Sports - Football - Pre-Season Friendly - Match Report:
Liverpool finished their pre-season encounter against Melbourne Victory on top, ending 2-0 winners thanks to skipper Steven Gerrard and Iago Aspas.
The result was tough on the young Melbourne side though, especially for the skipper Adrian Leijer after all his hard work at the back, but it was a comfortable win for the Reds in the end thanks to a little bit of magic by none-other than Gerrard and Luis Suarez's help!
The first chance on target fell to the Australian side after Jose Enrique's mistake gave the ball away to Andrew Nabbout who pulled a fine save out of Brad Jones.
However, just past the half-hour mark, the Red skipper got the breakthrough in the centre of the box, with a nice run, nice placement and comfortable finish off Fabio Borini.
Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling were producing a fine display, creating some good build-ups and unpredictable play for the young Melbourne side. The Reds seemed to have everything under control approaching half time.
Both teams made no changes during the break and Liverpool enjoyed a flurry of corners at the start of the second half where Borini sprung to life with a couple of glorious chances, including an over-head kick which went wide, just.
Brendan Rodgers then rang the changes with just under 20 minutes to go, putting on a fresh Red side to keep the Aussies on their toes.
Melbourne Victory were keeping up the pressure too though with just one goal separating the two sides and can be very proud of their performance.
Liverpool saw plenty of chances, all blocked by some stubborn defending from skipper Leijer with under 10 minutes to go.
Just a couple of minutes injury time were added on with Liverpool dominating in possession, comfortably. A free kick from left outside the box was cleared easily. With all eyes on Suarez, the controversial Uruguayan eventually created a golden chance.
Aussie keeper Nathan Coe's save led to another Red corner, which was taken short by Stewart Downing, to Suarez who dunk the ball onwards and saw it turned in by Aspas to double the visitors' lead seconds before the final whistle was blown.
The question is, will the trouble maker still be wearing the Red number seven by the end of August? For now, all we know is that he has added his bit to a Red victory once again.
MVFC Team: 1 Coe; 4 Ansell, 23 Leijer (c), 24 Galloway, 30 Geria; 6 Broxham, 14 Celeski, 17 Jeggo; 13 Nabbout (17 Stella - 83rd), 19 Pain, 22 Makarounas (27 Cristaldo - 86th).
Coaches: Ange Postecoglou & Kevin Muscat
LFC Team: 1 Jones (22 Mignolet - 72nd); 2 Johnson (34 Kelly - 72nd), 37 Skrtel (16 Coates - 72nd), 47 Wisdom (5 Agger - 72nd), 3 Enrique (38 Flanagan - 72nd); 8 Gerrard (c) (21 Lucas - 63rd), 24 Allen (19 Downing - 72nd), 14 Henderson (6 Alberto - 72nd), 44 Ibe (9 Aspas - 72nd), 31 Sterling (7 Suarez - 72nd); 29 Borini (Spearing - 72nd).
Subs not used: 49 Robinson, 11 Assaidi.
Kolo Toure is out with tight calf & Philippe Coutinho with a training ground knock, neither are thought to be serious.
1st & 2nd half stats:
MVFC v LFC:
Attempts: 1-11 & 1-6
On target: 1-5 & 1-2
Offsides: 1-1 & 0-1
Corners: 0-3 & 3-6
Free kicks: 0-0 & 2-4
Referee: Jumpi Iida
Man of the Match: Steven Gerrard
At the MCG