Friendly match - Early Sterling strike gives Liverpool victory

Guinness International Champions Cup, Solder Field - Liverpool 1 (Sterling 5') Olympiacos 0

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Friendly match - Early Sterling strike gives Liverpool victory
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Raheem Sterling

Liverpool continued their pre-season preparations after Raheem Sterling scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Olympiacos.

Liverpool opened the scoring after just five minutes when Raheem Sterling turned in a slow, deflected shot from Daniel Sturridge.

New signings Emre Can and Lazar Markovic impressed with runs forward, but it was the newest signing, Dejan Lovren, who may have done best out of the night.

Although he did not play, Liverpool's defence failed to dominate its Greek opponents, with Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel especially hapless - Lovren's absence ironically established him as the best defender at the club.

Brendan Rodgers will be keen to invest in new full-backs as soon as possible, as both Johnson and Jose Enrique also struggled to keep an average Olympiacos side at bay.

In the second half, Gevorg Ghazaryan hit the bar after five minutes, and Olympiacos continued to probe, with Liverpool looking to hit them on the break.

Substitutions spoiled the rhythm of both sides, inevitably, and neither side will panic or being hugely pleased with their performance in the match.

Despite late pressure, Liverpool were able to hold on. Brendan Rodgers will know he needs to improve the defence.

KEY MOMENTS

5' - STERLING GOAL - Sturridge slips and sends a shot towards goal that is deflected into the path of Sterling, and he helps the ball on past Balazs Meygeri.

37' - MARKOVIC CHANCE - Markovic stays upright under physical pressure, but curls a shot from inside the box well wide and high of the goal.

40' - DIAMANTAKOS MISS - Inside the box on the right, with space to shot, the forward sends a shot just wide of the near post.

50' - GHAZARYHAN HITS THE BAR - Cutting onto his right, Ghazaryan strikes a firm shot onto the bar.

76' - COUTINHO SHOT - Philippe Coutinho cuts in onto his right foot and drags a shot a fraction wide from about 35 yards

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

The final piece of the post-Suarez puzzle? Dejan Lovren is an intelligent purchase, but more defenders are needed. Glen Johnson looked slow and prone to falling over for no reason, and Jose Enrique looked like a Newcastle defender. Liverpool have done well to strengthen elsewhere, but more defenders are essential if they are to progress.

PLAYER RATINGS

Liverpool: Jones 6, Johnson 4, Skrtel 5, Toure 5, Enrique 5, Gerrard 6, Henderson 6, Can 6, Sterling 6, Markovic 7, Sturridge 6. Subs: Robinson 6, Coutinho 6, Allen 6, Lucas 5, Coates 5, Kelly 5, Ibe 6, Lambert 6.

Olympiacos: Meygeri 6, Salino 5, Papadopolous 6, Siovas 6, Abidal 6, N'Dinga 6, Maniatis 6, Dossevi 6, Ghazaryan 6, Saviola 5, Diamantakos 6. Subs: Samaris 6, Elabdellaoui 6, Masuaku 6, Dominguez 6, Kasami 6, Kolovos 6, Manolas 6, Avlonitis 6, Papazoglou 6, Bouchlaki 6.

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