galloped forward well and proved a threat to the opponents, but also did his defensive duties well at the other end.

Martin Kelly       6.5

Kelly did not have long to make an impression on the game but is far down the pecking order at the moment with Johnson, Flanagan and Manquillo all ahead of him. Needs to up his game if he is to have a future at Liverpool, but has not impressed too much this pre-season.

Jose Enrique     6.7

Enrique is gaining fitness with every game he plays but he could have some real competition in the shape off Alberto Moreno if he signs this week. The Spaniard will prove to be a valuable player this season, even if he doesn’t play every week.


Jordan Henderson   8.0

Henderson has proved this pre-season and last season how important of a player he has become to Liverpool. His energy levels are unmatched and he could easily play 90 minutes every day, such is his fitness. Scored the Reds fourth goal with a tap-in but has proved in pre-season he could score more goals this season. Henderson is one of the first names on the team sheet and that has proved how far he has come, thanks to his attitude.

Emre Can         6.7

Can has impressed a lot of people during pre-season with his strength and speed, but today he could not get involved in the game as he would have liked. Can needed to do more to put his name on the team sheet next week, but is still in for a shot to start.

Steven Gerrard     7.8

Gerrard is proving to be very consistent in his new position and rarely has a bad game now. The Liverpool skipper controlled the tempo of the game, with Dortmund unable to deal with the passing range of Gerrard.

Lucas Leiva       6.9

Came on for Emre Can in the second half and did a good job in protecting the back four. Lucas could not get into the game in an attacking sense which is why Rodgers would prefer to play Allen, Lallana. Coutinho or Can in that position as Lucas is too defensive. The Brazilian has a knack of giving away stupid fouls in bad areas, something he needs to cut out of his game.

Raheem Sterling   8.2

Sterling produced yet another impressive display with Dortmund unable to handle his pace. The 19-year old could be a big player for Liverpool this season and is starting to produce more goals and create chances for other players. Sterling seems to have improved on his defensive skills after tracking back to help out Johnson well, and showed unbelievable strength for such a small lad.

Raheem Sterling catches the eye again after impressive game

Raheem Sterling catches the eye again after impressive game

Coutinho           8.8- Man Of The Match

Coutinho pulled the strings for Liverpool today with everything Liverpool produced came through the young Brazilian. Scored the third goals of the game with a neat finish, something he needs to work on still, but what was more impressive was the flick to Sturridge to open the scoring. Coutinho has been described by Rodgers as the ‘brain of the team’ and that was proven with this performance.

'Brains of the team' Coutinho pulled the strings in midfield

‘Brains of the team’ Coutinho pulled the strings in midfield

Jordan Ibe       6.5

Ibe came on at a time where there was a number of substitutions that affected the game. Could not get involved in the game while he was on the pitch but this could still be the 17-year-olds breakthrough season this year.


Daniel Sturridge   8.4

With their being so much talk about replacing Luis Suarez Liverpool already have the perfect player to fill the Uruguayans boots. A delightful outside of the foot finish for the first goal of the game and a wonderful piece of skill and pass to find Henderson for the Reds fourth goal proved he could step up even more this season. If Sturridge can stay fit all season then he will be the man to get the goals that Liverpool need.

We hope to see this celebration plenty more times during the season

We hope to see this celebration plenty more times during the season

Rickie Lambert     6.3

Lambert came on late in the game but once again another uninspired display by the Englishman. With Lambert struggling at the moment Liverpool are in the market for another striker to partner Sturridge or be back up and Lambert does not fit the bill. Good player to have on the bench but would not inspire confidence in Liverpool fans if he were to start for Liverpool this season.

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Preston 1-2 Liverpool-Ibe stars in victory for Liverpool


Brad Jones  7.6

A good performance from Brad Jones, could not do anything about the goal. Made a number of good saves throughout the game and looked confident when collecting crosses.


Martin Kelly 5.8

Did not look sharp for the second game in a row and lost a number of balls in the first half. He Will need to improve if he wants to impress Rodgers.

Jon Flanagan   7.2

Flanagan was Liverpool’s best defender in the first half. He looked comfortable on the ball and attacked more in his natural right-back position, when he swapped positions. Flanagan looked comfortable in defence and would have impressed Rodgers so far.

Martin Skrtel   6.2

Did not have a lot to do but was guilty of being complacent throughout the match. Skrtel looked strong in the air as normal, but did show rustiness a few times throughout the match.

Andre Wisdom 5.9

Wisdom did not have a good day and it is no surprise that Rodgers does not consider Wisdom in his first team plans. Looked weak on and off the ball and lacked pace a number of times during the game. A loan spell in the Premier League will suit Wisdom well.

Kevin Stewart    6.5

A much better appearance for Stewart as he looked more comfortable on the ball, and did not give away the ball. In the last game he gave away the ball for the goal and never looked like a player that was confident, but this was a much better run-out for the young full-back.

Sebastion Coates   6.7

Did not have a lot to do when he came on the pitch but whenever called upon he produced. He looked strong and comfortable on the ball, Coates showed that he has gotten over his injury but whether Rodgers considers him in frame for the first team is yet to be seen.

Lloyd Jones     6.5

Helped tighten things up at the back and worked well with Coates. Very comfortable but did not have a lot to do when he came on.

Jack Robinson     6.3

Did not really make an impression for himself and was replaced by Enrique later on in the game. Did not go forward many times but did look comfortable defensively.

Jose Enrique     6.8

Only made a short 20 minute appearance, but did show his quality during that time. Gave Liverpool another option going forward and looked fit and raring to go for the new season.


Lucas Leiva     6.6

Made some very good tackles while on the pitch, but if he is to fit into Rodgers plans then he will need to be better on the ball, as he gave away the ball a few times. Looked lively defensively and did help out the defence well.

Joe Allen       6.1

Did not look like a senior player on the pitch. Too many times he watching the play and not showing the determination he needs to. Good on the ball when the Welshman had it, but did not show determination to make his mark on the game,

Emre Can     7.1

Only played 20 minutes due to him being taken off as a precaution. During those minutes he controlled the tempo of the game and looked comfortable on and off the ball. An impressive brif appearance and if he can show this in the Premier League he could be in for a big season at Liverpool.

Can impressed despite going off early

Can impressed despite going off early

Phillipe Coutinho  7.4

Showed what he is all about and another impressive performance from the Brazilian. Showed great feet, dominant on the ball and surprisingly show better strength.

Coutinho impressed once again

Coutinho impressed once again

Jordan Ibe     9.2- Man Of The Match

A great performance again by Jordan Ibe, adding another 2 assists to his name. Great runs for both off the goals and showed real determination to get into attacking position. Got a very good pass on him, but again needs to improve his finishing as he had a great chance in the first half.

Jordan Ibe set up both goals

Jordan Ibe set up both goals

Connor Coady   6.9

Coady is a very good tackler of the ball and made a difference when he came on. Looked comfortable on the ball and made a few bursting runs forward, overall a good performance for Coady when he came on.

Jordan Rossiter 7.9

Made a real difference when he came on the pitch. Made some great tackles and ran the show in the midfield when he was on the pitch. Still only 18 and could have a good future at Liverpool if he can progress to the next level.

Suso   8.5

Suso impressed on the left side of midfield, scoring a great curling equalising goal. Cut inside on his left foot and looked a danger when he did. Got a good shot on him, as he showed with the goal and has an eye for goal, could be a good player for Liverpool this season.

Suso scored a stunning first goal and impressed throughout the game

Suso scored a stunning first goal and impressed throughout the game

Adam Phillips  6.5

Phillips played just the 10 minutes, so not really a lot of time to make an impact on the game. Did not have a lot of touches on the ball as Liverpool were seeing the game out when he came on.

Krisztian Adorjan   6.6

Looked comfortable on the ball and showed good link up play with Peterson. Did not see a lot of the ball but when he did he would rarely play a bad pass.


Rickie Lambert     6.6

Lambert did not see a lot of the ball, but did show glimpses off what he can do. Will need to improve his performances if he is going to make the starting eleven and perhaps at times showed the occasion got to him.

Rickie Lambert made his Liverpool debut

Rickie Lambert made his Liverpool debut

Fabio Borini       6.1

Borini is on the verge of a move to Sunderland and this is likely to be his last appearance for Liverpool. Showed that his head was not at Liverpool and did not make an impact on the game.

Kristoffer Peterson   8.3

Peterson Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers what he is about, scoring the winning goal of the game. Scored in the loss to Brondby and showed his poachers instinct for his second Liverpool goal. Made some great runs throughout the game and showed that he links up extremely well with Jordan Ibe.

Who impressed you? Take part in the poll or have your say by commenting below.

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Player Ratings- Liverpool 1-2 Brondby IF : Ibe and Coutinho shine in 2-1 defeat in first pre-season game


Brad Jones             5.2

Started brightly, but was caught out for the goal where he was out of position for the long range strike and constantly got beaten at free-kicks, with the Danish side hitting the crossbar twice with Jones of his line both times and lucky not be beaten.

Danny Ward         6.5

Didn’t get too much game time as he replaced Jones late in the second half, could do nothing for the goal, but didn’t have a lot to do.


Martin Kelly         6.0

Looked rusty and showed that he has not played much football. Brendan Rodgers will want Kelly to up his game if he is to be considered in Liverpool’s first team plans next season.

Kevin Stewart       5.0

Replaced Tiago Ilori midway through the first half, had a horrendous start where he gave the ball away for the first goal and giving the ball away in attacking positions. Replaced at half time.

Tiago Ilori               6.6

Looked assured during the 20 minutes that he played, but went off injured after appearing to pull a hamstring.

Daniel Agger         6.7

Agger returned to Denmark to face his former club and captained the Liverpool side, looked assured without looking spectacular. Showed his rustiness at times during the game.

Agger faced his former club

Agger faced his former club

Brad Smith           6.8

Made some very good attacking runs, but was caught out of position at the back several times. Got forward and showed he has a lot of pace, but will need to pick his moments to go forward better.

Martin Skrtel      6.9

Didn’t have a lot to do, but should have put in a tackle for the goal. Showed his strength and was very good in the air, winning most aerial balls.

Jon Flanagan       7.2

Came on in the second half and looked very sharp. Made some excellent runs going forward and showed real determination in the way he went about his work. Liverpool’s best defender on show and should start next season.

Andre Wisdom   5.8

Came on in the second half and showed why Liverpool are willing to loan him out. Did not look comfortable on the ball and was sloppy at the back. Lost the ball a number of times and did not put in a good performance to prove Rodgers wrong.

Lloyd Jones   6.0

Came on in the second half and did not have a lot to do, was partly at fault for the goal as he should have put in a tackle.



Lucas Leiva       6.1

One of the senior players on show at the game and looked rusty, did not get into the game and did not work hard enough.

Joe Allen           5.8

Came on in the second half and could not get into the game, looked weak on and off the ball and showed none of the performance levels he played at last season, where he replaced Coutinho at times in the season.

Jordan Rossiter     6.4

Made some good forward runs and looked lively during the game. Left out of position during the game a few times.

Joao Teixeira        7.0

Showed some very good touches and looked lively, showed good link up play with other players and needs to start making the step up now for Liverpool if he is to succeed.

Suso                       7.2

Linked up well with Coutinho and looked lively during the game, showed no rustiness and was a threat to the Brondby defence in the first half.

Phillipe Coutinho   8.8- Man Of The Match

Ran the show in the first half, everything that Liverpool created in the first half came from Coutinho. Showed no signs he was rusty and showed Rodgers what he has to offer.

Coutinho ran the show in midfield

Coutinho ran the show in midfield

Conor Coady         6.6

Had a steady performance without really showing Brendan Rodgers what he can do. It is rumoured Liverpool are willing to let Coady leave and he will have to perform better to convince Liverpool to keep him.

Adam Phillips         5.9

Came on in the second and did not make much impact. Could not get involved into the game and needed to keep the ball better for Liverpool to keep possession.

Krisztian Adorjan   5.9

Very similar game to Adam Phillips where he was sloppy on the ball and needed to keep it better for Liverpool to cause more problems.

Jordan Ibe           8.6

Came on for the second half and showed what he is about. Ibe has unbelievable pace and trickery and showed it to set up the Liverpool goal, with a clever dummy which the defender fell for and Ibe was clear to put the ball on a plate for goalscorer Peterson. One improvement he needs to make is his finishing which is woeful at times, but he is definitely one for the future.



Fabio Borini       6.2

Needed to impress today but could not get involved in the game, showed rustiness and he will need to pick up the performance levels with every game if he wants to impress Rodgers.

Kristoffer Peterson     7.6

Peterson was in the ‘right place right time’ for the goal, which takes a certain skill. Looked lively during the game and linked up with Ibe well.

Goalscorer Peterson looked lively up front

Goalscorer Peterson looked lively up front













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Brendan Rodgers praises Liverpool’s attacking display

Liverpool 5-3Liverpool won at the Brittania stadium in an enthralling encounter which finished 5-3 to the Reds.

Rodgers was keen to praise that attacking play that Liverpool produced, but also wanted to address the problems that Liverpool had at the back.

Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 lead thanks for a own goal from Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross and Luis Suarez latching onto a loose back header from Shawcross, but Liverpool were pulled back to 2-2 before half-time thanks to goals from former Reds Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam.

Liverpool then took the 4-2 lead through a penalty from Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez’s 22 goal of the season, Stoke then pulled the game back to 4-3 through Jonathon Walters to make for a agonising finish but Daniel Sturridge on his return scored the goal to finish Stoke off.

The Reds boss told Sky Sports: “I thought they were brilliant. To come here and get five goals and put in the work and the effort is fantastic. I’m delighted for the players.

“We went out in the second half and we went again. That shows the character of the team.

“We spoke briefly afterwards, we made mistakes without being cut open and we need to tidy that up. But we were really exciting going forward.”

Liverpool’s third goal at the Britannia came from the penalty spot, after a contentious decision as Raheem Sterling went down under light contact from Marc Wilson.

Rodgers accepts that his side were slightly fortunate to be given the decision, which infuriated Stoke boss Mark Hughes.

He added: “I thought it was soft. It was one where, if you’re the attacking team, you’re happy to get it.

“I’d call it a ‘Spanish penalty’, one where the attacker goes into the defender – the defender obviously doesn’t get the ball – but the contact puts him over.

“Everyone around us won yesterday. We just have to control our own destiny.”

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Liverpool hold firm against resilient Aston Villa

Liverpool earned their second 1-0 victory in the space of a week as they held firm against a resilient Aston Villa team.

Aston Villa went into this match in good form as they beat Arsenal in a stunning 3-1 display last Saturday and they battled Chelsea to a narrow 2-1 defeat where they deserved a point. Liverpool’s task was to stop a firing Benteke who had scored 3 goals in 2 games against top opposition.

Liverpool named an unchanged line-up from the team that beat Stoke City 1-0 comfortably, with new signing Aly Cissokho starting on the bench.

Liverpool were aiming to make their best start to a season since the 2008-09 season by getting 2 wins from 2.

Liverpool certainly made a positive start to the match as they dominated possession and dictating all the play, but chances were coming hard to come by for Liverpool. Countinho’s 15th minute curler was the closest Liverpool came in the opening 15 minutes of the game.

However just after the 20 minute mark the deadlock was finally broken, and deservedly, broken by Liverpool.

It was a well worked team goal as Enrique looked for Coutinho, who got a shout from Sturridge to dummy it, which he obliged and the ball ran into Sturridge’s path who showed nimble footwork to dance beyond several challenges and slam the ball into the roof of the net.

Sturridge breaks the deadlock

Sturridge breaks the deadlock

The visitors kept control of the game for the rest of the half, but with four minutes until half-time Simon Mignolet was called into action with a full stretch save from Christian Benteke’s curler.

Moments after Villa continued their first good spell in the match as Andres Weimann had a powerful shot deflected just over the bar for a corner.

Liverpool introduced new signing Aly Cissokho to the match for Iago Aspas, as they looked to close off the match.

Cissokho makes Liverpool debut

Cissokho makes Liverpool debut

Villa continued to pressurise the Liverpool defence as Kolo Toure’s headed clearance found its way invitingly for Gabriel Agbonlahor who volleyed the ball agonisingly wide.

Toure challenges Benteke

Toure challenges Benteke

Then, on 86 minutes, a bouncing ball was latched onto by Christian Benteke in the box who lashed a powerful strike towards goal, with Liverpool’s Belgium stopper turning the ball round the post brilliantly.

Liverpool had a late penalty appeal turned down as Sturridge rounded the keeper, with Brad Guzan making contact with Sturridge with the ref turning down a certain penalty.

Liverpool held on for a well worked three points as Liverpool make it two wins from two in the league so far.

Gerrard celebrates Liverpool's second successive win

Gerrard celebrates Liverpool’s second successive win

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Liverpool player rating v Stoke City


Simon Mignolet had a superb debut for Liverpool yesterday. The first 20 minutes of the match he looked a little uncomfortable in the Reds goal, making a few mistakes when he received the ball at his feet. But he made a three top class saves during the course of the match. The first coming from a curling shot from Jonathon Walters which Mignolet had to spring across his goal to prevent Stoke taking the lead in the game. The second of his high profile saves came when Stoke were awarded a penalty in the last few minutes of the game and Mignolet sprung across to his right to dramatically rescue Liverpool from dropping points. The third was the rebound from the penalty where he had to get up quickly to prevent Kenwyn Jones from a late equaliser. Along with the saves he looked comfortable in goal for the most part and handled the crosses well.


Glen Johnson did not have to do much today and had a very quite match for his standards. Did not bomb down the right hand side as much, but defensively was very sure in the match and made no mistakes. Johnson has good competition for his place this season in the returning Martin Kelly and if Johnson does lose form then Kelly will be breathing right down his neck. Had a secure game but will need to better his performances if he is not to become complacent.


Kolo Toure signed for Liverpool in the summer on a free transfer and a lot of people questioned whether he will be good enough for Liverpool, with a lot of supporters expecting him to more of a squad player. But he proved all his doubters wrong with a solid performance against Stoke. He’s now 32 but he does not lack pace and is extremely strong. Liverpool needed a bit of height, physicality and experience and Toure proved all of them today. Toure hit the crossbar for Liverpool after getting on the end of a corner with a blistering header onto the bar, and continued to look a threat for corners. Matched the physicality of Stoke City and is the needed extra height and experience that is needed, and he certainly proved his doubters wrong with this performance!


Daniel Agger is Liverpool’s new vice captain after remaining with Liverpool for a number of years and showing undivided loyalty towards Liverpool, despite interest from Barcelona. His performance today was solid alongside Kolo Toure, but did give away a late penalty with a handball that could of cost Liverpool three points if it weren’t for Mignolet’s heroics. Handled the physicality of Stoke well and dealt with everything Stoke threw at the Reds defence.


Had a solid game in the left-back slot for Liverpool, but is now under pressure as Liverpool are looking to sign a new left-back. With reports that Liverpool have agreed a loan deal for Aly Cissokho, Jose Enrique could well lose his place in the team. The Spaniard can be erratic at times but he wasn’t tested too much by Stoke. He looked a threat going forward, although some of his touches let him down and ended positive attacks.


Had a good game against Stoke and is often the unsung hero in matches. Lucas holds the midfield and defence together and the game was no different against Stoke. He was making tackles, putting his body on the line and starting off attacks for Liverpool. You don’t usually notice his mark on the match but when he is not in the starting eleven you can see the gaps in the Liverpool team.


Henderson started ahead of Joe Allen in the match which did surprise a lot of supporters after Joe Allen was so prominently featured in pre-season. Henderson looked lively and was box to box for all the game. Had a number of chances but hit most of them straight against the Stoke keeper Begovic and needs to improve his finishing.


Do we expect anything else from Gerrard? He was his usual self pinging passes and pulling all the strings in the Liverpool team. Combines defence and attack brilliantly and was all over the park like he normally is. He plays in a deeper role now and lets Henderson bomb forward, although he still picks and chooses when he goes forward like he did in this match today.


Coutinho had a brilliant game and created the most chances out of any Premier League teams on the opening day of the weekend. Coutinho rattled the post with a cracker of a strike and was involved in everything which was good about Liverpool’s attack play. Coutinho even got back defensively well and did not leave gaps when he was going forward. The Brazilian also forged a brilliant partnership with Iago Aspas and Daniel Sturridge.


Daniel Sturridge was rated at just eighty percent fit for the game and it is a great credit to how well the England international played. Sturridge was the match winner with a brilliant 25 yard strike to beat Begovic in the Stoke goal, and it took something special to beat the Stoke keeper who had an impressive game. Sturridge forged a brilliant relationship on the field with Coutinho and Aspas. Sturridge had a few chances to double his goal tally but otherwise had a stunning game for Liverpool. When Suarez returns to the fold he could find it hard to get back into the team if Liverpool continue to play like this.


Iago Aspas made his Barclays Premier League debut in this match today and did not show it. Looked lively for the whole match and showed how skilful he can be during the course of the match. Had a couple of chances to score and needs to improve his finishing if he is to be a success at the Reds. Aspas linked up well with Coutinho and Sturridge during the match.



Raheem Sterling played 20 minutes of the match coming on the pitch for the impressive Aspas. Didn’t do a lot as Liverpool mostly had to defend for the last 15 minutes of the match. Had a impressive pre-season where he looked extremely lively.


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Rodgers lavishes praise on goalkeeper Simon Mignolet

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers lavished praise on new Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, after he saved a last minute Liverpool to help Liverpool to a deserving 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

The Reds took a first half lead with a stunning 25 yard strike from Daniel Sturridge and looked on course to comfortably pick up the victory until Daniel Agger handled the ball in the penalty area to give Stoke a penalty.

Mignolet saved the resulting penalty from Jonathon Walters, in the process rescuing all three points for Liverpool in their first game of the season.

Rodgers told his post-match press conference: “He made three terrific saves in the game. He had one in the first half when Jonathan Walters had a great turn and shot and Simon stretched and got a strong arm to the corner on the left side.

“Obviously when you don’t take your chances – and we created numerous chances and didn’t do that – and then get a penalty against you at the end, there’s sometimes that sinking feeling.

“But he’d done his homework and knows exactly where all the penalty takers are going. It was a good first save and then obviously the reaction to get up and make the second save was impressive.

“I think from that, you also saw the spirit in the team, what we’re trying to cultivate here as well and the energy and attitude of the players.

“It was terrific performance all round – but of course, the goalkeeper gets the plaudits when he saves a penalty right at the end.”

Mignolet’s save prompted joyous scenes of celebration as Liverpool got the new season up and running with a victory.

Rodgers added: “I’m delighted – I’m just delighted for the players. The work they put in over the course of pre-season and their focus and concentration amid everything that was thrown at them at the club, to come out and play like that, create as many chances as they did and get the win was excellent.

“There was a great atmosphere, it was a wonderful day and it’s the first three points of hopefully many more.”

Mignolet was not the only debutant in the match, as Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas both made their Premier League debuts for Liverpool.

“Kolo introduced himself to the crowd when he jumped about seven foot five in the first couple of minutes of the game – it was a wonderful leap and I think you could see his energy and enthusiasm,” said the boss.

“When we lost Jamie Carragher last year, we were losing real experience – but Kolo comes in and offers that. He was excellent.

“Mignolet was very good and Iago Aspas is a real bright and clever player. In and around the edge of the box, he wants to shoot, he wants to combine with people and that’s something that’s important for us. I thought for 70 minutes he was excellent.

“Tactically he understands the game and what we’re trying to do here. All across the board, it was very good.”

Rodgers also praised Daniel Sturridge, who has only been training for two weeks and was rated at being eighty per cent fit for the match and played 90 minutes.

“Considering he’s only been back just over two weeks from his injury, I think he’s a great credit,” said the manager.

“He played 90 minutes in midweek in a game behind closed doors, so to come out and play another 90 today was really putting himself out there.

“Just at the point before he scored, I’d made a note for him to maybe take more shots because our combination play was great.

“It was a really good move, we showed great patience to pass and to probe to get the space. You saw Daniel’s power, he’s got a wonderful left foot and it was a terrific finish.

“He’s disappointed he never got a few more, but he continues to score and that’s why he’s here. That’s his job.”

He replied: “At the minute, the concentration is on the players who are available to play. Luis is doing his work and there’s nothing to be said there. For us, it’s about continuing with the momentum coming through from last season and winning games, which is what we’re here for.

“He’s a part of our team and a part of the club. The supporters are a class act here – the classic Liverpool Way is to always support the players and the manager. That’s what they always do.”

Rodgers continued: “I won’t be saying anything on Luis Suarez and it’s only purely out of respect for the players that are working hard at the minute.

“All I will say is I am very satisfied with how everything has been resolved and we as a club are now looking to the future and moving on.”

Meanwhile, on the prospect of adding his squad before the close of transfer window, Rodgers said: “We’re confident of having one or two in before the window shuts, but there are no names, just speculation.”

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Mignolet saves Liverpool in a deserving 1-0 victory

Rodgers celebrates a big win for Liverpool

Rodgers celebrates a big win for Liverpool

Liverpool begun the new season with a 1-0 win over Stoke City with a stunning 25-yard strike from Daniel Sturridge, with Mignolet saving Liverpool with a last minute penalty save.

Liverpool dominated much of the match after hitting the crossbar three times during the match, emphasising how much they dominated.

Mignolet made himself an instant kop hero by saving a 88th minute penalty from Stoke City striker Jonathon Walters.

The excitement around the start of the season was emphasised by Liverpool’s bright start to the game, with the Reds hitting the crossbar and scoring an offside goal in the first quarter of an hour.

Stoke had a great chance when Mignolet struggled to handle former Reds striker Peter Crouch and parried the ball straight to defender Robert Huth, who volleyed the ball onto the crossbar with a gaping goal.

Shortly after, Liverpool were celebrating a goal through striker Daniel Sturridge from a brilliant free-kick from Steven Gerrard which found Sturridge’s head and the England striker put the ball into the back of the net, until the referee called for a, rightful, offside decision.

Liverpool continued to press when a corner found its way to debutant Kolo Toure who blasted his header onto the crossbar, with Sturridge’s follow up going high and wide.

Toure smashes the crossbar

Toure smashes the crossbar

Stoke goalkeeper had a sublime game and was called into action numerous times before Liverpool broke the deadlock.

After Aspas hit the ball straight at the Bosnian goalkeeper, he found a sublime pass to find Jose Enrique who hit the ball straight at Begovic.

Coutinho eye for a pass was evident again here in this match after he slid a ball through for Jordan Henderson, but Begovic rushed out to prevent Henderson from getting a left footed shot in.

The brilliant Stoke keeper though was powerless to stop a sublime Sturridge strike as Liverpool finally broke the deadlock.

Quick interplay in the Reds midfield found Sturridge who struck an unstoppable strike from 25 yards out and found its way into the corner of the net beautifully.

Sturridge celebrates breaking the deadlock for Liverpool

Sturridge celebrates breaking the deadlock for Liverpool

The Potters kept on fighting though as Mignolet had to acrobatically get across his goal to prevent a curling effort from Stoke striker Jonathon Walters. Lucas then had to nod a Ryan Shawcross header of the line to keep Liverpool in it going into halftime.

Liverpool continued to impress in the second half as they looked for a second goal and were unlucky not have extended their lead before the hour mark in the match.

Coutinho whipped in a cross and Sturridge failed to connect with the ball, but it fell to Henderson who blasted his strike straight at Asmir Begovic.

Sturridge then had a chance to double his tally when he fired the ball from a tight angle for begovic to knock onto the post. From the resulting corner summer signing Iago Aspas, who impressed, glanced his header just wide of the post.

Aspas continued to impress as he teed up Jordan Henderson, who cut across the ball with a sweeping striker that agonisingly nailed the far post.

As Liverpool closed in on the win, Daniel Agger was ruled to have handballed the ball inside the penalty box and Stoke were awarded a last minute penalty to level the game.

Stoke striker Jonathon Walters stepped up to take the penalty and was dramatically stopped by a impressive penalty save from new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, sealing a vital three points for Liverpool.

Mignolet saves a penalty from Stoke City's Walters

Mignolet saves a penalty from Stoke City’s Walters

Categories: Liverpool, Match Day, Match Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spaniards star as Reds extend streak

Liverpool extended their pre-season winning streak to six matches on Wednesday evening with an enjoyable 4-1 victory over Norwegian outfit Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.

In front of the club’s principal owner, John Henry, the Reds maintained their impressive form through goals from Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling; their clean sheet record was ended by Giancarlo Gonzalez, though.

The pre-match team news had confirmed nine changes to the Liverpool team which celebrated Steven Gerrard’s testimonial by beating Olympiacos on Saturday – Joe Allen and Aspas the two men to retain their starting berth.

An incisive burst by Stewart Downing served notice of Liverpool’s threat to the hosts as early as the third minute. The winger knocked the ball around his marker and showed lightning pace to collect the ball on the other side, before drilling a centre which Jordon Ibe was unfortunate not to connect with.

First-half captain Jordan Henderson whipped a free-kick high and wide in the eighth minute and Allen trained his sights with a wayward effort shortly after. Continuing the theme, Ibe skipped beyond two challenges to work space – a rash shot followed, though.

Aspas then had two inviting opportunities to break the deadlock on the quarter-hour. Downing claimed possession and drove forward in a two-on-one scenario, releasing the Spaniard to blast goalwards. Saved.

The summer signing swung a boot seconds later at the left edge of the box but his strike drifted the wrong side of the far post after taking a deflection. The subsequent corner looped off Andre Wisdom and briefly scared home goalkeeper Gudmund Taksdal Kongshavn, and Ibe directed an attempt off target as the Reds established control.

A wonderfully slick passing move, prompted by Alberto, Allen and Downing, provided time and freedom for Ibe to work a reactive Kongshavn once more. If that save was impressive, his next was inexplicable.

Jon Flanagan supported on the left flank and curled a perfect delivery into the area for Downing, who will still be wondering how his stabbed strike was kept out by the stopper’s head.

But Kongshavn’s charmed goal was finally breached within moments.

Aspas’ clever chip bounced away off the crossbar and when the Norwegians failed to clear, Alberto volleyed a precise finish into the bottom corner to secure a 31st-minute lead.

It lasted just four minutes, however. Valerenga defender Gonzalez was the dominant aerial force from an inswinging corner and sent a powerful header flying past the palms of Brad Jones.

But the visitors nevertheless entered half-time 2-1 ahead as Aspas finally beat Kongshavn, tapping home a simple finish after a perfect set-up by the effervescent Downing. The break precipitated 10 changes by manager Brendan Rodgers, with only Wisdom remaining on the pitch.

With Oussama Assaidi and Raheem Sterling operating with fresh pace on either flank, the Reds started the second period brightly and extended their advantage further after 54 minutes.

Valerenga struggled to deal with a corner which landed plum in the centre of the penalty box and it was defender Kelly who forced the ball over the line for 3-1. Within 60 seconds, another set-piece worried the home side and Kolo Toure thumped a header against the bar.

Fabio Borini was equally close to adding a fourth for Liverpool as he capitalised on a loose ball, rounded the goalkeeper and aimed for goal from a narrowing angle. It rolled all the way along the line but refused to hit the net.

The Italian crashed another effort from 20 yards against the crossbar as the clock ticked into the final 15 minutes, before Sterling slotted home in the closing moments so that the Reds could celebrate a sixth straight success.

Categories: Liverpool, Match Day, Match Reports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rodgers: Suarez worth close to 100million if Bale is worth that

Brendan Rodgers has stated that Suarez and Bale are not that far apart in terms of quality, and has revealed that if Madrid are willing to pay 100million for Bale then that is what it is going to take to prize away Suarez from Anfield.

“Every single player in the world will be open to that, but it’s not something we’re thinking about, to be honest,” he said.

“I was on the phone to the owners last night and they know what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to build the group up and we’re in no hurry to sell Luis or any other player.

“Throughout the world, every player has a value and worth. You look at the market and £40,000,001 – when Gareth Bale they are talking about [a lot more than that].

“Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were arguably the two best players in the Premier League last year and you can’t say Gareth Bale is valued at 100 per cent more!

“We as a club are very strong in what we’re doing and there won’t be anyone moving out of here in a hurry.”

Asked if there was any update on Suarez’s future, Rodgers added: “There are lots of stories that are going on around Luis but there’s no change in it.

“We’ve had two bids from one club. That was nowhere near the valuation in the market now for a top, top player.

“Until there’s anything dramatic that changes he’s still in working. We’ve got to get him up to speed.

“It’s very, very simple. We don’t want to sell him. He’s a top player and we’re trying to build something here.

“There’s nothing new to report other than he’s working well and he got a great reception today.”

Rodgers has today reiterated the clubs desire to keep Suarez and was not surprised by the standing ovation Suarez received when coming onto the pitch.

“It was probably not the reception that you guys thought!” the boss told journalists after the 2-0 victory over Olympiacos.

“It just shows you the class of the Liverpool supporters. Maybe people wondered what kind of reception he would get but that’s the type of supporters Liverpool are. They love their own, and Luis is still very much part of the group and the team.

“They’ve given him everything, the supporters here.

“He was probably humbled by the reception. There might have been that wee bit of trepidation about the reaction he might have got, but people who’ve been at this club a lot longer than me and know the Liverpool way, they know the fans always respect their people and respect their own.

“Today was another message from them that they love him here. We all love him, as a manager, players and supporters. We’re trying to keep our best players.

“We only want players who are totally, 100 per cent committed to being here. I’ve spoken to Luis countless times over the summer and, of course, speculation can always be difficult for players, but he’s back training and playing.

“The more he’s around the group, the more he’s around the great support here… And days like today, and during the tour –  if ever anyone wanted to know the status of Liverpool Football Club they did while we were on tour and today.

“This is a remarkable football club and I don’t think you want to leave one of the biggest clubs in world football in a hurry. He knows that.”

Categories: Interviews, Latest News, Liverpool, Match Day, Transfers | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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