Sydney FC 0-3 Liverpool: Steven Gerrard, and Jamie Carragher make victorious Reds return
Last Updated: 24/05/17 9:24pm
Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher rolled back the years as they featured in Liverpool's 3-0 post-season friendly win over Sydney FC on Wednesday.
In a match played to celebrate the club's 125 year anniversary, the legendary Reds pair played 46 minutes each as goals from Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno and Roberto Firmino saw Liverpool ease past their Australian opponents, who won the A-league title earlier this month.
Ahead of kick-off, both sets of players and the 72,000 attendance at the ANZ Stadium paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack on Monday by observing a minute's silence.
The Liverpool side was a mix of the past, present and future with Carragher partnering Dejan Lovren at centre-back and Gerrard playing in a central role in midfield. There was also starts for 17-year-old Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson, who has yet to make a senior appearance for the Reds.
It was like Gerrard had never been away when he arrived in the box right on cue with three minutes on the clock, although the only thing missing was the finish as he sliced his effort over the bar from 20 yards.
Liverpool didn't have to wait long to give the fans something to celebrate as Sturridge showed electric pace on eight minutes to beat his marker and roll a clever finish into the bottom corner.
Sydney struggled to deal with the speed of Liverpool's approach play and Moreno got in on the act with 18 minutes. Firmino dropped into space and played a clever ball over the top for Moreno to control and thump into the top corner.
Sturridge looked very sharp during his 45 minutes of action. The England man played a huge contribution in the third goal as his trickery down the left had Sydney full-back, Michael Zullo, seeing stars. Sturridge got to the by-line and rolled a cross into the middle which was flicked home by Firmino.
The crowd vented their frustration at the referee just before the break as they were denied the chance to see Gerrard score from the penalty spot. The former England captain burst into the area and was seemingly taken down by Rhyan Grant - much like the penalty he won in the 2005 Champions League final - but the referee wasn't interested.
That was to be Gerrard's last act of his comeback as both he and Carragher, who looked comfortable throughout, were replaced by fellow Liverpool legends Steve McManaman and Daniel Agger just after the break.
The 45-year-old McManaman linked well with fellow substitute Adam Lallana on 57 minutes but Woodburn's close-range effort was blocked away.
Rhian Brewster was one of a raft of second-half substitutes and the England under-17 international showed why he's so highly regarded with a couple of piercing runs, which nearly added to Liverpool's lead.
Trent Alexander-Arnold rattled the woodwork with a powerful late drive as Liverpool ended the game like they started it - on the front foot.