Liverpool were expected to be given a thorough examination against Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in today's friendly. Instead, Liverpool wiped the floor with their opponents, beating them 4-0.
What immediately stood out was Liverpool's attacking trio of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, who caused mayhem with their creativity, movement, pace and of course, finishing skills. Though considering Liverpool scored a whopping 101 goals in 38 Premier League games, that much was expected of them.
What was more shocking was Liverpool keeping a clean sheet and looking relatively untroubled at the back. Last season they conceded 50 goals and it is routinely seen as the main reason the club failed to win the Premier League.
After the match Brendan Rodgers bestowed praise on Liverpool's much maligned back four. On Lovren, Rodgers said: “Dejan was perfect. He’s what I've been looking for since Jamie Carragher left.
“He’s very dominant, a number one centre-half who can go and attack the ball. He reads the game incredibly well, and his leadership qualities you could see with his talking and his guidance of the back four. But we also saw his quality, and his range of pass off both feet. His pass into Coutinho for the first goal, he’s rapped that in with his left foot, his weaker side, and that’s created the little nick round the corner. And then liked he showed us last year, he’s dominant in the air in the other box. He goes and attacks it. I thought he was excellent.”
“He’s the type of full back I like. He can get tight to people, can stop crosses and defend well, but also has the energy to go and attack and get forward. I thought he was very, very good today. I have been really pleased with all the new signings, because they've all come in as part of our strategy. They’re all the type of profile that we want.
“One of the most pleasing things for me was that I could make changes, put players on and still feel we were strong. That hasn’t been the case since I’ve been here, because of the lack of depth.
“And with maybe one or two more to come, come the end of August we’ll hopefully have really good depth in our squad.”
Liverpool will kick off their Premier League campaign against Southampton next week Sunday but beforehand, they have a game that will be played behind closed doors in their training site in Melwood.
Rodgers insists that their preparations are complete: “We’ll be ready,” he said. “I was delighted with how we played here. Dortmund have been one of the leading teams in European football for the last three or four seasons now, and they have a real identity.
“But I thought we were excellent, and brought an end to a very good pre-season for us. And I think you saw the identity in our team, that has been building over the last couple of seasons. We have desire and commitment, to go with that quality.
“We got four good goals, and really could have had a few more.”