There’s no better way to get a round of pre-season friendlies started than to hit four on the road — it took a bit of doing when they visited last year, but Liverpool had no problems getting things going at Prenton Park yesterday as two goals on either side of the half saw James Milner, Marko Grujic, Pedro Chirivella and Ben Woodburn open their accounts in what was a comfortable win for the Reds over National League side Tranmere Rovers.
“I was happy with the squad I had today; first half with a little bit more experience and second half with the young players,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press following the final whistle. “It looked good – as good as possible after around about eight days of training and I really enjoyed watching it. The first half started really well, then it looked a little bit more stiff – a few players were looking a little bit for their role, their position and all that stuff,” continued the German manager. “Second half, surprisingly it looked fresher and that’s good – it was more flexible and a little bit more fluent. Both halves were good, we scored good goals and could have scored more. It was good.”
Video courtesy of Noveball
With a number of key players missing and more players expected to be drafted in, this is far from the side that’s expected to run out against Watford FC on the opening day of the Premier League season, but it was a Reds team that looked hungry to succeed. While it was great to see new Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke make his debut in the second half, seeing club captain Jordan Henderson hit the pitch for the first time since February was the real highlight of the night.
“That’s the aim,” Henderson told Liverpoolfc.com after the final whistle. “You give it everything for 45 minutes and give everyone a runout to try and get fit and get minutes on the pitch and show the manager what they are capable of,” explained the skipper. “Everybody enjoyed it and we are looking forward to the next game on Friday,” said the 27-year old, already looking ahead to the meeting with Wigan Athletic. “Pre-season is very important for all the lads coming back in from their holidays. We have started really well in training and in the game. It’s a good start for us.”