A youthful Liverpool side suffered defeat in their first pre-season friendly, losing 2-1 to Danish outfit Brondby.
With a number of players recently returning from World Cup duty, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers opted to experiment with a relatively youthful side.
The inexperience was clearly evident in patches as the Reds showed naivety when moving forward, often attacking in numbers to leave themselves short at the back when the home side won possession and opted to counter.
Philippe Coutinho looked lively for Liverpool, having been left out of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad for the World Cup, and was the focal point of their attacks.
However, it was the hosts that took the lead midway through the opening half as a defensive mix-up allowed for Christian Norgaard to compose himself on the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area before whipping a delightful shot past Brad Jones and into the near corner.
It was all square just moments into the second half as Jordan Ibe showed wonderful pace and composure to carry the ball from the half way line and into the Brondby penalty area before pulling the ball back to fellow half-time substitute Kristoffer Peterson who poked home from four yards.
Liverpool controlled much of the play during the final 45 minutes, but it was the home side that had the better of the chances. Having hit the woodwork on two separate occasions, Brondby were rewarded for their persistence as Ferhan Hasani produced a wonderful run in the closing seconds, beating four Liverpool defenders to slot home from 12 yards.
23’ – GOAL! Brondby 1-0 Liverpool. Brondby take the lead. A defensive mix-up on the edge of the Liverpool 18-yard box allowed for Norgaard to win possession, get the ball out of his feet and send the ball curling into the near corner. A delightful finish.
45’ – DOUBLE SAVE! An excellent double save from Hradecky, who first gets down well to block Lucas’ drive before beating the ball away at the feet of the onrushing Coutinho.
48’ - GOAL! Brondby 1-1 Liverpool. What a start to the second half. Ibe does tremendously well down the left, allowing the ball to run through his legs on the halfway line before bursting to the byline. The substitute cuts the ball back to Peterson, who also came on at half-time, which allows the youngster to poke home from six yards.
66’ - CROSSBAR! Hasani stands over the free-kick from 25 yards, striking it firmly, up and over the wall and back off the crossbar. Jones beaten.
82’ - CROSSBAR! Kahlenberg rattles the woodwork with a free-kick from just outside the penalty area. The Brondby captain is a set-piece specialist and is unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet today.
90+1’ - GOAL! Brondby 2-1 Liverpool. Brondby score at the death! And what a wonderful goal that is, too. Hasani picks up the ball on the left of the penalty area before cutting inside, dancing past four challenges as he reaches the penalty area. The Macedonian player of the year then shows a cool head to slot the ball past Ward and into the net. Brilliant.
How did Liverpool shape up? Brendan Rodgers’ hugely inexperienced first-half side looked a little out of their depth at times, though the fresh Philippe Coutinho was excellent. A host of second-half changes saw Liverpool up the ante and find their feet. Jordan Ibe impressed during his 45 minute stint and will have given Rodgers something to think about.
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