Liverpool 3-1 Torino: Liverpool end pre-season with comfortable win at Anfield
Last Updated: 08/08/18 7:35am
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum and Daniel Sturridge handed Liverpool a comfortable 3-1 victory over Torino at Anfield to end their pre-season on a high note on Tuesday night.
Fabinho missed an early penalty on his Anfield debut, but his fellow Brazilian Firmino opened the scoring soon after with a deflected effort.
Wijnaldum put Liverpool 2-0 up after 24 minutes with a neat finish before Andrea Belotti brought Torino back into the game with a thumping header just past the half-hour mark.
Jurgen Klopp made seven changes at the break and two of his substitutes combined for the final goal of the game as Xherdan Shaqiri's cross was nodded in by Sturridge with three minutes remaining.
Liverpool made a typically purposeful start to the game and were awarded a penalty after 16 minutes when Michael Oliver adjudged that Sadio Mane had been pushed before taking a shot. Fabinho, who converted all 17 of his penalties for Monaco in Ligue 1, stepped up but dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Fabinho's miss did not prove costly, though, as Firmino put Liverpool in front four minutes later. Mohamed Salah collected a Wijnaldum pass before feeding Firmino on the left, with the Brazilian's shot deflecting in off Lorenzo De Silvestri and Bremer to leave Salvatore Sirigu wrong-footed in goal.
Firmino then went from goalscorer to provider. He slid the ball into Wijnaldum's path and the Netherlands international calmly converted underneath the onrushing Sirigu to double Liverpool's advantage.
Liverpool were in control but had their lead cut to one when Torino scored with their first attack of the game. De Silvestri did brilliantly to control Belotti's pass on the right touchline and he then whipped a wonderful cross into the box for the striker to power past Alisson with a header from close range.
Klopp made wholesale changes at the break with only Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, young centre-back Nathaniel Phillips and Fabinho kept on. Sturridge looked lively from the outset and almost provided an assist five minutes after coming on when his clever reverse pass freed Danny Ings inside the penalty area, but he could only scuff his effort wide.
Ings saw another effort cleared off the line before Klopp turned to his bench once more to bring on Loris Karius for Alisson with 20 minutes to go. Alisson was treated to a standing ovation from the home crowd but more notable was the rousing reception reserved for Karius as he made his first Anfield appearance since the Champions League final.
Sturridge continued his fine form in pre-season by scoring Liverpool's third, glancing a header into the far corner after being picked out by a delightful Shaqiri pass. While Mane, Salah and Firmino's places in Liverpool's attack are assured, both Sturridge and Shaqiri seized their opportunities to impress with sparkling second-half displays.
Torino almost snatched another goal in injury time as M'Baye Niang beat Karius to a bouncing ball but, fortunately for the German, the shot went wide of the far post.
Man of the match - Georginio Wijnaldum
Klopp's central midfield options are now so packed that Georginio Wijnaldum rarely seems to enter the equation when Liverpool's best three-man midfield is discussed. With summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho as well as club captain Jordan Henderson for company, Wijnaldum could struggle for regular football this season.
However, the Netherlands' failure to qualify for the World Cup has given him the benefit of a full pre-season with his club and he has impressed in recent weeks, scoring twice in his last two games. He took his goal well and linked up nicely with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah down Liverpool's right-hand side.