Posts Tagged With: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool team ratings vs Aston Villa

SIMON MIGNOLET- 8

Simon Mignolet has already made himself an instant kop hero with two brilliant displays against Stoke and Aston Villa. Looked much more comfortable in goal after looking a bit nervy last week against Stoke. The Belgium made two brilliant saves to deny Christian Benteke on both occasions with the first being a full stretch save to deny a curling striker from Benteke. His second was in the 86th minute as Benteke met the ball in the box with a powerful half volley being denied by a brilliant stop from his Belgium colleague.

GLEN JOHNSON- 6

Glen Johnson is always reliable at Liverpool and was again here today. Worked hard all game to nullify the threat from Gabriel Agbonlahor, who was exceptional in his first two games. Didn’t have too many chances to attack the Aston Villa defence, but was a good defensive game from Johnson.

DANIEL AGGER- 7

Daniel Agger had another solid display in this match today as he forges a new partnership alongside Kolo Toure. The Dane put his body on the line a number of times during the match, especially his clash with Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan from a corner. The new vice captain partnership with Kolo Toure goes from strength to strength as they keep another clean sheet with a solid display.

KOLO TOURE- 8

Kolo Toure proved again why Liverpool got him as a free transfer as he put in another brave display for his new team. Toure had the tough task of stopping Christian Benteke, which he did as Benteke rarely threatened during the match. The Ivorian gives Liverpool some height in the box, something they have lacked for a long time.

JOSE ENRIQUE- 6

Jose Enrique claimed the assist for the goal from Daniel Sturridge, but otherwise his display was average. Some of his passing was wayward as he lost the ball to many times in dangerous positions and doesn’t look comfortable when he is on the ball sometimes. Enrique can be unplayable on his best day but just lacks the consistency that is needed when playing for Liverpool.

LUCAS LEIVA- 7

Lucas did brilliant to shield the defence from Aston Villa. Lucas is often the unsung hero as he gets himself about the pitch making vital tackles and interceptions and rarely loses the ball. You notice the gaps that Lucas not playing would give if he was injured and is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League.

STEVEN GERRARD- 8

Steven Gerrard was inspirational today in getting back and defending the onslaught from Aston Villa in the second half, although some of his passing was wayward for Gerrard. Made tackles and put his body on the line for Liverpool in a hard fought battle.

COUTINHO- 6

Did not have a lot to do as the Aston Villa defence kept him quiet for most of the match. The second half was all Aston Villa and Coutinho is not the best with his defensive duties. If he is to remain a winger then he will have to learn to be wary of leaving spaces when he attacks. The Brazilian is clearly better in the number 10 role as he does not have much defensive responsibility but Liverpool lack quality wingers to replace Coutinho in that position.

REPLACED BY JOE ALLEN IN THE 77TH MINUTE

JORDAN HENDERSON- 6

Henderson put in an effortless display running from box to box, but with Liverpool being so much under pressure from Villa he did not have much time to show his qualities. Got into the box well which is pleasing to see from a midfielder, but drifted out of the game for too long.

IAGO ASPAS- 6

New signing Iago Aspas had a comfortable game as he just like Henderson and Coutinho did not have a lot to do. Showed a lot of neat little touches during the game and showed he can be a tricky customer, but did not get enough off the ball to showcase what he can do.

REPLACED BY ALY CISSOKHO IN THE 70TH MINUTE

DANIEL STURRIDGE- 9 MAN OF THE MATCH

Daniel Sturridge put in a scintillating display again here and scored the winner, just like he did last week against Stoke City. His goal was well taken as he called for Coutinho to dummy the ball as collected it and danced past a number of defenders, took the ball around the keeper and slotted it into the roof of the net for a goal of the month contender. Looked lively and dangerous all game and even defended in the second half as Villa piled on the pressure. At one point in the match he was in the right-back position which just emphasised his overall performance.

SUBSTITUTIONS

ALY CISSOKHO- 6

Liverpool’s new signing Aly Cissokho was a brilliantly used tactic from Rodgers as he took of Aspas for Cissokho to bring more height into the game and so that Cissokho could get back more and defend. Looked powerful and some of his runs were brilliant as he tried to take the pressure of the Liverpool defence.

JOE ALLEN- 6

Rodgers attempted to put on Joe Allen to try to control the game a lot more, taking of Coutinho for the Welshman. Some of his passing was wayward but helped Liverpool to defend more than what Coutinho and Aspas would off. Allen helped cover the gaps in midfield and it worked for the final minutes as Rodgers closed off the match well with some good substitutions.

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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-9

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-6

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-8

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-7

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.

JOSE ENRIQUE-6

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.

LUCAS-7

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.

JORDAN HENDERSON-7

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.

STEVEN GERRARD-7

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-8

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-9-MAN OF THE MATCH

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-8

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.

SUBSTITUED IN THE 70TH MINUTE FOR RAHEEM STERLING

RAHEEM STERLING-6

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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Mignolet: It’s a dream come true

New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has described his Liverpool debut as a ‘dream come true’ and thanks the Liverpool fans for their support.

Mignolet was the hero in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Stoke as he dived low to his right to thwart a Jonathon Walters penalty in the last few minutes of the game.

“You dream of those kinds of things and when it actually comes around, you’re very pleased afterwards,” Mignolet told Liverpoolfc.com immediately after the final whistle.

“You can’t really judge if it’s going to end up like that on your debut. It can only be good for my confidence; the next game is going to be a lot easier than it was today.

“You have to get through the first 15 minutes. I managed to get through the first 15 minutes with the support of the fans, my teammates and the staff.

“I got through the first 15 minutes of the game and once I made my first save, it settled me down and made the game a lot easier.

“At that moment itself, you don’t really know what you’re thinking of. Once everything has settled I’ll look back to it and hopefully take positives from it.

“We just have to keep our feet on the ground and be focused. Next week there’s a tough game again against Aston Villa.

“The most important thing is that we got three points today; I think we deserved that with the game we played and the chances we created.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to score the second goal. That’s the most important thing – a win, a clean sheet and move onto the next game.”

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard revealed last season how he had benefited from the analysis of goalkeeping coach John Achterberg when attempting penalties at the other end.

The Dutchman’s level of research proved helpful for Mignolet on Saturday too.

“I think every goalkeeper does that nowadays in the Premier League,” the No.22 added.

“We analyse those things and all credit to the coaching staff, who have monitored that throughout the last couple of seasons and made sure that we knew what was going to happen.”

Mignolet was one of three summer signings to make his competitive debut against the Potters and the ‘keeper was thankful for the reaction afforded by his new home fans.

He said: “Of course, when you make the save at the end and the fans get behind you, that was very pleasing. It can only be good for my confidence for future games.

“Everybody was happy because we wanted to win the game – that was the objective. We’ve done that, we move onto the next game and make sure we do it again.”

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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

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Gerrard: Liverpool must keep Suarez at the club or risk losing out on Champions League spot

Liverpool captain Steven Gerard has admitted that he has spoken to Suarez over staying at Liverpool but admits it is ultimately Suarez’s decision.

Gerrard has insisted Liverpool need to keep their star player at Anfield or risk losing out on the Champions League places, especially if they sell to one of their biggest rivals in Arsenal for the top four.

“I’d say to Luis: ‘Give it one more year, see if we can achieve that’,’’ Liverpool’s captain said.

Gerrard has admitted that Liverpool still have work to do in the transfer market with Liverpool needing to invest in a world class defender and attacker, as well as keeping hold of Suarez.

“This club needs to make one or two big signings if we are to compete for the top four – and keep Suárez.

“Alongside Gareth Bale, Luis is the third best player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis and Bale are the two hottest properties out there at the moment.

“When you’re in that position, you’re going to get all kinds of teams wanting to pull you away, especially when you are at a club not in the Champions League. It’s nothing to do with the British media [criticising Suárez]. Knowing the guy as I do that’s probably the thing on his mind: wanting to be in the Champions League.’

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Reina deserves better treatment

I agree with Liverpool loaning out Reina to Napoli for a season, as having two class goalkeepers was not going to end well as we would have the scenario of Mignolet that we paid 9million for on the bench or Reina sitting on the bench still collecting his 110,000-a-week salary at Liverpool. But Reina deserved better treatment from Liverpool.

Reina stated in his open letter to fans that Liverpool accepted an offer from Napoli before even letting Reina know of the bid. This is a player that has been at Liverpool for eight years and given us the best years of his career and to completely disrespect him by not even letting Reina know is beyond me.

The simple matter of the fact is that Rodgers signed Mignolet as he thought Reina would be on his way to Barcelona. This move did not happen for various reasons and Rodgers was left with two class goalkeepers and had to farm Reina out, instead of let him fight for his place.

I’ve heard a lot of fans saying he brought this on himself as he was that desperate for a move to Barcelona but can you really blame him for wanting to move to the Catalan club, arguably the best club in the world at the moment. Not forgetting Barcelona was where he started his career and he has a point to prove over there in his native Spain and a chance to return home.

It is likely that Reina will come back from his loan spell and move to Barcelona next summer, as Victor Valdes will have let his contract run down by then and is ready for a new challenge.

Liverpool should of shown one of our best keepers in recent memory more respect than to move him off to the first club that came in for him and at least talk to him about what he would like.

I understand why Liverpool loaned him out as he has a 110,000-a-week contract and that is a lot if he is to potentially sit on the bench for the rest of the season. But we can’t forget that he earned that salary with great performances down the years.

Liverpool kept the second most clean sheets in the league last season and that’s not to bad for a team ‘with a dodgy defense and a keeper that has lost his form.’ Reina made a few mistakes last season but tell me what keeper doesn’t? The best goalkeeper in the Premier League last season was David De Gea, somehow, and look at how many mistakes he made.

The simple matter of the fact is that Reina deserved more respect than what he got at Liverpool, after all he has been our number one for eight seasons and has stuck by us through the hard times when he could have left. Liverpool are showing more respect to Suarez, when he don’t deserve it, than Reina who has got to be one of Liverpool’s great goalkeepers.

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Coutinho and co sign off in style

Coutinho celebrates Reds first goal

Coutinho celebrates Reds first goal

Liverpool recorded a fourth straight pre-season win as they signed off their 2013 summer tour with a 3-0 victory over the Thailand national team.

Philippe Coutinho, Iago Aspas and Steven Gerrard scored the goals on a day when many of Brendan Rodgers’ senior players featured for 90 minutes for the first time this summer.

The squad will now head straight for the airport, waving goodbye to their incredible Thai supporters and flying home to Merseyside.

Coutinho might have opened the scoring on 11 minutes but his extravagance in scissor-kicking Glen Johnson’s superb floating cross did not pay dividends.

But the Brazilian wouldn’t be denied for long. On 16 minutes he pick-pocketed possession before displaying outrageous footwork that left his pursuer floored and opened space to slot into the bottom corner.

The Reds continued to create chances against a national side who knocked China for five recently, while Thailand’s best effort in the first half was a rocket shot from 20 yards that Simon Mignolet had to be sharp to palm away.

Within four minutes of the restart it was 2-0 when Coutinho threaded a ball towards Aspas, who beat a defender with a Maradona spin before placing the ball beyond the goalkeeper’s reach to claim his third goal since clinching a transfer from Celta Vigo.

It was Gerrard who chipped in next on 59 minutes as Joe Allen sprinted clear in midfield, feeding Aspas, who in turn laid the ball off to his skipper. Gerrard – the undisputed star attraction for fans during the tour – showed poise to dink over the flailing defenders and ‘keeper.

Aspas and Fabio Borini then made way for Luis Suarez and Jordon Ibe but there wasn’t the raft of early changes we saw in previous tour encounters.

Kolo Toure and Coutinho – who both missed the Reds’ last game through injury – were replaced by Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson, while everyone else lasted until the closing stages or the final whistle.

Away from the sidelines, Suarez and Gerrard both hit the crossbar, Henderson had an effort stopped on the line and Ibe blasted into the side netting – but the passionate fans who filled the Thai national stadium were not treated to any more goals.

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Gerrard: Liverpool are close to success

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool are getting more successful under manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 33-year-old, who inspired Liverpool to a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory, is pleased with the clubs new summer signings.

Liverpool have signed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland for 9million, Kolo Toure from Manchester City on a free transfer, Luis Alberto from Seville for 6.8million and Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo for 7.7million.

Gerrard, who signed a two year contract extension in July, believes success is just around the corner.

The 33-year-old told The Australian newspaper: “Is success around the corner? I hope so. I believe and have confidence in the boys that we can deliver. We have bought well in the off-season and if we can get another two players in key areas then we have a good chance.”

Gerrard also praised Rodgers for his efforts since succeeding Dalglish as manager in July 2012.

He added: “We have a great relationship. He has shown a lot of faith in me both on and off the field. It is early days, but I am sure our relationship will continue to grow.

“We are moving in the right direction. We are playing nice football and hopefully the owners continue to back him and he is able to add to the squad to make it stronger so we can compete for trophies.”

Asked about Luis Suarez, the subject of a renewed bid of more than £40 million from Arsenal on Tuesday, Gerrard said: “He is still a Liverpool player.”

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